Cowboy Defense Holds Strong In Win Over Cyclones

The Oklahoma State Cowboys entered as one of the few unbeaten teams in the nation, and they remain just that as they knocked off the Iowa State Cyclones 24-21 in a close one Saturday night in Stillwater.

It’s Settled: The Defense is Legit

Iowa State is not the most threatening offense in the country, or even the conference, but they are still fairly well-rounded. Led by quarterback Brock Purdy, the Cyclones got off to a solid start, and they had several big plays throughout the game. Still, the Cowboy defense held firm, and they proved that they are legit.

Sophomore running back Breece Hall is a threat for the Cyclones, and he proved that by breaking off runs of 70 and 66 yards. Aside from those brief mistakes, Oklahoma State held Iowa State about as well as you could have hoped.

Brock Purdy ended the game completing 19-of-34 passes for 164 yards, a touchdown, and an interception; and Breece Hall finished with 185 yards and a touchdown on 20 attempts, but when it came down to crunch time, the Cowboys made stop after stop and big play after big play to get it done.

Spencer Sanders is Fine

After getting hurt early against Tulsa in the season opener, Spencer Sanders has been standing idly on the sideline healing and waiting for his time to come. After two weeks of no action, he finally made his return at QB1 against Iowa State, and it could not have come soon enough.

Shane Illingworth did a formidable job standing in for Sanders, but Sanders is clearly the better quarterback. He’s a dual threat, and his stats against the Cyclones were a fine example of that. Sanders finished the game with 235 passing yards and one touchdown on 20-of-29 passing and 71 rushing yards and a touchdown on 15 attempts. He did throw two interceptions, but it’s fair to say he more than made up for them.

The Cowboys got off to a hot start on their opening drive on offense, but had to settle for a missed a field goal. On the next drive, Sanders had to run out of the pocket, and an errant pass was picked off by Iowa State; fans on social media went wild and called for his head. Later in the second half, Sanders threw another interception, but he was able to make up for it on the next possession as he scored on a 14-yard run.

It’s easy for us to forget that Spencer Sanders is just a sophomore, and he didn’t even get a full season as a freshman because of dealing with a thumb injury. Give him some time to get into the swing of things, and I think he’s going to be a force to be reckoned with.

Hello, Jelani Woods!

At 6’7″ and 275 pounds, junior tight end Jelani Woods towers over most opponents. He’s athletic for his large size, and he has skilled hands, but for whatever reason, the Cowboys have not used him much over the last few years.

In 15 games over the last two seasons, Woods has racked up just 232 yards and 3 touchdowns on 23 catches. Many fans have waited anxiously for him to become a focal point of the offense, but that has yet to happen. Against Iowa State, however, it seems that a new leaf has been turned over, at least to some degree.

Entering the game, Woods had just 2 receptions for 6 yards. Finally, the Cowboy coaching staff woke up and decided to make him a part of the offensive strategy, particularly on the first scoring play of the day for Oklahoma State.

Jelani Woods finished the day with 3 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. It goes without saying that Woods absolutely should be part of the game plan moving forward. His size and speed make him a threat, and depending upon what Oklahoma State needs at any given moment, he needs more looks.

The Longhorns in Stillwater

Next up for Oklahoma State is a Halloween afternoon matchup with the Texas Longhorns. The brightest orange in America will host the yuckiest orange in America as the Cowboys kickoff against the Longhorns in Stillwater next Saturday at 3 PM. That game will be televised on FOX, and it will also be broadcast on Cowboy Radio 96.1 FM.

Be sure to follow @HeartlandPokes on Twitter for Oklahoma State tweets and discussion.

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