FIRST GAME RECAP: Tulsa raced out to a 16-7 first-quarter lead as it gained 131 yards on 24 plays. But the Cyclones turned the tide in the second quarter as Jake Knott forced a Tulsa fumble that led to an ISU touchdown, and the Golden Hurricane went three-and-out on three of their four possessions as ISU scored 17 second-quarter points, out-gaining Tulsa, 201-56, to lead 24-16 at halftime. James White’s 6-yard touchdown with 5:08 left in the third quarter made it 31-16.
A 77-yard run by Trey Watts helped Tulsa cut its deficit to 31-23 with 9:12 left. But an interception and return to the Tulsa 10 by Deon Broomfield set up a Johnson 5-yard touchdown run late for the final score. – Iowa State 38, Tulsa 23
WHEN TULSA HAS THE BALL: The Golden Hurricane wants to run the ball. Tulsa rushed 233 more times than it passed during the 2012 season and ranks 11th in the FBS, averaging 240.2 rush yards per game. The Golden Hurricane has three runners with more than 700 rushing yards – Trey Watts (959), Ja’Terian Douglas (857) and Alex Singleton (765). Six times Tulsa rushed for 250 or better in a game this season, all victories. The Golden Hurricane rushed for just 160 on 34 attempts in the Sept. 1 meeting with ISU, and 77 those came on a Trey Watts second-half run.
WHEN IOWA STATE HAS THE BALL: Iowa State wants to establish the run, as well. Leading rusher Shontrelle Johnson, who had 120 rushing yards against Tulsa in the opener, will miss the game after suffering a knee injury during practice on Dec. 15. Expect James White to carry the bulk of the load, with Jeff Woody coming on for short-yardage situations. DeVondrick Nealy and Rob Standard could also see the field. Cyclone offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham also likes to use the quick screen game as a supplement to the run game. The Cyclones rushed for just 160 against the Golden Hurricane while passing for 281 in the first game. Steele Jantz was the starter for ISU in that game and it is expected freshman Sam Richardson will be under the center this time.
KEY MATCH-UP: Iowa State’s offensive line against an active Tulsa front four. The Golden Hurricane like to blitz and recorded 104 tackles for loss and 48 sacks. Those numbers rank fourth and third nationally at the FBS level. Middle linebacker DeAundre Brown leads Tulsa with 17 TFLs. Defensive end Jared St. John has a team high 11 1/2 sacks. Additionally, will linebacker Shawn Jackson, who missed the Golden Hurricane’s first three games, is a player Iowa State is concerned about containing. Jackson has 79 tackles, 8 1/2 for loss in 10 games.