Oklahoma football: Where things stand halfway through the 2017 season

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NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 07: Wide receiver Trever Ryen
NORMAN, OK – OCTOBER 07: Wide receiver Trever Ryen /

This one is a no-brainer. It’s hard to imagine that there will be another game the remainder of the 2017 Sooner football season that matches or exceeds the stunning outcome of the Oklahoma-Iowa State game on Oct. 7.

Oklahoma was coming off a bye week, ranked No. 3 in the country and a 30-point favorite playing at home against an Iowa State team the Sooners had beaten 18 consecutive times and lost to just five times in 81 all-time meetings. The last time Iowa State had beaten Oklahoma in Norman was 1991, and the last time before that that Iowa State has prevailed over the Sooners in football, regardless of the venue, was in 1961.

ESPN had projected OU’s chance of winning the game this season at 98 percent. Go figure.

Less than 24 hours before kickoff, Iowa State announced that its starting quarterback did not make the trip to Oklahoma, for undisclosed personal reasons, and that the starting quarterback would be a player named Kyle Kempt, a redshirt junior who had thrown only two passes in his college career.

All the Iowa State backup quarterback did against the Sooners was complete 20 of 27 passes for 368 yards and three touchdowns and lead his team back from a 24-10 deficit right before halftime to a 38-31 victory. Between the final minute of the second quarter and midway through the final quarter, Iowa State outscored the high-powered Oklahoma offense 21-0.

The Sooners managed to tie the game at 31-all with just over seven minutes remaining in the game, but Iowa State responded in its next possession with a long touchdown march that was capped off by a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kempt to Allen Lazard, the team’s leading receiver.

There’s no other way to explain it. Oklahoma was outplayed, outcoached and ultimately outscored in a game that the Sooners most likely would have won nine times out of ten.

But not this time. The Sooners were by far the better team, but not on this particular day.