Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images
Saturday night’s loss in Ames marks the first time OU has dropped back-to-back regular season games since ‘99.
Under the lights of Jack Trice Stadium, the No. 18 Oklahoma Sooners suffered a 37-30 loss to the Iowa State Cyclones (2-1, 2-0). With the defeat, OU falls to 1-2 overall on the season and 0-2 in Big 12 play.
Final: Iowa State 37, OU 30
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 4, 2020
Spencer Rattler had a slightly better outing against Iowa State than he did last week, but there were many times where the redshirt freshman looked as if he was rushing himself on plays or missing parts of the field. In the end, he completed 25 of 36 passes for 300 yards, a pair of touchdowns (plus one rushing) and one interception.
Oklahoma’s running game was also M.I.A. for the majority of the night, which is nothing new for the 2020 Sooners . A lowly 114 rushing yards on 33 carries (3.5 yards per carry) is simply not going to get the job done, and at this point it’s probably wishful thinking to believe that this team is going to make the kind of improvement necessary to reach the level of balance Lincoln Riley’s offenses have enjoyed in years past.
In the first half, Oklahoma’s offense got the scoring started with a field goal on its initial possession, followed by back-to-back touchdown drives. Redshirt sophomore placekicker Gabe Brkic came into the contest still perfect in his career on both field goals and extra-points, but his immaculate run finally reached its end before halftime on a failed 54-yard field goal attempt. OU would lead 17-13 at the break.
In the second half, senior QB Brock Purdy led the Cyclones on back-to-back scoring drives to give Iowa State its first lead of the night. From there, the Sooners dug deep to swing momentum back in their favor. Brkic drilled a 51-yard field goal to tie up the game, and DE Isaiah Thomas forced an ISU fumble that eventually led to another Oklahoma TD.
Down the stretch, the pendulum swung in favor of the team dressed in all black. A huge kick-off return led to a game-tying TD run from Purdy . An OU three-and-out led to yet another Purdy run, this time to take the lead once and for all. Oklahoma had a chance to tie things up at the end, but a Rattler INT in the end zone effectively sealed the deal.
Once again, penalties and defensive lapses ultimately did this team in. Nine infractions for 93 yards made it difficult for Oklahoma to sustain drives on offense or secure stops on defense. Speaking of defense, ISU’s Purdy and RB Breece Hall seemingly made every key play when they needed to most, often for chunk yardage or to move the chains. Three games into the 2020 season, and it’s apparent that tackling and overall team discipline are the Sooners’ major weaknesses.
Up next — the Red River Showdown. On Saturday, Oct. 10, Oklahoma will make its annual trip to Dallas to square off against Tom Herman and the Texas Longhorns (2-1, 1-1). OU has won eight of the past 11 meetings in this series, including four of the last five. Senior QB Sam Ehlinger will attempt to bring the Golden Hat back to Austin for just the second time in five years, but he’ll have to outduel the Sooners inside the Cotton Bowl first. Kick-off is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on FOX.
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