The Oklahoma State forced three interceptions and scored three touchdowns of more than 50 yards to upset No. 23 Iowa State 34-27 on Saturday afternoon at Jack Trice Stadium.
The Pokes (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) were lead by spectacular performances from the nation’s leading rusher Chuba Hubbard, who had 116 yards and one touchdown on 22 carries, and All-American wide receiver Tylan Wallace caught eight passes for 131 yards and a score.
Quarterback Spencer Sanders has taken a lot of flak in recent weeks due to his alarming turnovers, but the redshirt freshman stepped up by completing 16 of 24 for 249 yards. His one interception was OSU’s lone turnover.
The Cowboy defense won the game, despite having to play 88 snaps. They held ISU (5-3, 3-2) to five of 16 on third-down conversions and forced sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy into three fourth-quarter interceptions.
The Pokes got on the board the first on their second drive of the game at the 7:50 mark in the first quarter with a bubble screen to Wallace, who shed five Iowa State tacklers like they were on a junior-varsity team on his way to a 71-yard touchdown.
Both teams stalled on their next drives. Then the Cyclones tied it at 7 with an 87-yard drive capped off with an 18-yard touchdown to Norman North’s own Charlie Kolar to start the second quarter.
Sanders started the next drive with an electric 20-yard run, followed by a short completion to Braydon Johnson and a 5-yard run from Hubbard before a screen pass to Johnson that he took 50 yards to give OSU a 14-7 lead.
The Cyclones ran 11 plays and burned five minutes off clock on their next drive, but sturdy redzone defense from the Cowboys forced them to settle for a 32-yard field goal from Connor Assalley.
Hubbard answered with a 65-yard house call for OSU’s third touchdown of 50 or more yards to open a 21-10 lead.
ISU drove down to the OSU’s 22, but stiff defense again forced the Cyclones to attempt a field goal, which Assalley missed from 39 yards.
The Pokes stalled on their next drive and Assalley redeemed himself with a 29-yarder with 12 seconds remaining to pull ISU within 21-13 at halftime.
Sanders tossed his 10th interception of the year on OSU’s second drive of the second half, which gave ISU the ball at the Cowboys’ 23. It only took two plays for the Cyclones score from there with Breece Hall’s 9-yard dash to make it a one-point game, 21-20 with about 10 minutes to play in the third quarter.
Matt Amendola then hit two field goals from 49 and 40 yards to give OSU a 27-20 lead at the start of the fourth. Hall, however, tied it 27-all with 9 minutes to go with a 4-yard run to cap an 11-play, 6-minute drive.
The Cyclones forced a three-and-out, but Malcolm Rodriguez picked off Brock Purdy and returned it 26 yards to put the Cowboys up 34-27 at the 6:47 mark.
After forcing an ISU punt, the Pokes went for a fourth-and-1 around midfield to try to seal the game away, but Hubbard was stuffed to give the Cyclones hope with good field position.
But OSU redshirt junior Amen Ogbongbemiga picked off Purdy, which looked like it would seal the game. The Cowboys couldn’t run out the clock and the Cyclones had another chance with 40 seconds left, but Purdy threw his third interception, this time picked off by Tre Sterling.
OSU hosts TCU (4-3, 2-2) next week at 2:30 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Horned Frogs upset No. 15 Texas 37-27 this week.