Let’s get to it.
Kevin: Okay, let's get this out of the way so we can focus on the important things. What was your range of emotions when CMU pulled the game winner* a few weeks back? Iowa State has had its fair share of fiascoes involving refs and/or nut kicks, but that seemed about as brutal as it can get early in the season.
Cade: Honestly, total shock. It's a funny story how this unfolded for me personally. I was not able to attend the game, so I watched at home. After Mason Rudolph was flagged for intentional grounding (and CMU was unjustly awarded an untimed down), my buddy who was at the game called me. I told him that I had a bad feeling about the upcoming play, and right as I say that, I hear my buddy screaming, "No... NOO... NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" I could only imagine that they scored, and because of the TV delay, those next 7 seconds were pure agony. CMU scores, play is upheld, CMU wins. The next few days were a blur because of all of the emotions. The horrible call, the untimed down, the lateral. All of it played over and over in OSU fans' heads for days. Imagine trying to write a recap on that... I had to delete around 700 words that I had already written because of that. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Kevin: Oklahoma State is averaging just over 350 passing yards per game this season, good enough for 10th in the nation. If you were coaching against OSU's offense, would you sell out to stop the pass? Or is the run game with Justice Hill effective enough to make teams pay if they don't have enough defenders in the box?
Cade: Good question. The running game has come along in the last two weeks, with Justice Hill having rushed for over 100 yards in two straight games. The offensive line is vastly improved, and the addition of a shifty, lightning quick running back in Justice Hill has paid dividends. I think the running game is still a work in progress, but as it stands right now, it is too good to try to key only on the pass. Texas isn't great in the secondary, but their front-seven is very talented and pretty solid. OSU found success against them and I expect the running game to get better each week.
Kevin: Who are the playmakers on both sides of the ball for the Cowboys? Obviously there's that Mason Rudolph-James Washington connection that we'll likely see early and often on Saturday...
Cade: The Mason Rudolph-James Washington combo is arguably the best QB/WR in the Big 12, and they are showing it right now. Rudolph is really starting to hit his stride this season having thrown for over 1600 yards already, and Washington is playing some Biletnikoff-caliber football. Aside from those two, Justice Hill comes to mind for the offense. He is a game changer for this team and brings a different dimension to the offense. I would also keep an eye on slot receiver Jalen McCleskey. He is coming off a 109-yard, two touchdown performance against Texas. He is electric and has the ability to take the top off of the defense from the slot.
On the defensive side of the ball, I'd start with Vincent Taylor. He is a force to be reckoned with at 6'3" and 310 lbs. He blocked three (yes, three) extra points last week against Texas, one of which he pitched to Trey Flowers who then took it to the house for two points. He is a run-stopper and has the quickness to sack the QB from the DT spot. Moving to the secondary, I'd keep an eye on Jordan Sterns. The senior safety has NFL talent, and has really improved his coverage skills. His strength lies in his ability to punish running backs with huge hits, but he has the ability to cover the pass as well.
Kevin: Is Mike Gundy's mullet real? Can I touch it? Also, is he a man, and is he 40?
Cade: I didn't think it was real, until I saw it with my own eyes. It's real, and it is fantastic. You'll have to take up the hands-on session with the man himself.
Also, he's more of a man now at 49 than he ever was at 40.
Kevin: Let's hear your prediction for the game. Additionally, what about Iowa State concerns you the most, and what about the Cyclones gives you the most confidence heading into the match-up?
Cade: Starting with the match-up that concerns me the most, I worry about OSU's ability to contain Mike Warren. They should be able to play well enough to do so, but he is an excellent running back and deserves some attention.
I look at how Baylor ran the ball on ISU last week to the tune of 469 yards, and TCU also rushing over 220. I expect OSU to be able to run the ball without committing a tight-end to the run blocking scheme and to contain the Cyclone rushing attack. I'll take Oklahoma State 45-17.
Kevin: BONUS QUESTION - This is a WRNL rite of passage. FMK: Anna Kendrick, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson. GO.
You guys don't mess around at WRNL. I like it. I'll go F: Jennifer Lawrence. M: Anna Kendrick. K: Emma Watson. I think this is obvious.
Aw, that’s too bad. Another wrong answer for the K of our bonus question. Better luck next time, Cade. Good luck to the Cowboys tomorrow.