Iowa State 48, No. 21 Oklahoma State 42: Here's what we learned
STILLWATER, Okla. — Iowa State's season began with Kyle Kempt as the starting quarterback. When Kempt got hurt in the first game of the season, backup quarterback Zeb Noland got an opportunity to show what he could do.
Brock Purdy finally got his chance on Saturday.
The true freshman quarterback came off the bench and provided a spark to the Iowa State offense, guiding the Cyclones to a 48-42 upset over No. 21 Oklahoma State at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Purdy completed 18 of 23 passes for 318 yards and four touchdowns. He also tossed an interception, but ran for 84 yards and a score. . Purdy entered the game with just two snaps under his belt.
But he didn't play like a newcomer, though.
Noland, who started the game, was replaced by Purdy during Iowa State's second series. Purdy played so well that Noland was never needed again.
In his second series of the day, Purdy dodged a defender, took off toward the sideline and then unloaded a 21-yard touchdown pass to Hakeem Butler to give Iowa State a 9-7 lead in the first quarter. Purdy kept putting the pressure on Oklahoma State's defense with his arm and legs.
He ran 29 yards for a score in the second quarter and tossed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Matthew Eaton to give the Cyclones a 30-21 lead right before halftime.
After Oklahoma State pulled to within 30-28 of Iowa State, Purdy tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to give the Cyclones some breathing room.
His biggest play of the day may have come in the fourth quarter, though. With Iowa State clinging to a 40-35 lead late, Purdy heaved a 60-yard touchdown pass to Tarique Milton to put things too far out of reach for Oklahoma State.
Iowa State improved to 2-3 on the season and 1-2 in Big 12 Conference play. The Cowboys fall to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in conference play.
Here's what we learned:
David Montgomery is still dinged up
Iowa State star running back David Montgomery didn't suit up Saturday. Montgomery left in the fourth quarter of last week's loss at Texas Christian. Earlier this week, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said Montgomery was first injured in the season-opening game against South Dakota State. That contest was canceled when lightning started striking in the first quarter. But the damage was still done.
With Montgomery out, the Cyclones started redshirt freshman running back Johnnie Lang in his place. Even though Iowa State did miss Montgomery, the Cyclones offense still survived and the running game even thrived. Part of the reason: Purdy. The quarterback showed he could run it and throw it, keeping Oklahoma State's defense honest. That was a big problem with Noland, who rarely ran it, meaning opposing defenses could zero in on Iowa State's passing game.
But Purdy wasn't the only one running it. Sheldon Croney Jr. added a 12-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter that gave Iowa State a 23-14 lead. Kene Nwangwu also got some meaningful reps along with Lang.
The offense finally came alive
For weeks, the biggest storyline to Iowa State's season has been the struggles of the offense. And with Montgomery out Saturday, it looked like it was going to be an even bigger issue. Well, it wasn't.
Iowa State finally got some life on offense, thanks to Purdy's play. The Cyclones entered Saturday's game ranked last among Big 12 Conference teams in scoring offense (17.5 points per game) and total offense (299.5 yards per game). With Purdy running the offense, the Cyclones found new life.
Despite not playing Iowa State's first series of the game, Purdy still managed to get Iowa State to nearly pass both of those averages before halftime. Iowa State scored 30 points and produced 275 yards of total offense, including 171 in the air and 104 on the ground in the first half.
FINAL THOUGHTS:Purdy’s performance was something for the ages