Lincoln Riley suffered his first loss as a head coach, and boy was it a bad one. Iowa State entered the game as 31 point underdogs, and their starting quarterback Jacob Park was suspended. That didn’t stop OU from playing their worst game in a long time as they found a way to lose to Cyclones 38-31.
Iowa State rotated between Kyle Kempt and Joel Lanning, who also started at middle linebacker, and the two combined for 368 yards and three touchdowns. Jordan Thomas got lit up like a Christmas Tree for the second game in a row, and OU seemingly had no interest in putting any kind of pressure on either of the Cyclones’ quarterbacks.
Another puzzling aspect of this loss was OU’s bizarre play-calling. Riley showed no faith in Baker Mayfield to pick up third-and-short short situations and instead elected to run the ball directly into a seven-man rush. The turning point in the fourth quarter was a fumbled exchange between Mayfield and Trey Sermon at the ISU six yard line that set up a game-tying drive for the Cyclones.
To add insult to injury, Iowa State decided to give Baker a taste of his own medicine with their celebration.
Here’s the Iowa State flag plant on OU’s 50. pic.twitter.com/UKUYdv0xC5— Dylan Buckingham (@DylanBuckingham) October 7, 2017
Baker wasn’t surprised by the celebration. When you run around scorching the Earth around you every day, it’s bound to come back to you at some point.
Mayfield on iowa flag plant: it's expected, sure I'll get comments that Iowa State is my dad ... #Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 7, 2017
It’s hard to put this loss on Baker. He finished the game 24/33 for two TDs through the air to go along with 57 yards and a score on the ground. He helped the Sooners jump out to an early 14-0 lead before CeeDee Lamb left with a shoulder injury sustained on this touchdown catch.
Lamb did not return, and running back Abdul Adams was also injured in the first half. Riley did not have any updates regarding either players status immediately following the game. Lamb and Adams have been two of OU’s most explosive weapons this season, so a long-term injury to either would be a massive blow to the Sooners’ offense.
This is the most embarrassing OU loss that I can remember in at least a decade. I have nothing positive to say right now. The defense has a LOT of issues that need to be addressed before the Texas game next weekend.