Notebook: Pokes Defense Shows Up vs. ISU, Offense Shows Flashes But Stalls Late

October 23, 2021

Oklahoma State felt defeat for the first time in 2021, when the comeback attempt against Iowa State (and a controversial spot) came up just short.

I’ve already written the game recap and the social reaction. Below is my running notebook of the game that was.

• FOX just showed a graphic that OSU’s defense has 458 games played. That’s incredible.

• On the first play from scrimmage, Brock Purdy finds Charlie Kolar for 34 yards to put the Cyclones into Cowboy territory. ‘Clones showed up early. (What could have been with Charlie Kolar, by the way. He’d have been a great Poke.)

• And so did the Cowboy defense. OSU holds and turns over Iowa State on downs. Sean Michael Flanagan was voted as team captain this week and he shows out early.

• OSU’s first drive stalls out with after Spencer Sanders seems to get lost on third down on a play action. Sanders 0-for-2 through the air, but Tom Hutton boots one and pins the Cyclones at their own 7.

• The Pokes force a three-and-out deep in ISU territory. A short punt and OSU gets the ball in enemy territory.

• Spencer Sanders and Jaylen Warren both making plays with their legs early.

• And Sanders finds Brennan Presley for a sweet lay-out into the end zone on play action. That was No. 3’s first pass completion of the day. OSU takes advantage of that short field.

SCORE: Cowboys 7, Cyclones 0 | 1st QUARTER 5:55

• Devin Harper put the Cyclones behind the chains, shooting into the backfield and sacking Brock Purdy for a big loss. OSU forces back-to-back three-and-outs.

• Brennan Presley goes backwards on that punt, which pads the total. 54 yards with the last yardage. OSU to start on its 26.

• Jaylen Warren is the type of running back you can depend on.

• Another interesting stat FOX brought up: Iowa State is 15-2 in October since 2017 and both of those losses came to OSU.

• Is this the Brennan Presley Game?! I think it might be. Back-to-back big plays from the speedy sophomore.

END OF 1ST: Cowboys 7, Cyclones 0

Sanders: 3-for-6 for 34 yards, 1 TD
Warren: 8 carries, 45 rush yards
Presley: 3 catches, 34 rec. yards, 1 TD (only OSU receiver with a catch)

• OSU stalls in Cyclone territory and the Cowboys come up empty. Tanner Brown misses wide right on a 50-yard field goal attempt. Feels like a pretty big missed opportunity.

• Iowa State moving the ball much better on this drive, but it’s been all through the air and mostly thanks to that Purdy-Kolar connection.

• Brock Purdy was this close to getting in on a keeper but his elbow was short. Then Breece Hall gets stood up at the line by Malcolm Rodriguez.

• Then Brendon Evers forces a fourth down attempt with this big stop.

• Cyclones made it in with the pass. OSU’s defense was on the field for over nine and half minutes. Hopefully the offense can sustain a drive and give them a breather.

SCORE: Cowboys 7, Cyclones 7 | 2nd QUARTER 4:39

• And on that note, OSU gets way behind the chains on one play. Warren gets bottled up for a short loss and Hunter Anthony gets flagged for a chop block. Sanders takes a shot on second-and-21 but missed a wide open Tay Martin. Penalty makes for OSU’s first three-and-out. Defense only got two minutes of game time on the bench but there’s just two and half until halftime.

• Collin Oliver comes up with a huge sack on third down. Defense gets off the field in just 43 seconds forcing third three-and-out.

• On the two-minute drill: Sander finds Martin for 25 (could have been more with a little more English on it).


SCORE: Cowboys 14, Cyclones 7 | 2nd QUARTER 0:59

• And the Cowboys defense gets off the field again. Fourth three-and-out forced and that drives only lasted 25 seconds.

• Cowboys take a knee and a touchdown lead into the half. OSU will get the ball back to start the third.

HALF: Cowboys 14, Cyclones 7

• After a nice return to start at the 32, the Cowboys stall on their first possession for their second three-and-out of the game.

• Breece Hall breaks loose for a big run and the Cyclones are cooking a bit.

• And just like that we’re tied. Purdy finds Xavier Hutchinson for a 54-yard touchdown.

• And somehow that TD got nullified by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That was a stretch of a call. Pretty weak.

• Didn’t matter. Hutchinson finds the end zone again and we’re tied up. OSU needs to figure out how to sustain an offensive drive.

SCORE: Cowboys 14, Cyclones 14 | 3rd QUARTER 10:21

• Nice couple of plays by Sanders to start this drive: Passes of 22 and 13 yards to Rashod Owens and Blaine Green. Then Tay Martin got tackled down the field for a PI to move the chains. Looks like Martin would’ve scored.

• Tanner Brown just missed another field goal. That’s two missed FGs. In Ames, by an undefeated OSU kicker.

• Cyclones march right down the field, themselves aided by TWO defensive PI calls. Both were a bit weak but both look like they could have been avoided and were also unnecessary.

• OSU does well to force the field goal after ISU makes it to the 12.

SCORE: Cowboys 14, Cyclones 17 | 3rd QUARTER 2:41

• I’m just happy we made this far into the game before highlights from the 2011 game.

• Jaylen Warren got stuffed on third-and-1. But there was a reason. ISU had 12 men on the field. OSU avoids another three-and-out. What are they going to do about it?

• Nada. Sanders tackled for loss, then throws Presley short. Then he had no chance on third-and-long.

END OF THIRD: Cowboys 14, Cyclones 17

• OSU continues to not be a third quarter team.

• OSU is a fourth quarter team.

SCORE: Cowboys 21, Cyclones 17 | 4th QUARTER 8:36

• But the Cyclones are not giving up just yet. Big plays by Breece Hall, Hutchinson and Tarique Milton put ISU at first-and-goal on the OSU 4.

• Hall finds the end zone to put the ‘Clones back in the lead.

SCORE: Cowboys 21, Cyclones 24 | 4th QUARTER 5:29

• Cowboys down 3 with five and a half left. OSU is 0-2 on field goals on the day and they’re trying to stay undefeated in Ames. Nothing to see here.

• OSU is now 2-of-10 on third down and 0-for-5 in the second half. That’s the Cowboys’ worst third-down conversion rate since 2019, in a win over Iowa State.

• Brennan Presley was this close to getting that fourth-down conversion. And it will be reviewed.

• Nothing doing. Not enough evidence to overturn and that will do it for the Cowboys’ undefeated season.

FINAL: Cowboys 21, Cyclones 24

• That controversial spot will be the talking on your radios this week, but OSU has not been able to put together two halves of offense all year. And when the Cowboys’ defense finally needed it to, they couldn’t sustain drives.

• OSU went 0-for-2 from field goal in Ames and lost by 3.

•Next up, Homecoming and a Kansas squad that gave OU all it could handle.

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