This match-up is really interesting for a couple of reasons. One, Lenz is red hot with a 15.5 yards per catch average and four touchdowns. Iowa State has only had four touchdowns in the run game. The other reason is that Lenz lines up as a slot, normally drawing a safety.
The Cowboys need to be smart and try to match-up with somebody that can really cover. The Cyclones have been enemic in the run offense and the quickest way to change that is to hit a couple of big plays in the passing game to get the defense thinking about backing up. Lenz needs to be kept under control.
vs. ISU linebackers A.J. Klein, Jake Knott and Jeremiah George
It will not just create sparks, but maybe a sonic boom as Staley has grown to love to hit, and Klein and Knott live for big crashes. It would also be fun to what happens in the passing game when Staley is covered by one of the Cyclones linebackers. This match-up is for fun.
vs. ISU nose tackle Jake McDonough
McDonough is a tough guy-kind of player and he will meet his offensive match in Epstein, who played through a bad ankle against Texas, and to a degree last week at Kansas. He is now very healthy and ready to get ugly with some defensive tackles.
From a physical standpoint, Epstein is a legit 6-3, 300 pounds, and McDonough is 6-5, 285. If you like to isolate and watch two big men beat up on each other then grab the binochulars and watch this pair in the trenches.
As for this one, Oklahoma State will run the ball much better than the Cowboys did last week against Kansas, will throw the ball enough to keep the Cyclones off balance, and I am predicting that the Oklahoma State defense will live up to its preseason hype on Homecoming Saturday. My prediction is liberal as I think it is quite possible that Iowa State struggles to get to 20.
Week 8 Predictions
No. 21 TCU 28, No. 20 Texas Tech 20
No. 7 Oklahoma 38, Kansas 9
No. 3 Kansas State 41, No. 15 West Virginia 35
Baylor 35, Texas 31
Oklahoma State 59, Kansas 6
Actual Score: 20-14 Oklahoma State
No. 10 Oklahoma 35, No. 15 Texas 31
Actual Score: 63-21 Oklahoma
No. 5 Kansas State 41, No. 25 Iowa State 27
Actual Score: 27-21 Kansas State
No. 4 West Virginia 66, Texas Tech 28
Actual Score: 49-14 Texas Tech
Baylor 45, No. 23 TCU 35
Actual Score: 49-21 TCU
Last Week: 3-2 SU/2-3 ATS
Record: SU 38-5/ATS 24-10 (Games involving FCS teams don't have point spreads.)