OU vs. Iowa State: Three keys to victory

OU slot receiver Jalen Saunders

AMES, Iowa — The Sooners are attempting to bounce back off a loss to Notre Dame last week, and Sooners Illustrated tells you how they can get it done.

Here are this weekend's three keys to victory for the Sooners:

1. Take care of the football--Bedlam rival Oklahoma State found out all about turnovers killing their chances in Ames when they stumbled to the Cyclones last year, effectively ruining its chances at a national championship game berth. The Cowboys turned it over five times, including a pick-six, and those are things OU quarterback Landry Jones and the Sooner offense must avoid if they hope to get back on the right track. Value the pigskin and don't throw it away or put it on the turf. Win the TO battle.

2. Attack the void left behind by injured linebacker Jake Knott--The Cyclones' leading tackler with 79 total stops is out for the season, and OU must try to get to the second level where they can really exploit the Iowa State defense there. A heavy dose of passes over the middle to Jalen Saunders could do the trick and also open up the running game where they can get to the second level with a much less potent pair of fill-in linebackers in Matt Morton and Jevohn Miller, who have combined for just 14 tackles all season. Life gets a whole lot tougher then for All-Big 12 backer A.J. Klein.

3. Get pressure on Steele Jantz--We saw what the Cyclone signal caller could do last week when he got to sit back comfortably in the pocket. He did what most Big 12 quarterbacks do by picking the Baylor defense apart for 381 yards and a program-tying five touchdown passes and 36 completions. OU's front four has to force him out of his comfort zone early and often. Do that and it'll be a long morning and afternoon for Jantz and co. and a fun plane flight home for the visitors.

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