It was the tale of two hot quarterbacks as the Iowa State Cyclones came into Stillwater and upset the No. 25 Oklahoma State Cowboys, 48-42. Freshman Brock Purdy shone for the Cyclones, going 18-for-23 for 318 yards and four touchdowns while adding 84 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Taylor Cornelius was outstanding in the loss with 289 yards and four touchdowns in the air and 46 yards and one score on the ground. Four different receivers hauled in touchdowns for the Cowboys, led by Justice Hill’s 66 yard day. Defensively, Oklahoma State was unable to slow the Cyclones, giving up 465 yards of total offense. Iowa State got to Cornelius seven times in the game, and registered 16 tackles for loss for 68 yards.
The Cowboys got off to a hot start, holding Iowa State to a three-and-out and then rattling off a five play, 70 yard drive that resulted in a touchdown and an early 7-0 lead for the home team. Cornelius scrambled for a 48-yard pick up and set OSU up at the ISU 15-yard line. Two plays later he found Jelani Woods for the 14 yard TD.
OSU’s second offensive series was not as successful as the first as the Cowboys went entirely in the wrong direction. After an eight yard run by Justice Hill, the Cowboys were called for a false start, lost four yards on a rush, and lost nine yards as Iowa State’s defense sacked Cornelius. This set up a 4th-and-20 deep in the Cowboys’ territory. On the punt, Sinor couldn’t corral the snap, instead letting it hit him in the face mask before kicking it out the back of the end zone for a safety.
The Cyclones didn’t waste the gift, turning a 7-2 deficit into a 9-7 lead with a highlight reel pass from Purdy to Hakeem Butler who somehow managed to haul the ball in over coverage and just barely tap a toe inbounds.
Another three-and-out for Oklahoma State was followed by another touchdown drive for the Cyclones as they went 62 yards in eight plays and extended their lead to 16-7 early in the second quarter. OSU answered with a touchdown of their own as Cornelius found Landon Wolf from eight yards out to cap off a 68-yard drive.
Purdy connected with Landon Akers for a 55-yard pickup that went all the way to the one-yard line, and—despite two false start penalties—resulted in a Cyclone touchdown two plays later thanks to a Sheldon Croney 12-yard rush.
Not to be outdone, Cornelius answered on the next OSU drive with completions of 27 and 28 yards as the Cowboys closed the gap to 23-21 with 2:21 left in the first half. Tyron Johnson hauled in the 28-yard pass for the Cowboys’ score.
Iowa State and Purdy needed just two minutes to march 75 yards for a touchdown to push their lead back to nine points. Much like Cornelius on the previous drive, Purdy connected on passes of 28 and 26 yards, the second of which found Matthew Eaton for the score and the 30-21 lead.
After the halftime break, the Cowboys closed the gap back to two points with a 65-yard drive that was once again all Cornelius as the QB punched into the end zone himself from the one-yard line.
Once again, Purdy abused the secondary with a quick drive, this one needing just four plays and using a huge 40-yard connection to Butler for a big pickup. A 23-yard strike to Deshaunte Jones made the score 37-28 with 11:06 left in the third quarter.
The Cowboys intercepted Purdy with 4:08 left on the clock in the third quarter—the first turnover for either side—but Cornelius was sacked two plays later and fumbled the ball right back to the Cyclones. The OSU defense held the Cyclones to a short 22-yard field goal, giving the visitors a 40-28 advantage at the end of the third.
Oklahoma State caught another break after an Iowa State punt touched one of the Cyclone players and set OSU up at the Iowa State 24 yard line. Oklahoma State picked up a first down on 4th-and-1 with 11:30 left in the game to keep a do-or-die drive alive, and Hill punched the ball in one play later to pull the Cowboys within five at 40-35.
With the touchdown, Hill set a new Big 12 record with a rushing touchdown in 12 straight games, spanning the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The two squads traded punts (after a bad drop by the OSU receiver that was a sure touchdown and the lead), and Iowa State took over from their own 39 yard line with just under seven minutes to play. After a rush attempt only picked up one yard, Purdy found Tarique Milton for a 60 yard touchdown strike. The Cyclones looked to have failed on the two-point conversion following the touchdown, but after review it was determined the attempt was good, giving Iowa State a 48-35 lead with 6:08 remaining.
Facing a 2nd-and-13, Braxton Lewis intercepted a Cornelius pass, effectively salting the game away. Oklahoma State made things close with just under a minute left as Cornelius somehow found Tylan Wallace in the end zone a 42-yard touchdown pass, his fourth of the day.
Iowa State recovered the onsides kick, and the Cyclones were able to burn the rest of the clock and pick up their first win at Oklahoma State since Sage Rosenfels was the Iowa State quarterback.
Next up, the Cowboys will try and bounce back as they head to Kansas State in a noon game next Saturday.