Football season is rapidly approaching. The WRNL staff is getting excited. As we head towards the beginning of the 7th season with Matt Campbell as the head coach at Iowa State, we wanted to look back and rank our top 10 wins from the first 6 seasons. To do this, the staff was polled to give their personal 1-10 rankings. Win #1 was worth 10 points, #2 worth 9 points, and on down. The games that earned the most “points” are what we will look back on throughout this series. Kicking things off is the 2020 home win against Oklahoma.
SETTING THE STAGE
Iowa State entered this home game against Oklahoma off a win over TCU, but still with some uncertainty about the team after the opening loss to Louisiana-Lafayette. Iowa State hadn’t beaten Oklahoma at home in decades, and the preseason conference favorites came in off a loss of their own. Spencer Rattler was the new QB with Heisman hopes and Lincoln Riley was fresh off a 4th CFP as the Sooner head coach. My how things have changed. The loser of this game left the field 1-2 overall, so there was no looking past this one.
Oklahoma got off to a quick start with Spencer Rattler proving to be elusive, escaping multiple chances to get sacked and scrambling for first downs. The Sooners took a 17-6 lead before Iowa State finally got things going with a TE-to-TE pass. Dylan Soehner hit Chase Allen for a 28 yard gain, and Breece Hall finished the drive off with a touchdown to make it 17-13 at halftime.
After trading field goals, the Cyclones finally struck for a big play with Brock Purdy hitting Xavier Hutchinson on a play action pass that he broke for a 65 yard touchdown to give Iowa State its first lead of the game at 23-20. The game really heated up in the fourth quarter. Gabe Brkic (who was terrific in this game) tied it up at 23 with a 51 yard field goal. The fans that were allowed to attend the game were on edge, and it seemed as though Iowa State’s demons would strike yet again as Brock Purdy lost a fumble on a strip sack. Oklahoma quickly took it down the field and Jeremiah Hall’s 2nd touchdown of the night made it 30-23 Sooners.
With the stadium feeling deflated, all of a sudden things changed. Kene Nwangwu took the ensuing kickoff 80+ yards down field, and a few plays later Purdy was scoring a rushing touchdown to tie things up again at 30-30. John Heacock’s defense then stepped up with Mike Rose collecting a sack of Rattler to get Iowa State the ball back. Breece took it from there, staying on his feet for an incredible long run and keeping his balance to score the go ahead touchdown with 4 minutes left. Finally it was our turn to make the clutch play to seal off the game, with Isheem Young intercepting Rattler to seal the victory.
- RB Breece Hall — 28 carries, 139 yards, 2TDs, 1 reception, 8 yards
- LB Mike Rose — 11 total tackles, 1.5 TFLs, 0.5 sacks
- DB Isheem Young — 7 total tackles, 1 pass defended, 1 interception
- Isheem Young’s game winning interception
- Kene Nwangwu’s kickoff return
- Breece Hall keeping his balance on back-to-back plays to score the go ahead touchdown
- Xavier Hutchinson breaking free on a play action pass to give Iowa State its first lead of the game
HEAR FROM OUR STAFF
This game was one that a few select of us could have been at due to COVID-19 restrictions. I passed on my season tickets for the year due to the uncertainty of each game and fans being able to go. Nonetheless I was parked in my living room. It just had the feeling of a big game even though the stadium wasn’t full. The crowd was loud for being 25% there and it played a part in the momentum of the game. Things were tense in the second half. Iowa State got the momentum and Brock Purdy fumbled.
Coincidentally my house was extremely warm and I decided to stand outside and then Kene Nwangwu took the kickoff back to the OU 20 and Iowa State punched it in after that. I stayed outside the rest of the game. The rest is history. -Matthias
I stood outside because it was hot in the house. Door is by the TV. We scored. I’ll stay out here— Matthias Schwartzkopf (@MatthiasWRNL) October 4, 2020