AMES — What a gut punch.
Iowa State led No. 5 Oklahoma State for 57 minutes on Saturday.
College football games last 60 minutes these days.
Close games have been the trademark of Oklahoma State’s 10-0 start and once again, Mike Gundy’s team somehow found a way to win.
Final: Cowboys 35, Cyclones 31
Iowa State got off to a scorching start and led 24-7 with nine minutes to go in the second quarter. Quarterback Joel Lanning (started the game 6-for-8, ended 11-for-22) could do no wrong. The offense was rolling (307 yards or total offense in the first half) and the Cowboys – a legitimate College Football Playoff contender for the Big 12 Conference – were on the ropes.
There were questionable calls – a handful of them actually – but this game ultimately came down to Iowa State’s inability to get off of the field on third down and the offense stalling in the second half.
Oklahoma State converted 11-of-17 of its third down conversations. The Cyclones only mustered up 104 yards of total offense in the second half.
Win that game and this program is at four with two very winnable games on the horizon – not to mention a critical victory against a top five team.
Now, more heartbreak is the talk of the town.
Lanning ended up with two rushing touchdowns and 130 yards on the ground. Mike Warren, who eclipsed 1,000 yards on the season, ran the ball 15 times for 73 yards.
Oklahoma State’s quarterback duo of Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh was effective with what it does. Rudolph completed 24-of-36 passes for 327 yards and Walsh, the runner of the two, got into the endzone twice.
Oklahoma State possessed the football 10 minutes longer than the Cyclones, who ended up with 411 yards on the day.
Up next for the Cyclones are two road trips to Kansas State and West Virginia. The Wildcats lost to Texas Tech 59-44 on Saturday while West Virginia beat Texas 38-20.