|Oklahoma State aims to end No. 23 Iowa State's win streak
A potent offense has Iowa State back in the Top 25 and in the hunt in the Big 12.
The No. 23 Cyclones, who are tied with Texas for third in the conference, play host to Oklahoma State on Saturday afternoon in Ames, Iowa.
Iowa State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) opened the season ranked No. 21 but fell out of the Top 25 after a sloppy 29-26 win in triple-overtime over Northern Iowa and a subsequent bye week.
However, the Cyclones re-entered the rankings with a strong 34-24 road win over Texas Tech last Saturday, Iowa State's third straight victory.
Quarterback Brock Purdy and the offense did most of the damage against the Red Raiders.
Ranked 15th in the nation in total offense (481.1 yards per game), the unit poured it on the home side with Purdy notching three touchdowns and 308 passing yards in the first half alone for a 20-7 halftime lead.
The sophomore finished with 378 yards on 23-of-32 passing, and freshman Breece Hall rushed for a career-high 183 yards with two long touchdown runs as he eclipsed 100 yards for the second straight game.
Hall totaled 256 all-purpose yards, the 11th most by an FBS player this season.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell might not have to worry about Purdy and his team when they have the ball, but the fourth-year coach said the Cowboys' skill players present a trio of problems.
He cited running back Chuba Hubbard, wide receiver Tylan Wallace and quarterback Spencer Sanders as causes for concern.
"They're as dynamic as anybody we've faced offensively," Campbell said. "You got these three super talents together -- it's a great challenge for all of us."
Oklahoma State (4-3, 1-3) received its usual stellar rushing performance from sophomore Hubbard last Saturday, but the Cowboys' defense gave up massive chunk plays to unbeaten Baylor in a 45-27 home loss.
Hubbard produced 171 yards and two scores on 32 carries to increase his FBS-leading rushing total to 1,265 yards (180.7 yards per game). The Canadian-born track star is the only rusher in the country who has topped the 1,000-yard plateau.
Boston College's AJ Dillon slots second with 968 yards -- nearly 300 behind Hubbard.
However, Oklahoma State's defensive woes last Saturday against Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer outweighed the production of Hubbard, who has rushed for more than 120 yards in six of seven games.
The Cowboys led then-No. 18 Baylor 13-10 at halftime and appeared to be on the verge of sending shock waves through the Big 12 with an upset victory.
However, big plays by Brewer, who passed for 312 yards on just 13 completions, torched coach Mike Gundy's squad in the second half.
The Baylor offense generated 323 yards in the final two quarters, including 211 passing, and the Bears outscored Oklahoma State 35-14 to hand the Cowboys their third loss in four conference contests.
"We gave up big plays, and we really hadn't given up many big plays prior to what happened in the middle of the third quarter and fourth quarter," Gundy said. "It's hard for us to overcome that. They ran 54 plays, we ran 86 plays. They big-played us."
--Field Level Media