Iowa State upsets No. 18 Oklahoma as Hall runs wild

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall celebrate in the end zone during the game against Oklahoma on Oct. 3 at Jack Trice Stadium.

Zane Douglas

After Iowa State staged a comeback to almost defeat Oklahoma in 2019, the 2020 Cyclones staged an upset Saturday aided by another star performance from running back Breece Hall.

The Cyclones won 37-30 over the Oklahoma Sooners, avenging the losses in 2019 and 2018.

Hall played a big role in the waning minutes as the sophomore looked in his element, scoring the game-winning touchdown and providing some big runs in the game.

“I am certainly really proud of Breece and I think in the most critical moments tonight, he was certainly really special,” Head Coach Matt Campbell said.

The most important run of Hall’s evening came when the game was tied 30-30. Hall shed numerous defenders and kept balance to gain a huge chunk of yardage and give himself the opportunity to punch it in.

Hall ended up with 139 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries and also added a catch for eight yards. The catch was on a third down to convert for Iowa State, to add to his timely playmaking.

This marks three straight games to start the season for Hall where he totaled at least 100 rushing yards and ever since his fumble in week one against Louisiana, Hall has carried the offense.

The Cyclones benefited from junior quarterback Brock Purdy’s best game of the season as well and the quarterback found Xavier Hutchinson down the middle for a 65-yard touchdown that shifted the momentum in Iowa State’s favor.

This has been a theme for Hall this season and even some of last year. The sophomore has found his way over 100 yards a few times already, including every game this year.

Against TCU in Iowa State’s second game, Hall ripped off a 75-yard touchdown run that capped off a 155 yard three touchdown performance against the Horned Frogs on only 18 carries.

Against the Sooners on Saturday, Hall started off slow with less than 50 yards in the first half with just under half of his 28 carries, but he came out roaring in the second half with two big runs to start the half and sealed the game in the final minutes for the Cyclones with a game-winning touchdown followed by a first down to end it.

“The first half it didn’t look too good, but we knew if we just kept inching away at it and just kept going then stuff was gonna get rolling for us,” Hall said.

His backup Kene Nwangwu also came up with perhaps the most influential play of the whole game when he returned a kickoff — after Oklahoma took the lead 30-23— all the way to the Sooner 14 where Purdy punched it in on a quarterback draw.

Nwangwu shifted the momentum and Purdy punched it in, but Hall was the anchor down the stretch.

After Hall’s touchdown in the closing minutes, Iowa State had let Oklahoma advance to Cyclone territory, but defensive back Isheem Young came up with an interception in the end zone to hand the ball back to the offense for Hall to finish the game.

The big plays happened to give Iowa State momentum and they gave Hall the ability to close out the upset against the struggling Sooners.

“Having [Hall] make those plays at the end of the game, you know to be honest I’m not surprised, just because I’ve seen him do this for a lot of games and a lot of times at practice,” Purdy said.