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Three Things We Learned: Oklahoma

A lot of positives despite a heartbreaking loss.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Campbell Is Not Afraid to Gamble

In the Paul Rhoads era, we as fans may have become accustomed to fake punts, surprise onside kicks, fake field goals, and everything else that falls into the category of “If this works it’s a genius play, if not what the hell were we thinking?” (Definitely talking about the Sam Richardson fake punt there). While Matt Campbell did not break out any fakes this weekend, it takes some guts to go for two in Norman.

As soon as Chuck Kolar’s touchdown was confirmed, the camera panned over to Matt Campbell who was holding up deuces, indicating he would go for the win. Regardless of how the conversion ended up, it is a lot more fun to see a coach trust his team, quarterback, play call, and everything in between. If only we could get him to return a punt or two...

This Team is Special

Although the Cyclones sit at just 5-4, this group of kids is a special one. With those 4 losses being by a combined 11 points, this team has an eternal fire that allows them to keep pounding away at leads at make a comeback. Teams of ISU past would have thrown in the towel, and hit the showers early while getting walloped by another great OU squad.

Coming down from 35-14 is a difficult thing to do no matter what team you play, but to do it against a top-10 team and a top-notch coaching staff is something that was unfathomable before Matt Campbell and Co. got to Ames. These guys can play with any team in the country and will not go down easy.

The Defense is Capable of Big Things

The first half was not great, as 35 points in a single half is obviously less than ideal from a defensive standpoint, especially during the scripted part of the game. However, the halftime adjustments held the Sooner offense to just one second half touchdown, and finally forced a couple of the turnovers that had been so elusive earlier in the game. We’ve been saying it for weeks now, but when this defense puts together a complete game, the Cyclones are extremely difficult to beat.