14th-ranked Sooners try to bounce back at Iowa St


14th-ranked Sooners try to bounce back at Iowa St

AMES, Iowa (AP) This hasn't been a pleasant week at Oklahoma.

For the second time this season, the 14th-ranked Sooners (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) are coming off a tough home loss to a national title contender. Fourth-ranked Notre Dame stomped the Sooners 30-13 last weekend in Norman, and Kansas State's unbeaten march toward Miami has made even the Big 12 title a long shot.

Sounds about as good a time as any to get Iowa State.

Oklahoma's domination of the Cyclones (5-3, 2-3) has been nothing short of staggering. The Sooners, who face Iowa State on the road on Saturday, are 69-5-2 against the Cyclones and have lost to them just once in 42 years.

Coach Bob Stoops has prolonged Iowa State's misery against its Big 6, Big 8 and now Big 12 tormentors. He's 7-0 against the Cyclones, who've never managed to score more than 10 points against Oklahoma under Stoops.

``This is a team that has two losses - oh by the way, both of those teams are undefeated,'' Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. ``We'll have to play really well to stay in the stadium.''

But if ever there was a time when the long-suffering Cyclones could get the Sooners, it's now.

Iowa State might be one of the nation's best 5-3 teams. The Cyclones' losses came against No. 3 Kansas State by six points and No. 20 Texas Tech by 11, and their 31-10 defeat at Oklahoma State is their only stinker so far.

Iowa State held Baylor, one of the nation's top offenses, to a season-low 21 points and rolled over the Bears last week to move within a game of its third bowl bid in four years.

The Cyclones lost one of their best players for the season in injured linebacker Jake Knott, who's out with a torn shoulder. But Stoops knows they're a much better team that many of the ones Oklahoma has trounced over the years.

``Just because a certain team isn't looked at as being a top-five team, everybody has talent,'' Stoops said. ``The outside world doesn't look at it because they don't have to play them. When you get a chance to study people and watch them and really look at them, Iowa State's got a ton of really good football players. We know that because we've got to play them.''

But don't think for a second that the Cyclones are the favorites.

A narrow home loss to national title contender Kansas State is the lone blemish on yet another fantastic start to Big 12 play for Oklahoma. The Sooners have bounced back with three straight league wins by an average score of 52-16, and quarterback Landry Jones has thrown just one pick in Big 12 games.

Though Iowa State's defense has been the team's strong suit this season, it's also given up 267 yards a game through the air.

The Sooners also have the edge when they're on defense.

Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz rebounded from a month on the bench with a career-high five touchdown passes against Baylor. But the Bears have one of the nation's worst defenses, and Oklahoma is one of the best at shutting down opposing passing games and forcing turnovers - two areas the Cyclones have struggled with this season.

``We had a good game as an offense (last) Saturday. Now we get to go against the best defense in the league,'' Rhoads said.

Plus, the Sooners know a BCS bid isn't out of the picture if they run the table. Their quest for yet another season of double-digit wins begins Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium, where they're a perfect 14-0 since it opened nearly 40 years ago.

``I don't think we're going to shut it down and be like, `Let's call it quits for the rest of the year.' There is some adversity that comes with losing games and different goals being out of the picture,'' Jones said. ``But we're a prideful program and we have a lot of pride in what we do.''

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—D-line scoop, Alex Smith's big deal

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, March 24, 33 days before the NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington.

Free agency update: What's next for the Redskins on the D-line? The Redskins have been casting out lines for defensive linemen since before free agency officially started but they haven’t been able to reel one in. Part of the issue might be that they know that Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne are likely to be available in the draft. They have to balance spending big on a lineman vs. being able to get one pretty cheap for the next five years.

Redskins make a D-line contract change, gain roster flexibility—Speaking of the D-line, the team negotiated the removal of a salary guarantee for one player to give themselves more flexibility when it comes time to cut the roster down to 53 in September. See the post for details.

Redskins guarantee Alex Smith a whopping $71 million in new contract—In the words of Joe Biden, this is a big f-----g deal. It showed that the Redskins aren’t afraid to pay a quarterback big money if they think it’s the right guy. It should be noted that whether or not they chose the right guy is something that remains to be seen. Although the post shows that it’s plausible for the Redskins to terminate the deal after three years, I anticipate Smith playing out at least four if not all five years of the contract.

Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign Scandrick—Orlando Scandrick has struggled with injuries the past few years and Redskins fans did not greet the news of his signing with great enthusiasm, to say the least. To point out the bright side, his contract is not pricey by NFL terms ($2.6 million cap hit this year, no guaranteed money beyond a $1 million signing bonus) and from what I have been able to gather it’s possible that change of scenery might give him a boost for a year or two.

Tweet of the week

Well before free agency started, I wrote that the Redskins’ top priorities in free agency should be to get extensions done for Smith, Brandon Scherff, and Jamison Crowder. They should have about $15 million to work with after a few more free agent signings and that would be plenty to get all of those extensions done. And if they do score a big free agent signing, it would be worth it to restructure the contract of someone like Ryan Kerrigan to get them done.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


Days until:

—Offseason workouts begin (4/16) 23
—Training camp starts (approx. 7/26) 124
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 169

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