A ranked Oklahoma team came to Ames for a Thursday night game, and the Cyclones couldn’t recreate a little OSU magic.
The Iowa State Cyclones haven’t beaten the Oklahoma Sooners since 1990, a streak that ultimately continued Thursday night.
The start of the game was all Sooners. Baker Mayfield led Oklahoma on an 8 play, 64 yard drive resulting in a touchdown pass to a well covered Mark Andrews. This play would be somewhat a theme for the better part of the first half - Cyclone defenders in the right position, but not making the play.
After an Iowa State punt, defensive coordinator Jon Heacock brought Jamaal Wiltz on a corner blitz. Wiltz shed a chip by the running back and hit Mayfield as he released the ball. Former basketball player turned defensive lineman Jhaustin Thomas pulled down the interception like a rebound.
Can he play shooty hoops too?
The promising field position resulted in a field goal, as a false start penalty inside the ten yard line (drink) stalled the Cyclone drive. Cole Netten nailed the 28 yard field goal and continues to be literally on fire from under 50 yards.
The next OU drive, a 75 yard jaunt in 3 minutes, resulted in a ridiculous Jeffery Mead touchdown. Seriously, he broke the B button on his controller. And Matt Campbell threw his controller into Lake Laverne.
Momentum would then swing the way of the Cyclones, however. Jacob Park, who started the game for the first time of his young Cyclone career, marched the Cyclones down the field. The drive, which relied heavily on the hands of Allen Lazard, fittingly ended in a 31 yard Park-Lazard connection for a touchdown. The ensuing extra point made Cole Netten Iowa State’s all-time leading scorer with 267 points.
After a nice defensive stop, and a Trevor Ryen punt return into sooner territory, the Cyclones faced a key 4th and two from just outside the Sooner 40 yard line. After swapping timeouts (which should be illegal in the first half), Joel Lanning squirted through the line for the first down and more, as he galloped 41 yards to the end zone.
After taking a 17-14 lead the Sooners showed why their offense is one of the best in the country. Baker Mayfield would find Dede Westbrook for a 65 yard touchdown on literally the first play of the following drive. This let Oklahoma go into the locker room up 28-17 following yet another score thanks in part to some very shoddy Iowa State defense.
The worst part of the first half was easily David Montgomery going down just before halftime. He would not return to the game with a concussion.
The third quarter resulted in.... not a whole lot, really. Iowa State was stymied offensively, and hardly had the ball what so ever. In fact, one could say that the Sooners dominated the third quarter. Oklahoma’s only long drive resulted in a field goal, which would turn out to be a key stop for the ISU defense.
The Cyclones, led by Jacob Park, promptly opened the fourth quarter with a 10 play, 86 yard drive that was capped off by an absolutely gorgeous back-shoulder pass from Park do Dondre Daley to make it a seven point ballgame.
The ensuing Oklahoma drive ended in field goal thanks in part to some stingy defense by the Cyclones once backed into the red zone. The highlight of the drive was a big Brian Peavy hit on a scrambling Baker Mayfield to force the field goal try.
Iowa State’s comeback bid would ultimately fall short. The next possession, after a few nice runs by Kene Nwangwu, would result in a failed 4th down conversion. Jacob Park overthrew his receivers on both 3rd and 4th down, a problem that has plagued him all season.
On the evening, Jacob Park would finish 16-29 for 160 and 2 touchdowns, while Joel Lanning finished 0-1 though the air but led the team on the ground with 61 yards and a touchdown. Baker Mayfield finished 25-34 for 328 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 1 INT. Despite being without Perine and Mixon, Dimitri Flowers, the FB/TE, finished the game with over 100 yards rushing. The two star receivers performed well, with Allen Lazard hauling in 6 receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown, and Dede Westbrook catching 7 for 131 yards and one touchdown.
This game was not without positives, however. The Cyclones actually performed reasonably well on defense against a potent Sooner offense, and did some nice things offensively as well.
Unfortunately, Oklahoma’s win streak over the Cyclones will continue for at least another year.