Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 41: What we learned
NORMAN, Okla. — Iowa State nearly knocked off Oklahoma in Norman again and nearly completed what would have been an epic comeback.
Iowa State's shot at going for two and the victory came up oh so short when Brock Purdy was picked off late in the fourth quarter. The Cyclones ended up losing 42-41 to No. 8 Oklahoma at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Saturday.
It was nearly another memorable trip to Norman for Iowa State which knocked off the Sooners two years ago.
Iowa State trailed by as much as 42-21 in the fourth quarter, but they clawed back thanks to a suddenly strong defense and some big plays on offense.
Zach Petersen forced a fumble that O’Rien Vance recovered. Iowa State then started rolling on offense later in the quarter.
Iowa State moved 69 yards down the field with a scoring drive that ended with Brock Purdy hitting Chase Allen for a 3-yard touchdown pass to make it a 42-28 game.
Later in the quarter, Purdy connected with Sean Shaw for a 33-yard touchdown pass to make it a 42-35 game.
Iowa State’s defense, which struggled to get turnovers all day, finally got one late in the fourth quarter when Lawrence White picked off a pass from Jalen Hurts.
The Cyclones took over on the Oklahoma 35-yard line. Iowa State pulled to within a single point of Oklahoma when Purdy fired a 13-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Kolar with 24 seconds left.
Iowa State opted to try for two instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game. The move backfired for Iowa State when the pass was picked off.
Here’s what we learned.
The Cyclones had their shots to get stops on defense. But like so many times this season, Iowa State failed to capitalize on those opportunities. The Cyclones not only missed tackles (a lot actually) but missed out on turnover chances.
Iowa State missed out on three interception opportunities that could have drastically changed the direction of the game. Justin Bickham couldn’t come down with an interception that ended up going for a 48-yard touchdown pass to CeeDee Lamb. Greg Eisworth dropped a possible pick-six opportunity later in the quarter. And then to make matters worse, Lawrence White bobbled a pass that instead ended up landing into the hands of Lamb for a 19-yard gain.
Iowa State did end up finally getting a big pick but it wasn't enough.
Iowa State hoped the bye week would give them time to fix up their problems of winning in the margins. Turns out, it didn’t. Iowa State struggled to avoid making mistakes all night long. Missed tackles, mistakes on special teams and untimely penalties loomed large. Joe Rivera shanked a 28-yard punt in the first quarter that gave Oklahoma great field position and set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Jalen Hurts. Lamb, who was a thorn in Iowa State’s side all night, caught a quick pass and avoided defenders as he crossed across the field on his way to a 63-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter.
There were other missed tackles throughout the game, including a 48-yard touchdown run by Kennedy Brooks in the third quarter that gave the Sooners a 42-21 lead. During that one, Eisworth had a chance to end that play before Kennedy reached the end zone but failed to bring him down. Then there were the penalties including one promising drive in the second quarter ended with a punt due to a false start and illegal shift penalty.
Speaking of missed opportunities ... Iowa State had the ball on the Oklahoma 3-yard line late in the fourth quarter. With the game still up in the air, Iowa State missed out on a valuable scoring opportunity thanks to some funky and questionable playcalling. On second down, Brock Purdy kept it for loss of one yard. Then the Cyclones lost nine yards on a failed option to Breece Hall.Iowa State eventually turned it over on downs.
How about Breece Hall? The freshman star running back turned in another impressive performance rushing for 110 yards. Hall, who got just his fourth start of the season, has already tallied three games with at least 100 rushing yards.