The only thing certain in the Big 12 is uncertainty, and for three and a half quarters in Stillwater that was the case. The Cyclones opened up a 31-14 lead over the Cowboys, but just like last week against Baylor, they couldn’t finish the job.
The game provided a great quarterback duel. Mason Rudolph was his usual stellar self. He threw for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns. Iowa State’s Joel Lanning was equally impressive. He not only threw for 190 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also ran for 67 yards on 18 attempts.
Despite giving up 448 yards, the Cowboys stood strong when it mattered most. They pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter, and a Jordan Burton interception in Iowa State territory changed the momentum of the game.
An increased commitment to the running game didn’t help the Cowboys fix their problems up front. They ran the ball 33 times for only 108 yards. Justice Hill was handed the ball 18 times but only averaged 3.2 yards a carry.
Once again it was Oklahoma State’s elite receivers who made the difference. James Washington and Jalen McCleskey combined for 13 receptions, 226 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
A bye week for the now 4-2 Cowboys couldn’t come soon enough. Their next game will be against the Kansas Jayhawks, who could provide an unexpected challenge. They took TCU down to the wire, but eventually lost 24-23.