Iowa State trailed Oklahoma by a touchdown in the fourth quarter until a Sooners field goal sealed the Sept. 15 game, part of the Cyclones’ 1-3 start.
“They’re going to give people fits. There’s no doubt about it,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said after the victory.
That was before Brock Purdy took over as quarterback against Oklahoma State in Week 6. The Cyclones are 4-0 straight up and against the spread since, including a 30-14 win over West Virginia. Iowa State is the 14th-best team in the country with Purdy, according to Bill Connelly, the proprietor of the S&P+ ratings.
Running back David Montgomery has topped 100 rushing yards in four of his last five games, and Iowa State’s defense is No. 12 against the pass in the S&P+ ratings and No. 19 against the run.
In other words, this is the best three-loss team in the country against a Baylor side that has lost 66-33 to Oklahoma, 58-14 to West Virginia and 40-27 to Duke. Take Iowa State laying 15 points.
Four more plays (home team in CAPS):
Vanderbilt (+17) over MISSOURI: The Commodores are 13-8 ATS as double-digit underdogs under Derek Mason and probably should have beaten Notre Dame and Kentucky as big road underdogs this season. Missouri can’t rush the passer, and Vanderbilt quarterback Kyle Shurmur can pick apart a defense if he has time to scan the field. Shurmur has thrown 40 touchdowns against 15 interceptions in the last two seasons. Vanderbilt had a bye last week, and Missouri is coming off games against Kentucky and Florida.
Mississippi State (+24) over ALABAMA: Don’t be fooled by Louisiana State’s 19-3 win over these Bulldogs, or by the hype for last week’s LSU-Alabama game. Mississippi State matches up better and might be the toughest regular-season test for the nation’s No. 1 team. The Bulldogs field the best defense in the Southeastern Conference, allowing just three touchdowns in their opponents’ last 55 possessions. That’s despite an ineffective offense and games in that stretch against Florida, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. Alabama has bumps and bruises at receiver, running back and quarterback.
Miami (+3) over GEORGIA TECH: Miami’s defense, especially its front seven, matches up terrifically. The Hurricanes are No. 1 in the country in stuff rate and No. 5 in standard downs success rate. Shaquille Quarterman, Gerald Willis IIII and Jonathan Garvin have combined for 40½ tackles for loss. Georgia Tech has won four of its past five games, but the teams it beat are ranked No. 61, No. 98, No. 104 and No. 128 in S&P+ ratings.
Maryland (+2) over INDIANA: Maryland getting points is a gift. Indiana has lost five of its past six games, giving up 35, 49, 42, 33 and 38 points in those losses because of a dreadful pass defense. Its win in that stretch was over Rutgers in a one-possession game. At 5-4 and with games left against Ohio State and Penn State, Maryland has to win this game to become bowl eligible. Maryland’s defense is solid, and Indiana won’t keep pace.
Last week: 3-0-2 ATS
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Christopher Smith of AL.com, NOLA.com and MyBookie is providing college football analysis for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Follow @cfblocksmith on Twitter.