Since 1960, the Iowa State Cyclones haven’t beaten the Oklahoma Sooners in Ames. Since 1999, the Oklahoma Sooners haven't lost back-to-back regular season games.
Those two streaks were snapped Saturday when the Cyclones hosted the No. 18 Sooners and handed them their second consecutive upset loss after Oklahoma was upset by Kansas State in the prior week.
Besides a late touchdown by sophomore running back Breece Hall in the second quarter, Oklahoma seemed to be in the driver’s seat throughout the first half.
Iowa State’s defense couldn’t find many answers for the Sooners’ highly anticipated quarterback Spencer Rattler, whether it be Rattler taking shots down the field or scrambling out of the pocket and expanding the play on a third down.
The Sooners went into halftime only up 17-13, but there was writing on the wall that indicated Oklahoma could blow the game open and avenge their upset loss against Kansas State.
“I just felt like we kind of settled in,” Head Coach Matt Campbell said. “I think the speed of the game was really fast and obviously a lot of credit to Oklahoma, because the talent they have and some of the speed they were running with early, I thought we kind of got our cleats in the ground after the first quarter and a half.”
Instead of this happening, Iowa State came ready to play in the second half, recording 28 points combined through the third and fourth quarter, including 14 unanswered points that ultimately led to the Cyclones victory over the Sooners.
Led by junior quarterback Brock Purdy, Iowa State managed to go down the field and score three different times starting with a late third quarter touchdown from Xavier Hutchinson.
THE INTERCEPTION THAT SEALED IT.Iowa State has beaten No. 18 Oklahoma‼️ pic.twitter.com/1s9zuTLxao— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 4, 2020
The defense found all the answers it needed when redshirt freshman Isheem Young intercepted Rattler with just over a minute left to go, leading to the game-sealing first down run by Hall on offense.
“We knew if we just kept inching away at it and kept going, stuff was going to get rolling for us,” Hall said. “Late in the second half, we just got really successful running the ball and stuff started opening up.”
The return of “Brocktober”
Something that’s become a tradition like no other for Iowa State is winning in the month of October, or as it’s commonly referred to as “Brocktober” by Cyclone fans.
With the win over Oklahoma, Purdy now has a career record of 7-1 in the month of October. The only loss he’s experienced in his three years as a starter was against Oklahoma State in the 2019 season.
“We don’t train in the offseason and go through all these things just to beat one team, it’s really for the whole conference” Purdy said.
Some notable wins have come from Iowa State’s win streak through the month of October.
This includes the win over Oklahoma State in 2018 where Purdy came into the game and threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns, as well as rushing for 84 yards and an additional touchdown. This was followed by an upset win over then-No. 20 ranked West Virginia in the following week.
In the 2019 season, the Cyclones found dominating wins over TCU and West Virginia to start off the month of October.
“Brocktober” will be important for Iowa State, as it travels to play another Big 12 Championship contender in the Chuba Hubbard led Oklahoma State Cowboys toward the end of October.
A sense of normal
There was a lot off about the season opener against Louisiana. It was the first and only game against a nonconference foe for Iowa State after an extended offseason due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only that, but the Cyclones had to play with little to no home field advantage with no fans in the stadium. This is something that was completely different in the upset win over Oklahoma.
Instead of having only family and friends of the players along with the marching band and cheer squad, Iowa State allowed 15,000 fans into MidAmerican Field at Jack Trice Stadium for the Saturday game between the Cyclones and the Sooners.
The season opener was slated to have 25,000 fans in attendance but it was ultimately decided against due to health concerns.
“It’s certainly great to come home, I really appreciate our great fanbase,” Campbell said. “I thought that there was great energy in the stadium tonight. Obviously our student body, they do a great job for us, so greatly appreciative of that.”