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Three Stars: Oklahoma State at Iowa State

We packed a lot of stats in here. Check out the recipients of this weeks stars.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Iowa State Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Gundy has said for a long time that he doesn’t give a rat’s... you know... about Twitter. That’s funny because Oklahoma State — the defense in particular — came out playing like they had been reading Twitter all week following a homecoming meltdown against Baylor.

Many OSU faithful were putting the collective nail in the coffin on the 2019 season; instead the team came out firing on all cylinders with three touchdowns of 50+ yards. While the offense sputtered in the second half, the defense turned in its best performance of the Jim Knowles era, picking off Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy three times in the fourth quarter.

With that said, lets get to our many choices for our stars.

Three Stars — The OSU Defense

I didn’t really want to use this wide of a brush, but I can’t fit everyone into three spots. Let’s talk about the performance of this OSU defense.

We’ll start with a record breaking performance from Kolby Harvell-Peel. The sophomore set the school record for pass break-ups in a game with six and added eight tackles, good for fourth on the team. Sounds like an impressive day at the office right?

Harvell-Peel is now tied for first in “havoc plays” in a single game, with the guy who very well could go first overall in April’s NFL Draft.

Malcolm Rodriguez led the team in tackles with 11 and picked off a Brock Purdy pass and waltzed into the end zone to give the Pokes what would be the game-winning score. Rodriguez was named Big 12 defensive player-of-the-week for his efforts.

Beyond that, Amen Ogbongbemiga finished with six tackles and a crucial interception and Tre Sterling finished tied for second on the team in tackles with nine and secured the third and final Purdy INT, effectively ending the game. AJ Green’s day didn’t quite top his game-winning interception in Ames two years ago, but he still impressed with nine tackles and one pass break-up.

Iowa State scored a grand total of 14 points in the second half. One of those two touchdown drives was a short field set up by a Spencer Sanders interception. The Pokes held Iowa State to 86 yards on the ground and 468 for the game. While letting up nearly 500 yards seems like a lot (it kind of is,) the Cyclones also ran 88 plays. Oklahoma State ran 55. Iowa State held the ball for 34 minutes; Oklahoma State had possession for 25.

Brock Purdy finished the night 39-of-62 passing for 382 yards and just one touchdown. The Cyclones averaged 6.1 yards per pass attempt and 3.4 yards per rush. I’ll take that every night. This was a defensive performance like we haven’t seen from Oklahoma State in quite a while.

Two Stars — Tylan Wallace

After largely being shut down the last few weeks, Wallace bounced back big on Saturday. He finished with eight catches for 131 yards, a touchdown, and five body bags for these guys.

I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen this. Watch it again. It’s that good. Wallace bounces the defender off he turf with that first stiff arm. This was a manhandling by a wide receiver like I haven’t seen before. My jaw dropped watching it live, seeing the defensive back close quickly and thinking “OK, a 50-yard gain is cool. Let’s cap it off with a touchdown.” Then Tylan decided to shove the defender halfway to the Earth’s core.

That screen opened some eyes in other ways too. The coaching staff apparently liked what they saw the first time around and decided to go to Braydon Johnson with a screen that he took for a 50-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

One Star — Responding

Since I’ve covered just about every name I’d like to hand a star out too by name dropping half the defense in three stars and Braydon Johnson in Wallace’s two stars section, I’m going a little unconventional for my one star performance.

It felt like everyone had given up hope just scrolling through Twitter after the Baylor loss. Our former head honcho said it was the lowest point of Gundy era. KOCO’s Bryan Keating said it was an embarrassment. Maybe those things are true and maybe they’re overreactions to a loss against a still undefeated Baylor squad, but this stat is pure facts.

The meltdown on Twitter post-homecoming was tough to see. So Oklahoma State went on the road and put together its most complete game on the defensive side of the ball in probably the last two seasons. The offense found what worked for them, at least in the first half. They sputtered in the fourth, but part of that was trying to play keep away and not turn the ball over in the hands of quarterback who has been prone to do so this season.

One thing we learned last week is that we really don’t know anything about the Big 12 this season. The favorites lost every single game. Oklahoma, as usual, is the cream of the crop. Baylor stayed perfect after a riveting game against the bye week. But outside of those two, it feels like just about anyone could beat anyone.

While Oklahoma State should be the presumptive favorites against TCU, Kansas and West Virginia before heading into Bedlam, a win against any of those schools is far from guaranteed. I’m proud of the response going on the road and getting a win as a 10.5-point dog. But we also need to see Oklahoma State win games it’s favored in as well.