OU cornerback Jamell Fleming against Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt
This battle between two all-conference performers should be fun to watch.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound McNutt brings an excellent size/speed ratio that will test Fleming’s ability to handle bigger receivers. The senior had 78 receptions for 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. McNutt had at least 100 receiving yards in eight of the Hawkeyes’ 12 games.
Fleming is up for the challenge. He was one of the few Sooners who played well against Oklahoma State, holding his own against two-time Biletnikoff Award winner Justin Blackmon.
Fleming, a senior, has a knack for being around the ball and making big plays and will be looking to finish his career with another 10-win season and impress NFL scouts.
OU defensive end Frank Alexander against Iowa left tackle Riley Reiff
Reiff is considered among the top 10 prospects for the NFL draft thanks to his durability and well-rounded performance. He’s a big reason the success and balance of the Hawkeyes offense. The former three-time South Dakota wrestling champion is considered an above average pass and run blocker with good awareness and toughness.
In another matchup of all-conference performers, Alexander will get the chance to impress NFL scouts against Reiff. The Sooners senior was consistent and dominant this season before an shoulder injury limited his impact against OSU during Bedlam.
Alexander finished the regular season with 51 tackles including 18 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks.
OU receiver Kenny Stills against Iowa cornerback Shaun Prater
Stills has the talent to become one of the nation’s most feared -- and productive -- receivers. But since OU lost Ryan Broyles to injury, Stills hasn’t taken his game to another level with defenses shifting their focus his way.
Prater, a senior, has the speed and athleticism to keep up with Stills but the Hawkeyes pass defense has struggled as a whole allowing 228.1 passing yards per game, ranking last in the Big Ten.
Stills success is up to him because the physical talent is there. If he wants to send a message to Sooner nation about how he plans to produce during the 2012 season, he will have a big game against Prater.
Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis against Iowa running back Marcus Coker
Well, it would have been a great matchup if Coker hadn’t taken himself out of the equation with his suspension for breaking team rules earlier this month. That’s 1,541 yards of total offense that will not be on the field for Iowa. He accounted for 80.7 percent of the Hawkeyes rushing yards this season.
Freshman De’Andre Johnson enters the game ranked second on the squad in rushing with 79 yards in four games.
None of that matters to Lewis who will be looking to finish his career at OU with a memorable performance. The senior had a tough senior year, being forced to play with a broken toe, but still finished second on the team with 78 tackles including 49 solo stops.