Takeaways: Iowa State’s disregard for run game leads to loss

Brock Purdy runs the ball during the Iowa State vs. Oklahoma State football game Oct. 26. The Cyclones lost 34-27.

Zane Douglas

Iowa State lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday, ending its run of 10 straight wins in October dating back to 2017.

The Cyclones couldn’t keep the big plays at bay and it cost them in the end.

Purdy slings it

The last Iowa State quarterback to throw over 50 times in a game was Joel Lanning. Lanning threw 51 passes for the Cyclones against Oklahoma in 2015.

On Saturday, Purdy threw 62 passes.

He completed 39 of his passes, but he threw three interceptions toward the end of the game and sealed the fate for the Cyclones.

Purdy did a lot of good things in the game, but since he was called upon so often, it felt like Oklahoma State knew what was coming on some plays and they resulted in near disasters.

Purdy was lucky to escape with only three interceptions as the Cyclones’ heavy pass-attack was a curious decision against a less than stellar Cowboys’ run defense. Freshman running back Breece Hall only had 18 carries in the game.

Hubbard (mostly) stopped

The Cowboys’ redshirt sophomore running back Chuba Hubbard was a main storyline in this game, as he came in leading the NCAA in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns.

In the second quarter, Hubbard broke a run loose up the middle for a 65-yard touchdown. Hubbard outran numerous Iowa State defenders and it looked like he was well on his way to another game of over 180 yards, his average per game prior to the matchup.

Instead, Hubbard was taken out of the game often and was even frequently stopped behind the line of scrimmage.

Taking away the touchdown run, Hubbard had 21 carries for 51 yards — which is 2.43 yards per carry. That’s not good.

He only caught the ball twice for 11 yards and wasn’t used as much late when the Cowboys needed him to ice the game.

It’s unfair to take away a run like that, but Hubbard was mostly stopped in the game against the Cyclones, which is all you can ask for against a dynamic offensive threat like him.

Breather ahead

With Iowa State’s loss, the chase for a Big 12 championship looks pretty murky. In addition, with strong competition still left on the schedule, five or even six losses is not off the table for Matt Campbell’s crew.

Despite this, Iowa State won’t have to worry for another week as the Cyclones get their first conference bye week on Saturday. They’ll come back to face Oklahoma on Nov. 9, but for now, they get to take a breather.

The Cyclones’ first bye came in non-conference play right after week one against Northern Iowa. They had two weeks to prepare for Iowa but lost that game by one point due to a special team’s miscue.

Iowa State’s season is not over and there is still a lot more to be decided, but this loss to Oklahoma State certainly didn’t help. The Cyclones will definitely need some help from around the conference if they are going to remain in competition for the Big 12 championship.