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Iowa State Stuns Oklahoma in Norman

Iowa State pulls one of the biggest upsets of the year in Norman.

Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Iowa State Cyclones went into Norman without their starting Quarterback and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season, defeating third-ranked Oklahoma 38-31. It was the Cyclones first win in Norman since 1975 and Matt Campbell now has his signature win to build on. OU drops to 4-1, leaving the Sooners no margin for error the rest of the season if they want to keep their playoff hopes alive. Iowa State improves to 3-2 and this big win will give the Cyclones major momentum going forward as they aspire to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2012.

Oklahoma came out of the gate firing, showing no real signs of sleepwalking. Baker Mayfield floated the ball over the Cyclone secondary to find Trey Sermon to take a quick 7-0 lead. Then, CeeDee Lamb turned a bubble screen into a touchdown, juking a few Cyclones out before he dove for the pylon. The Sooners led 14-0 in the first quarter and it seemed as if the route was on.

Iowa State began to fight back as they capped off an 11 play drive with a Garrett Owens field goal to cut into the Sooner lead. Oklahoma answered with a field goal of their own to extend their lead to 17-3. Then, the Cyclones finally found the end zone when David Montgomery punched it in after another long drive. Shortly after, Baker Mayfield got loose to score a 13-yard touchdown to take a 24-10 lead. Iowa State then added a field goal to make it 24-13 heading into the half.

Matt Campbell must have sparked a fire onto his team during halftime because the Cyclones played a nearly perfect second half. It started with Iowa State seamlessly driving the ball down the field, but the OU defense stiffened up in the red zone to hold the Cyclones to another field goal. The Sooners led had shrunk to a one possession game at 24-16. Then, Kyle Kempt found Marchie Murdock who raced past the Sooner secondary for a 28-yard touchdown. After a successful two-point conversion, the game was deadlocked at 24 heading into the final quarter.

To start the fourth quarter, Trever Ryen housed a bubble screen, outrunning the Sooner defense for 57 yards. The Cyclones now had 31-24 lead early in the fourth quarter. OU answered when Dimitri Flowers walked into the end zone to even up the score at 31 with seven minutes remaining in the game. Iowa State then launched a long five-minute drive, taking the game right town to the wire.

With just over two minutes left, Alan Lazard outjumped everyone as he caught a beautiful fade giving his Cyclones a touchdown lead. Iowa State was a stop away from pulling off their biggest upset in years. After OU got the ball back, they picked up a quick first down. Then, the Cyclone defense flexed their muscles. They forced Baker Mayfield into a fourth and long situation and the Sooners couldn’t convert.

The Cyclones had planted their flag in Norman as they knocked off the Oklahoma Sooners behind a dominant second half performance. This outcome shakes up the entire Big 12 outlook and national landscape.


1st Downs 21 28
3rd Down Eff 4-10 6-10
4th Down Eff 2-2 0-1
Total Yards 449 513
Passing 368 323
Comp-Att 20-27 25-34
Yards Per Pass 13.6 9.9
Interceptions 0 0
Rushing 81 190
Rush Att 32 35
Yards.Per Rush 2.5 5.0
Fumbles Lost 0 1
Penalties 3-17 6-59
Possession 28:57 31:03
ISU- K. Kempt 18/23 343 14.3 3 0 95.2
OU- B. Mayfield 24/33 306 9.3 2 0 91.8
ISU – D. Montgomery 17 55 3.2 1 11
OU – T. Sermon 18 90 5.0 0 11
ISU – T. Ryen 4 99 24.8 1 57
OU – D. Flowers 7 95 13.6 0 24


Joel Lanning is an absolute beast and a true pleasure to watch. He played both ways as a Linebacker, and yes as a Quarterback. The Sooner had no real answer for him as he rumbled for a few first downs on the ground and completed a couple passes through the air. On top of that, Lanning racked up eight tackles and a sack on Baker Mayfield. Lanning continues to defy the odds and is beginning to get some serious draft consideration at linebacker after only playing the position for a few months.

The Oklahoma defense was atrocious. After the first few games, the Sooner defense had shown major signs of improvement from last season. Now, it seems as if the OU defense has reverted back to their 2016 form. Mark Stoops is back on the hot seat and this time he does not have his older brother there to protect him.

Jacob Park is out indefinitely with unspecified medical issues. Junior, Kyle Kempt showed a lot of poise and made some good throws in Norman. However, this Iowa State team is at its best with Jacob Park under center. Kyle Kempt will need to improve quickly if Iowa State wants to keep this momentum rolling.

CeeDee Lamb injured his shoulder in the first quarter when he dove for the pylon. He did not return to the game and this will be something to monitor moving forward. The true freshman had emerged as one of Oklahoma’s most dynamic playmakers. OU will need Lamb against Texas’ talented secondary next week.

In 2015, Oklahoma lost in early October and then proceeded to run the table to make the college football playoff. They can still achieve their goals of a Big 12 championship and playoff berth, but it will not be easy. The Sooners need to patch up their defense quick as TCU, West Virginia, and Oklahoma State all await Oklahoma down the stretch. But for now, The Sooners need to focus on next week because an improved Texas team smells blood in the water as they await Oklahoma in the Red River Showdown.

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