It took a minute.
The first drive for the Cowboys ended in a botched field goal, which luckily, also happened on the other end of the field for the Cyclones later.
It was good to see Sanders back out in the pocket, even if it felt like he needed a minute to gather himself. He threw an interception, gifting the Cyclones field position just lined up for a score. But then it seemed to click, and the offense came together.
We knew this game would be solid matchup in the Big 12, as the sixth-ranked Cowboys hosted #17 Iowa State. The game did not disappoint.
Between interceptions, missed field goals, a bit of drama between Tylan Wallace and ISU’s defensive back, and honestly not as many points as expected, you couldn’t hope for better on an October Saturday of college football.
The Cyclones took to the score board first, but it would be the Cowboys by a shoestring in the end, 24-21.
First Takeaway: Offense Just Needed A Wake-Up Call
Spencer Sanders’ return got off to a slow start but finished strong in the end.
It might have taken a moment to get back in the saddle, but for the offense you could feel the difference.
Wide Receiver Tylan Wallace caught a spiral from what seemed like 20 feet in the air.
The Canadian Cowboy made the impossible look like a breeze, as he defied gravity for a 32-yard touchdown run.
Shane Illingworth helped keep the Cowboys competitive and shows major potential for the Pokes. Having Sanders back gave a little spark to the team
The future is bright for the Cowboys offense.
Second Takeaway: When It Matters, The Defense Is Still Here
The first sack of the game came in the third quarter.
Brock Purdy went down with a huge loss of yardage on a third down, a nice win for OSU.
Defense continued to show up big in the third quarter, forcing the Cyclones to punt after a quick three and out. Throughout the game, there were at least three shoestring tackles that allowed the defense to stop motion, but barely.
The Cowboy defense has been making big plays all season and will need to keep up this kind of pressure for the rest of the season.
Third Takeaway: Little Mistakes Made A Big Difference
In any game but especially against a ranked opponent, every little play – or penalty – makes an impact.
Sanders threw two interceptions, and while Purdy threw one as well as well, it hurt.
Penalties throughout gave small setbacks in a game where every play mattered. ISU had 9 penalties for 70yards, to OSU’s 10 penalties for 73 yards.
In a well-matched offensive game of two strong quarterbacks with options in the rushing and receiving game, the room for error is almost nonexistent.
On a beautiful fourth quarter what-would-have-been-touchdown run for Sanders, Wallace was called for holding, negating the six points and putting the Cowboys back in yards.
In addition to the mistakes on the field, we lost the commentary for a hot minute in the fourth, leading to a game of only sound, tackles, and screaming fans.
It’s 2020, no matter what happens, we do have Cowboy football.
Image Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics.