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Iowa State Football Post-Mortem: Oklahoma State

Ending Okie State unbeaten seasons is kind of our thing

Charlie Neibergall - AP Photo

Nothing like a little K-State beatdown to warm the hearts of Cyclone fans everywhere. And also nothing like a smooth demolition of the state of Kansas as a whole to get the first 2 games of Brocktober done unscathed. But now one of the big boys comes to town as the 8th ranked undefeated Cowboys of Oklahoma State roll into Ames, Iowa. On the 10 year anniversary of the win that ended the Poke’s run at a BCS National Championship Game, it only seemed fitting that something was in the air at Jack Trice Stadium.

What Went Wrong

Unsportsmanlike? Taunting? I don’t even know anymore

I don’t like to include officiating in these since that’s not really anything the team, coaches, players, etc can control or fix. It’s part of the game that is entirely out of their hands. That being said, there’s no chance I was leaving this out of today’s article. I mean, we like to talk about the Apology Wall that Iowa State has built off of all the terrible calls we’ve been on the receiving end of over the years, but somehow, on pure principle and not even having to do with the outcome of the game, they topped it all on Saturday.

Xavier Hutchinson took an RPO (Run/Pass Option) slant 54 yards to the end zone with not an OSU defender in sight. To check that, X turned around and slowed his roll to the end zone. Inexplicably, one official saw that as “unsportsmanlike conduct” and penalized Iowa State 15 yards from the spot, putting the ball at the Oklahoma State 18 yard line. Purdy found Hutchinson on two of the next three plays to find the seven points anyway, so thankfully, the call didn’t really matter and just delayed the inevitable. Was this the worst call in football history? Some seem to think so, but I’ll let you guys decide for yourself:

OSU grad Brett McMurphy:

Seven-year NFL vet Geoff Schwartz

And so many others.

Look, the point isn’t that we won in spite of this being called. The point is that it was even called in the first place. It’s done. We can all move on. But this has to stop. For the sake of entertainment, for the sake of the players, and for the sake of this sport we all love.

Deep ball coverage

For one reason or another, Iowa State couldn’t seem to find the read on Spencer Sanders and the Oklahoma State deep ball. Sanders connected with Brenan Presley for a 42-yard score right before the end of the first half to give the Cowboys a 14-7 lead after the first 30 minutes. He also connected with Tay Martin for a 25-yard score (felt like a much longer throw) at around the 8:30 mark to go in the 4th to give them the lead again. Not sure what’s going on with the guys in the secondary. The guys back there are plenty talented enough to not let that happen, and I’m sure Eisworth and Young would love to have that 42-yarder back. Those are plays guys like them should be making, and would definitely expect them to make later this season.

Run Blocking

Man. Breece Hall can make a lot of things happen, but he needs an inch before getting a foot before getting a yard. On Saturday, he very rarely got that inch. Credit to the OSU front 7. They had a game plan to shut down Breece Hall and they executed it incredibly well. This was very much a game that relied on Brock Purdy which would make some Cyclone fans quite nervous as of late. Breece Hall ended up finding the end zone because, well, that’s what he does. The OL wasn’t good, but they did enough. And that’s what matters.

Now then. About Brock Purdy.

What Went Right

Brock MF Purdy AGAIN

Breece Hall struggled, in part to the OSU game plan, and in part due to the offensive line struggles. Who wins a game in which the #1 option for the Cyclones is held to 3.3 yards per carry? Only the quarterback who holds some 30 school records at this point (adding another for career completions on Saturday.) Brock once again rolls in October. It’s been transformed to Brocktober for a reason, after all.

Purdy went 27 of 33 for three hundred and seven yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. Over his 3 games this month, Purdy is 66 of 80 (82.5% completion percentage!!!!!!!!) for seven hundred and sixty yards with 7 touchdowns and ZERO, yes, ZERO interceptions. He’s being smart with the football, not forcing it like many of us are used to.

He’s extending plays when he needs to, he’s finding the right guy, he’s going through progressions. I mean look at this throw to Hutch. Perfect back shoulder to where only his guy can get it. He’s been incredible. Not even I, the biggest Purdy defender on the planet, can explain it other than simply: It’s Brocktober.

Will McDonald and the Defense (Duh!)

Another game, another Will McDonald sack (or two). Saturday was the 4th Big 12 game of the season for the Cyclones, and McDonald nabbed his 4th and 5th sacks of conference play, to put him at 7.5 on the season. Will had six sacks in 2019, 10.5 in 2020, and is well on his way to setting the school record for sacks, needing just one full sack to surpass JaQuan Bailey.

As far as the defense as a whole, they didn’t even need to really make their usual adjustments. They were fairly consistent throughout the game, with the only real miscues being the two long touchdown passes and a medium play allowed here or there. Point being: they made the plays when it mattered the most.

The best damn fans in the land

Man. Cyclone Nation never disappoints. I’ve been to a lot of games, particularly over the last 4-5 years or so. The West Virginia upset, the Kansas State comeback, the Texas game-winner, and so many more. NEVER have I felt the way I felt about a game like I did on Saturday. I was nervous before the game. Super nervous. But I walked into Jack Trice Stadium a little before 2 o’clock after tailgating my butt off with a ton of awesome people, and I saw all sixty-one thousand five-hundred fans rocking and rolling and it hit me. From the Cyclone intro, to Juicy Wiggle, to Swag Surfin, there was just something in the air in Ames, Iowa.

It wasn’t the loudest at one point (aside from maybe the booing of the unsportsmanlike call) but it was the most consistently loud game I’ve been to. Talking to people after the game both walking out and on social media, it seems like plenty of others did too. Shoutout to each and every one of you, Cyclone Nation! For being the best damn fans in the land. And it all culminated in storming the field ten years after doing it to the same Oklahoma State school in 2011.

Weekly Grades

Offense: B+

Defense: A

Special Teams: C

#CyclONEnation: A+++++++++++++++++ (but don’t take my word for it)

Louvre: One image larger

Good Times: Never seem so good (this might be the single greatest 13-second video of all time)

Sorry about all the tweets this week... Just so many great ones to celebrate the win! See you next week for the Riot Bowl in Morgantown, WV!!