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Oklahoma Sooners Football: OU survives a late Iowa State rally, wins 42-41

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The Fighting Matt Campbells never gave up, but the Sooners held on.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Oklahoma Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn’t always pretty, and at times it was just plain scary, but in end the No. 9 Oklahoma Sooners survived another huge upset scare at the hands of the Iowa State Cyclones with a 42-41 victory. With the win, OU improves to 8-1 overall on the season, 5-1 in Big 12 play.

For as much grief senior CB Parnell Motley has taken over the course of his career for his busts in coverage and poor tackling, he certainly stepped up when it absolutely mattered most. With Iowa State playing with nothing to lose, a two-point conversion attempt was the right call for the Cyclones who were on the verge of a second monumental upset in Norman is as many tries. Fortunately for the Sooners, P-Mot rose up and made a play.

From the jump, this one looked like it could be another blowout ala the kind Oklahoma has grown accustomed to doing for most of the 2019 season, but after a 28-7 lead was built in the second quarter, Matt Campbell and his tough Iowa State squad kept their eyes on the prize while the Sooners slowly fell apart at the seams.

On a few different drives in the first half, Alex Grinch’s defense looked totally lost and were caught way out of position, allowing Iowa State to convert huge chunk plays around the edge and over the middle. In the second half, that just became the norm, and to make matters worse, Lincoln Riley’s offense stalled out down the stretch, scoring just a single touchdown in the game’s final 30 minutes.

One again, turnovers were a significant piece to the puzzle of how this one unfolded. Not only did Oklahoma’s defense fail to create any takeaways for the fifth consecutive game, but the Sooners’ offense gave the ball away twice. The first came when CeeDee Lamb fumbled while picking up yards after a catch, and the second came on a late INT from Jalen Hurts.

CeeDee Lamb and Kennedy Brooks led the way on offense outside of Jalen Hurts. The Sooners’ Biletnikoff candidate caught eight passes for 167 yards and two long touchdowns. From the backfield, Oklahoma’s starting tailback rushed 15 times for 132 yards, including this incredible 48-yard TD trot sprung by a Lamb assist.

On the night, Jalen Hurts completed 18-26 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns and one of the most head-shaking interceptions you’ll see the OU QB make. The Heisman Trophy candidate also added 68 yards and two more scores on 22 carries. This wasn’t anywhere close to his best performance of the season, especially considering that awful INT on Oklahoma’s final meaningful drive, but it was good enough on Saturday night.

Next, the Oklahoma Sooners travel south to Waco to take on the unbeaten Baylor Bears in a potential matchup of two top-12 teams. OU will look to boost its College Football Playoff resume with a major road win over a BU squad coming off a wild triple-OT finish at TCU. Kick-off is set for 6:30 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ABC.

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