|Iowa St.-Oklahoma Preview|
Matt Campbell was in tears the last time he walked off Owen Field in Norman, Okla.
The Iowa State coach had just led his team to a shocking 38-31 upset of third-ranked Oklahoma in October 2017.
It was a turning point early in Campbell's tenure after Iowa State was 3-9 in his first season and started 2-2 in the next before knocking off the Sooners.
With the Cyclones on Saturday making their return to Oklahoma -- which is ranked ninth in the first College Football Playoff rankings of the season -- Campbell reflected on the importance of that win.
"Winning a conference game on the road and beating a program like Oklahoma, it just allowed us -- and sometimes this happens in coaching, you're constantly talking about what you're going to do -- finally to put some proof to the vision you have for your program," Campbell told reporters this week. "That football season in general allowed us to put some proof to the vision we thought we'd have for where Iowa State football could be and where we could go."
Beginning with that upset, the Cyclones are 19-11.
That 2017 loss was also the first of Lincoln Riley's tenure at Oklahoma. After that defeat, the Sooners bounced back to win eight consecutive games and make the College Football Playoff.
Oklahoma did that a year ago, as well, coming back from an early October loss to Texas to make the playoff.
Now entering Saturday's game, the Sooners are hoping to mimic that success after Kansas State upset Oklahoma two weeks ago.
"Every loss at OU is shocking," Riley said. "It hits you different. It hits you hard. This one was no different. The opportunities after it are no different either.
"It's a chance for us to really rally as a team. We know the opportunities that are in front of us. We know what we can do if we play our style of ball and play to the level that we expect regardless of what the expectations are on the outside."
Riley said he expected teams to mimic how Kansas State was able to take advantage of the Sooners' defense, just like teams did against the Oklahoma offense two years ago after seeing the Cyclones drop eight back into coverage instead of rushing the quarterback.
"It's a copycat game, so yeah, we'll have to defend some of the things that they (Kansas State) did really well. That's no surprise," Riley said. "The biggest thing they did is they beat us up in long-yardage situations. I feel like we've said that a lot in the last couple weeks. That's the most unique thing that happened in that game is that right there. There was nothing really magical. There was nothing crazy schematic. They played better football than we did."
The Cyclones need a win to get themselves back in the hunt for a berth in the Big 12 title game. Iowa State is tied with Kansas State and Texas, a game behind the Sooners for second place in the league and two back of Baylor.
"We know the quality of team that's coming in here," Riley said. "They've lost three games this year, all of them one-score games and certainly watching those games, you could make an argument probably should've won at least a couple of 'em. Very, very capable."
--Field Level Media