With one team trying to find their identity as a whole while the other is trying to find their full-time starting quarterback, this game is going to be all about the defenses.
Iowa State: Caleb Bacon
Caleb is a rising star on defense and is currently a preferred walk-on at the linebacker position. This season, he has accumulated a total of seven solo tackles, six assisted tackles, three tackles for loss, and two sacks. The redshirt sophomore was getting attention before this year with his work ethic, dedication, and determination. He played in 10 games on special teams last season and has impressed Matt Campbell and Jon Heacock enough to give him rotational reps on defense this year. With Coach Gundy stating in an interview that he has the intention to continue using all three quarterbacks, it will be interesting if Caleb and the Iowa State defense can bring home the Bacon (I’ll see myself out)!
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Oklahoma State: Collin Oliver
Collin Oliver was one of the linebackers who were included on the pre-season Bronko Nagurski Watch List after being named on the 2022 Second Team All-Big 12 (Coaches). The junior has accumulated a total of 20 tackles, three of which were for a loss, one sack and two pass deflections so far this season. Their defense has allowed an average of 354 yards off 63.6 plays per game, but they aim to recover against a struggling offense that is averaging 270 yards off 55.6 plays per game. A strong defensive showing could determine this game’s winner.