Iowa State Cyclones

Oklahoma State 34, No. 23 Iowa State 27: 3 fourth-quarter interceptions seal Cyclones' fate

Malcolm Rodriguez's pick-6 is eventual game-winning TD

Oklahoma State safety Malcolm Rodriguez (20) returns an interception 26 yards for a game-winning touchdown off a pass by Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during the fourth quarter at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)
Oklahoma State safety Malcolm Rodriguez (20) returns an interception 26 yards for a game-winning touchdown off a pass by Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (15) during the fourth quarter at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday. (Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports)

AMES — Iowa State’s 10-game October winning streak ended in a flurry of interceptions.

Sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy threw three interceptions in the last 6:47 of the fourth quarter, including a game-deciding pick-6 to Malcolm Rodriguez that gave Oklahoma State a 34-27 win Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.

Purdy threw the ball 62 times in the game, which ties a school record Todd Bandhauer set in 1998 against Texas. Purdy finished the game 39 of 62 for 382 yards, one touchdown and the aforementioned three picks.

“I never go into any football game thinking I want to throw 60 passes,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “I think, unfortunately, it was how it played out.”

Iowa State ran the ball just 23 times.

“I think it’s hard for us to be the best version of us if we’re going to be that unbalanced,” Campbell said. “I think the situation played it out, but 62 is a lot of passes.”

Purdy didn’t expect to throw that many times, either.

“No, I thought we’d be pretty well balanced and have our running backs run the ball and throw when we needed to,” Purdy said. “But the way they ran their defense, that’s just how it turned out. We threw it more than we expected to.”

Iowa State running back Breece Hall had a good day on the ground with 18 carries for 76 yards and two touchdowns.

Campbell credited the Oklahoma State defense for the interceptions and forcing Iowa State to throw as much as it did.

“I think they did a good job being multiple defensively and mixing up a lot of different things and gave a lot of different looks,” Campbell said. “I think from our end we kind of had a pretty good (idea) that that’s what was going to happen. Just getting the consistency in that passing game never really kind of took hold.”

Even with the three late interceptions, Iowa State’s defense gave the offense chances to drive down the field and score. The Cowboys (5-3, 2-3) only scored six points on offense in the second half.

“I wouldn’t say I’m real happy about not capitalizing on the opportunities the defense gave us — I don’t mean to be a smart aleck about it,” Campbell said. “The reality of it is, I love these kids, we kept playing all the way until the end, we gave ourselves multiple opportunities to win the football game and we didn’t do it.

“Obviously that’s frustrating, but the frustration more sinks on myself and our coaching staff. How can we do a better job to continue to put our kids in position to be successful? The frustration is more of myself — preparation and detail — than it has anything to do with the effort and the intent with our kids because they did a great job of that. I’m proud of them.”

While Campbell is shouldering the majority of the blame, Purdy recognizes he wasn’t at his best.

He threw into tight windows throughout the game when he didn’t always have to.

“It comes down to executing,” Purdy said. “The fourth quarter came rolling around and we just didn’t execute. I didn’t play to the best of my ability when it mattered in the fourth quarter.”

Iowa State is heading into a bye week at 5-3 and 3-2 in the Big 12 with games against Oklahoma (7-1, 4-1) and Texas (5-3, 3-2) on the horizon. Campbell had a message for Purdy.

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“I love him, I care about him and I wouldn’t want to have any other quarterback in the country over that guy,” Campbell said. “We’ll grow from it. Part of it is, ‘How can I put you in a better situation?’ Some of those were tough situations at the end of the football game. ‘How do I help you?’ I couldn’t ask any more of that kid because we wouldn’t even be where we’re at right now without Brock Purdy.”

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