Players to watch: Oklahoma State


Brock Purdy takes pregame reps before Iowa State’s season opener against the University of Northern Iowa on Sept. 4. 

Sam Stuve

Iowa State: Brock Purdy (QB)

Part of me wanted to pick wide receiver Jaylin Noel, just because he’s a freshman coming off of his best game of the year, but instead I’ll go with his quarterback. 

Senior Brock Purdy is one of the best quarterbacks in program history and got his career started off with a 48-42 win over Oklahoma State in 2018. However, since then Purdy has not had stellar play against Oklahoma State. 

In last season’s matchup, Purdy had just 152 yards through the air to go along with one touchdown on the run, as well as a passing touchdown and an interception.

And back in 2019, it wasn’t a pretty stat line for him as well in terms of touchdowns to interceptions. In that game he did have 382 yards, but was forced to throw the ball 62 times, 38 of which were completed. He had one touchdown, but threw three interceptions.

After a not so great game against the Iowa Hawkeyes, Purdy has avoided the turnover bug for the most part, as he’s thrown for eight touchdowns and just one interception. 

In the last four games, Purdy has either thrown three or more touchdowns, thrown for over 200 yards and in some instances both. 

Purdy, who has said that he’s gone back and watched film of the 2018 game against Oklahoma State, has nine total touchdowns and six interceptions in his career against Oklahoma State.

But five of those touchdowns came in the first contest against the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State: Collin Oliver (DE)

Oklahoma State’s pass rush this season has been one of the best in the Big 12 and in the nation as well.

The Cowboys are tied with the Oklahoma Sooners in total sacks with 19 and are tied for 15th in the nation in sacks per game with 3.17.

At the forefront of that charge is defensive end Collin Oliver. Oliver leads the Cowboys in sacks with 3.5 and in tackles for loss with 6.5, which rank eighth and seventh in the Big 12 respectively.

And what’s scary about this is that Oliver is putting up these numbers as a true freshman, standing at 6-foot-2 225 lbs.

Oliver has played particularly well in the last two games. He registered two sacks and three tackles for loss against Baylor on Oct. 2 and one sack and two tackles for loss against Texas on Oct. 16. 

The Cyclones have allowed at least two sacks in the last three games against Oklahoma State and have given up nine in total in that same stretch.