AMES – Iowa State didn’t haveits starting quarterback due to a personal health issue, and it didn’t have a starting linebacker due to injury.
By all accounts Iowa State was supposed to get blown by the No. 3 Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, Okla., Saturday.
That didn’t happen.
Iowa State stunned college football, upsetting Oklahoma, 38-31.
It looked like a blowout was going to be the destiny for the Cyclones (3-2, 1-1) when the Sooners (4-1, 1-1) marched down the field for a touchdown in 2:25. When Oklahoma went up 14-0 in the first quarter, it was all but confirmed the Sooners would dominate the Cyclones throughout the game.
In the second quarter, it was still 24-10 in favor of the Sooners. But then the Cyclones came storming back using a combination of quarterbacks in backup Kyle Kempt and middle linebacker and former quarterback Joel Lanning, along with a healthy dose of running back David Montgomery in the pass and run game.
To start the second half, Iowa State marched down the field, but settled for a 42-yard field goal to make it 24-16.
It looked like Oklahoma was going to respond, as Baker Mayfield picked apart the Iowa State defense. But a bad handoff to running back Trey Sermons turned the tide of the game. Sermons fumbled the ball and do-everything football player Lanning recovered.
Iowa State was in the shadow if its own end zone after the recovery, but a completion from Kempt to Lazard gave Iowa State the breathing room it needed. The Cyclones drove the ball 95 yards, capped with a 28-yard Marchie Murdock reception for a touchdown.
Iowa State was still down by two points, so it went to the sure-handed Allen Lazard to cap the drive and tie the game at 24.
The Cyclones didn’t stop there. Oklahoma kicker Austin Siebert missed a 44-yard field goal to give Iowa State the ball back.
Throughout the game, Iowa State used a balanced attack, using the horizontal passing game to give its playmakers space to work.
Kempt and Iowa State capitalized, using this philosophy to perfection when Kempt threw a 57-yard bubble screen to Trever Ryen for the touchdown. Iowa State led 31-24.
Oklahoma didn’t waste any time tying the game back up with 7:18 left in the game.
The Cyclones methodically marched their way down the field using the dual-quarterback system and horizontal passing game.
With 2:19 left, Kempt threw the ball to Lazard, who was double covered in the end zone. Lazard managed to hang on to the ball and Iowa State scored the final touchdown of the game.
Iowa State won 38-31.
Lanning had one of the most unique games played in recent college football history. Lanning passed for 25 yards, rushed 35 yards, made eight tackles, one sack and had a key fumble recovery to top it all off.
Kempt also had a game to remember. The redshirt senior passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns.
“I don’t think he’s a third string quarterback anymore,” Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said after the game.