Backup Quarterback and Iowa State Stun Oklahoma
Kyle Kempt passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns, including a 25-yarder to Allen Lazard that put Iowa State ahead with 2 minutes 19 seconds left, and Joel Lanning made plays on offense and defense to lead the Cyclones to a stunning 38-31 victory over No. 3 Oklahoma on Saturday afternoon.
The loss snapped Oklahoma’s nation-leading 14-game winning streak and ended the Sooners’ 18-game run against the Cyclones, which dated to 1990. It was just Iowa State’s second victory over Oklahoma since 1961, and the Cyclones (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) did it without their starting quarterback.
“There’s been a lot of adversity at Iowa State for a long time, and there’s been a cloud around us,” Coach Matt Campbell said. “I think our kids said, ‘I’m sick of it, and we’re going to keep grinding, keep swinging and getting better one day at a time.’ So at the end of it, here we are.”
Kempt, the senior who had thrown just two passes in his career before Saturday, played because the regular starter, Jacob Park, went on leave for undisclosed personal medical reasons late in the week. The Cyclones remained confident, despite having lost 20 straight against ranked opponents. Iowa State’s last win over a top-25 team came against Texas Christian in 2012. It was Iowa State’s first road win over a top-five team.
Lanning, who switched from quarterback to linebacker in the off-season, played both positions on Saturday. According to The Des Moines Register, he is the first Iowa State player since 1971 to get significant action both ways in a game. He ran for 35 yards, passed for 25 and had eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery. He played 78 snaps.
“It was fun,” Lanning said. “Coming into an atmosphere like this, you can’t ask for anything better — especially playing both ways. It was fun. I can’t say enough about my teammates and what they did to help me out. It was a lot of stuff going on for me. I didn’t have my best game defensively, but we got the win.”
Iowa State got it going after a rough start and finished with 449 yards.
“We should have been better than that today,” Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator, Mike Stoops, said. “Some of the old scars kind of repeated themselves today. Our execution as a whole was not good enough. That falls on us as coaches. We haven’t played well the last couple of weeks. We are just not making enough plays, and if you do that in this league you’re going to come out on the short end of the stick.”
It was the first loss for new Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley. Baker Mayfield passed for 306 yards and rushed for 57 for the Sooners (4-1, 1-1), but his Heisman Trophy hopes and Oklahoma’s College Football Playoff hopes took major hits.