NORMAN, Okla. — Caleb Williams passed for a touchdown and ran for another, Jalen Redmond returned a fumble for a score, and No. 12 Oklahoma beat Iowa State, 28-21, on Saturday.
Kennedy Brooks ran for 115 yards for the Sooners (10-1, 7-1 Big 12, No. 13 CFP), who bounced back from a loss to Baylor and solidified their chances of reaching the Big 12 title game. They also kept alive their slim College Football Playoff hopes.
Iowa State has been a thorn in Oklahoma’s side in recent years, beating the Sooners in 2017 and 2020. Oklahoma beat the Cyclones in the Big 12 championship game last year.
“That’s a darn good football team,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “We all know. We’ve been in a lot of battles against those guys.”
Iowa State tight end Charlie Kolar, playing in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma, had career highs of 12 catches and 152 yards. Brock Purdy passed for 281 yards and a touchdown for Iowa State (6-5, 4-4), which was eliminated from the Big 12 title race.
Iowa State got the ball at its 14-yard line, trailing 28-21 with two minutes left in the game. The Cyclones drove to the Oklahoma 21, but Pat Fields intercepted a pass by Purdy with 15 seconds remaining to end the threat.
“We never die easy, but man we find some crazy ways to lose sometimes,” Kolar said.
In the first quarter on Saturday, Iowa State’s Joe Scates caught a ball near the goal line and was stripped. It was ruled that he caught the ball and fumbled out of the end zone. It would have been a touchback, but Oklahoma’s D.J. Graham was out of bounds when he stripped it, so Iowa State got the ball at the 1 after the 25-yard completion. Breece Hall scored for the Cyclones on the next play.
Oklahoma responded quickly as Williams broke loose for a 74-yard touchdown run to tie the game.
Late in the second quarter, Iowa State drove into Oklahoma territory. Oklahoma’s Key Lawrence jarred the ball loose from Purdy, and Redmond got the perfect bounce in stride and took it 42 yards for a touchdown. The score gave the Sooners a 14-7 lead.
Williams found Mario Williams in the end zone for an 11-yard score to make it 21-7 late in the third.
Purdy went to the locker room in the third quarter, and his replacement, Hunter Dekkers, threw an interception to Oklahoma’s Delarrin Turner-Yell on his second pass.
Andrew Mevis ran 29 yards on a fake punt early in the fourth quarter to put the Cyclones in Oklahoma territory. Later in the drive, Dekkers connected with Chase Allen to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 21-14.
Purdy returned in the fourth quarter but couldn’t rally the Cyclones on his first possession back as they went three-and-out. Oklahoma responded with a five-play, 68-yard drive — all running plays — that ended with a 7-yard touchdown run by Eric Gray with 5:06 remaining.
Kolar caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to cut Oklahoma’s lead to 28-21 with 2:57 remaining, setting up the dramatic finish.
Iowa State: The Cyclones came maddeningly close to having a special season. All five of their losses are by 10 or fewer points. They’ve lost three of their past four, all by seven or fewer points.
Oklahoma: The Sooners once again found a way to win a tight game. Despite getting just 96 yards out of their passing game, Oklahoma claimed its sixth win by seven or fewer points this season.
Iowa State’s Breece Hall tied an FBS record by scoring a rushing touchdown in his 23rd consecutive game. Arkansas’ Bill Burnett did it from 1968-70. He struggled though, finishing with just 58 yards on 19 carries.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Brooks became the 11th Oklahoma player to rush for at least 3,000 yards in a career. His career total is now 3,035 yards after Saturday’s performance.
Iowa State hosts TCU.
Oklahoma visits No. 9 Oklahoma State.