As strange as it sounds, a false start penalty ended up paying huge dividends for Oklahoma State.
Trailing Iowa State 31-28 in the fourth quarter, it looked like the Cowboys would have to punt the ball back to the Cyclones after an incomplete pass on third down. However, the Cowboys were whistled for a false start on the play, forcing a replay of the down. This time, on third-and-15, Mason Rudolph hit David Glidden for a 31-yard gain and a first down.
Six plays later, J.W. Walsh hit Jeff Carr for a seven-yard touchdown for what ended up being the game-winning score in a hard-fought 35-31 win. Carr’s touchdown catch gave OSU its first lead of the game and allowed the Cowboys to improve to 10-0 on the season.
Iowa State had two more shots to retake the lead after Carr’s touchdown, which came with 3:06 to play, but the Oklahoma State defense was up to the task both times.
First, the Cowboys stuffed Mike Warren on a fourth-and-one play with 2:05 to go. ISU then forced a three-and-out and used all three of its timeouts to get the ball back with 1:44 remaining, but Joel Lanning was intercepted by Jordan Sterns on the first play of the next possession, sealing an Oklahoma State win.
For a second straight week, Oklahoma State had to play from behind for the majority of the game. Iowa State was dominant early on and jumped out to a 24-7 second quarter lead, but the Cowboys cut the lead to 24-14 at halftime after Chris Carson scored from a yard out.
With its first drive of the second half, Oklahoma State set the tone. The Cowboys went 92 yards in 14 plays, taking 6:16 off the clock and finished it off with their goal-line specialty – a Walsh quarterback plunge – to cut the lead to 24-21.
But Iowa State wasn’t going to fold. The Cyclones forced tight end Blake Jarwin to fumble deep in OSU territory, and cashed in with a 21-yard score by Lanning.
From then on out, though, it was all Oklahoma State.
After the teams traded punts, the Cowboys quickly drove down the field behind the arm of Rudolph, who threw for 326 yards on the afternoon. But again, when OSU made it into the red zone, it turned into the J.W. Walsh show. This time, he followed his blockers and scored from 16 yards out, again cutting the lead to just three.
Iowa State couldn’t get anything going on offense on its next possession, setting up the 11-play, 84-yard drive that would culminate with the Walsh-Carr connection.
Walsh had so much success running throughout the game that the Cyclones were completely unprepared for Carr to go in motion out of the backfield and haul in the deciding score.
The win was another big one for Oklahoma State. Now, at 10-0, it looks like the Big 12 will be decided over the next two weeks in Stillwater with home matchups against No. 6 Baylor and No. 12 Oklahoma, who play one another on Saturday night.
Iowa State has undoubtedly improved, but dropped to 3-7 with the loss.
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