Oklahoma football: Iowa State stuns Sooners at home, 38-31

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 07: Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb
NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 07: Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb /

Don’t expect to see the Oklahoma football all-red alternate uniforms anytime soon.

Iowa State, a team Oklahoma had lost to just five times in 81 games between the two schools, came to Norman on Saturday and outscored Baker Mayfield and the explosive Sooner offense 38-31, handing OU its first loss of 2017 and pulling off the biggest upset so far in the college football season.

Oklahoma scored two quick touchdowns on its first two possessions — the first on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Mayfield to true freshman Trey Sermon and the second on a 15-yard TD pass to another freshman, CeeDee Lamb — to go up 14-0. At that point in time, nine minutes into the game, it appeared that the Sooners were well on their way to win number five on the season.

The Cyclones, however, had other plans. Oklahoma scored just 10 more points the remainder of the first half. Meanwhile, the Iowa State offense added 13 points of its own, the last coming on a 32-yard field goal 22 seconds before halftime. That cut the Sooners lead to 11 points, at 24-13 and, more importantly, gave the Cyclones valuable momentum that carried over into the second half.

It was announced just before the game that Iowa State starting quarterback Jacob Park did not make the trip with the team and would not play against Oklahoma. He reportedly was back in Ames, Iowa, dealing with an undisclosed personal issue.

In Park’s place, walk-on, third-string quarterback Kyle Kempt, who had thrown just two passes for Iowa State prior to this game got the start and orchestrated Iowa State’s biggest win of the season.

Kempt nearly matched OU’s Mayfield in first-half passing yardage and finished the game with a better completion percentage and more passing yards than the Sooner quarterback (343 to 306).

Iowa State marched 50 yards in 11 plays on the opening possession of the second half, but had to settle for a 42-yard field goal by Garrett Owens. That brought the Cyclones three points closer, with Oklahoma holding on to a 24-16 lead. The Sooners responded with a 69-yard drive. That set up what turned out to be the changing point in the game. With second down and goal-to-go from the Iowa State six-yard line, Sermon mishandled a handoff from Mayfield, the ball was knocked loose and recovered by Iowa State’s Joel Lanning.

Iowa State took over possession, and at that point, with five and a half minutes left in the third quarter, took over the game. The Cyclones drove 94 yards to score a touchdown, the big play in the drive coming on a critical third down pass.

Oklahoma Sooners Football
Oklahoma Sooners Football /

Oklahoma Sooners Football

With third down and 14-yards to go, backed up against their own end zone, Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt connected with wide-receiver Allen Lazard on a 35-yard completion down the left sideline. Five plays later, the Cyclones were in the end zone and added a two-point conversion to draw even with the mighty Sooners at 24-all.

Oklahoma mounted a 50-yard drive on its first possession after the fateful fumble, but the drive stalled on the Iowa State 27-yard line and Austin Seibert missed wide right a 44-yard field goal attempt.

Iowa State went 73 yards in just two plays to go out in front for the first time in the game, 31-24. The Sooners responded with a 75-yard TD drive of their own, and the game was tied for a second time, 31-31, with just over seven minutes to go.

Potentially looking at a third-down play with eight yards to go for a first down, deep on its own side of the field, the Oklahoma defense was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct that gave Iowa State 15 additional yards, an automatic first down and new life. Seven plays and nearly five minutes later, Kempt connected with Lazard for a 25-yard touchdown to regain the lead and deliver the back-breaker to the Sooners’ chances of staving off the upset.

Mayfield and Company still had one last chance with 2:19 left on the clock, which was plenty of time for the Sooners’ explosive offense, but the Iowa State defense rose to the occasion. OU was able to get just one first down before turning the ball over on downs on the OU 42-yard line after an unsuccessful fourth-down pass attempt.

For the second game in a row, the Oklahoma defense was unable to contain the opponent’s passing game. Iowa State gained 368 yards through the air, with over 200 of that coming in the second half during which the Cyclones outscored the Sooners 25-7.

Instead of getting better and building momentum as the season progresses, the Sooners appear to have taken an about face in their last two games and are leaking oil badly at the back end of what was supposed to have been an improved defense.

The Iowa State win was just its second over the Sooners since 1961. No player on the Iowa State roster was alive the last time the Cyclones beat Oklahoma. Ironically, both Iowa State wins over OU in the last 56 years have been in Norman..

The Oklahoma loss ends the nation’s longest active winning streak at 14 games. The Sooners had won 17 consecutive games in the Big 12. That streak also came to an end on Saturday.

Next: Ranking Sooner football teams over the last seven decades

One streak that did remain in tact, however, was Mayfield throwing at least two touchdowns in every game he has started as the OU quarterback. Mayfield’s two TD tosses in Saturday’s game gives him 18 consecutive games with two or more touchdowns through the air. That is a new school record, breaking Sam Bradford’s mark of 17 straight games.