Under Lincoln Riley, Oklahoma consistently has one of the most prolific offense in all of college football. The Sooners have ranked first, first, and then third in yards per game in Riley’s first three seasons as head coach. Most people would look at prolific passers such as Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray along with elite receivers such as Dede Westbrook, Marquise Brown, and CeeDee Lamb and assume that the passing game is OU’s calling card. That is partially true, as they’ve ranked in the top 15 each of the past three seasons in passing yards per game, but I believe the running game is what makes Oklahoma’s offensive train fly down the tracks.
In each of their four regular season losses of in the previous four seasons (including last week), they have not had a single rusher eclipse 100 yards, and in two games as a team the Sooners were not even able to reach that mark. Oklahoma has averaged upwards of 250+ yards per contest each of the past three seasons ranking in the top 20 nationally, so down to 100 is a pretty sizable drop off.
This season, after longtime Sooner RB, Trey Sermon transferred to Ohio State the door was opened for four-star true freshman, Seth McGowan to take over the bell cow role. Only being two games into his college career there is obviously not much of a sample size to judge McGowan off of. Though, in his first two games he has looked special. 22 attempts for 134 yards and two touchdowns are terrific numbers, as he didn’t even appear in the second half of Oklahoma’s week one trouncing of Missouri State.
It’s nearly impossible to stop Oklahoma’s offense under Lincoln Riley, so the best you can do is slow it down. The trenches will be key in this game for Iowa State, and slowing down Seth McGowan and Oklahoma’s rushing attack would be a great place to start.