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RECAP: Oklahoma State pulls past Iowa State 49-42

Oklahoma State moves to 8-2 on the season, and keeps their dim Big 12 Championship hopes alive.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Phew! What a game! The Cowboys come out of Ames with a win and their Big 12 Title hopes still (barely) alive.

Iowa State jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, and they looked like the more interested team. We talked about the potential hangover from last week’s game against Oklahoma, and through the first quarter, the Cowboys lacked energy and discipline.

But they shook off the rust in the second quarter. The Pokes quickly tied the game up. Throughout the remainder of the game, the teams would trade scores and stops, and eventually, Oklahoma State would emerge victorious.

Let’s talk about what went right for the Cowboys, what could have been better, and what made us go “What the heck?!” in that close 49-42 game.


The Good

Justice Hill:

What more can you say about the kid? He’s a bonafide badass. After a 228-yard, two touchdown performance last weekend, he followed up with another dazzling performance. Hill ran for 134 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns.

While the Cyclone defense adjusted in the second half to slow him down, he still made his presence felt. He also unleashed one of his prettiest runs yet:

Marcell Ateman- Total monster. Glue guy. Grown ass man.

He made two unbelievable, game-saving, season-saving catches in his four reception, 97 yard day. He’s got incredible hands and height that help him do amazing thing like this:

And then this...

What a luxury it must be for Mason Rudolph to have a guy like Marcell Ateman. He can trust him to come down with just about any ball he throws up to him. He’s going to be tough to replace next season.

Special Teams coverage:

The special teams made some great plays on kickoffs, like this one.

“You’re dead. You are dead. Beep bop beep.”

The game-winning interception:

Guys, this was the a thing of beauty. AJ Green is a budding star (who I picked in MVP Draft) who has come up clutch multiple times this season for the Cowboy defense. With seconds left in the game, Green took the breath out of Iowa State saying “nah man, I’ll take that.” For a true sophomore, he’s consistently made plays. He seems to have a knack for the big moment.

And yes, Iowa State fans, that was an interception.


The Bad

The secondary:

Oklahoma State gave up 263 to a fourth-string, redshirt freshman quarterback named Zeb that didn’t even play the whole game. They couldn’t put pressure on him, and he looked really solid at times. Lazard, one of the best receivers in the country, had quite a game today as well. Nobody’s stopped him yet this season, but it still was a less-than-inspiring performance from the secondary. Lazard would end up with 9 receptions for 126 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

James Washington’s Ankle:

James Washington was nonexistent today. Although he participated in warmups, he didn’t see the field much. He had just one catch for 22 yards. It’ll be nice if we can get Washington at 100% before the season ends. You hate to see that for a senior in the final stretch of his college career.


The Ugly

Tackling:

What. Was. That. At one point during the game, I was begging for Glenn Spencer to put me in. If y’all don’t know, I’m 4’11’’ and could not tackle a grasshopper, but I was that fed up. Like this one, Montgomery was dead to rights, and the linebacker just let him slip his foot out for Iowa State to get the chance to score. They wouldn’t end up scoring, but the Cowboys could’ve ended the game right here.

An understated aspect of this game is the fact that they played on natural grass. While it doesn’t excuse the effort, it makes sense as to why dudes were slipping and sliding all day.

Penalties:

They just could not stop shooting themselves in the foot on both sides of the ball. On the day, they had nine penalties for 105 yards. The defense, for most of the afternoon, played without much discipline. They were constantly spotting the Cyclones 15 yards. The biggest blow was the loss of Tre Flowers on a targeting call.

Box Score (courtesy of ESPN.com):

Next Up: Kansas State, 11/18, Stillwater, Ok. Time TBA