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Oklahoma falls to Iowa State for first back-to-back regular season losses since 1999

·3-min read

Oklahoma has a losing streak in the regular season for the first time since the Clinton administration.

The Sooners fell 37-30 against Iowa State on Saturday to drop to a shocking 1-2. It is the first time the Sooners have lost back-to-back regular-season games since 1999. And the last time they lost any two games consecutively was in 2014 when they lost their regular-season finale and bowl game.

Saturday night’s game wasn’t quite the disastrous spectacle of blowing a 35-14 lead against Kansas State like last week, but it was close.

Iowa State’s first home win vs. OU since 1960

In addition to being Oklahoma’s first losing streak in two decades, Saturday’s game was also Iowa State’s first home win against Oklahoma in six decades.

The Cyclones’ last win against Oklahoma in Ames was in 1960. Per ESPN, Iowa State’s streak of 24 straight home losses was the longest home losing streak against a single opponent by a team in the AP poll era, going back to 1936.

What is wrong with Oklahoma?

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy eviscerated the Sooner secondary, going 12-of-24 for 254 yards a touchdown, while running back Breece Hall ran for 134 rushing yards.

The Sooners led 17-6 at one point in the first half, but just couldn’t get the stops they needed to prevent another disappointing loss. Purdy had five different passes go for more than 20 yards, one for 65, and tackling was again a problem for the Sooners.

Oklahoma went up 30-23 with 8:17 to go after Jeremiah Hall caught a three-yard TD pass from Spencer Rattler. But the Sooners immediately gave up a long kickoff return and Iowa State scored in two plays when Purdy rushed it in from two yards away.

OU then went three-and-out on its next drive and Iowa State went 55 yards in a crisp four plays as Breece Hall scored the go-ahead touchdown on an eight-yard run with 4:06 to go.

Oklahoma got into Iowa State territory on its final drive but Rattler threw an interception in the end zone with 62 seconds left as he threw into double coverage.

Iowa State running back Breece Hall (28) breaks a tackle by Oklahoma defensive back Tre Norwood (13) during the first half an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Tackling was again a problem for Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The defense has still been poor

The Lincoln Riley era in Oklahoma has been defined by unstoppable forces on offense and very movable objects on defense.

Even a slight step back on offense was probably going to be trouble for the Sooners this year if the defense didn’t make vast improvements. And so far, the defense has been the sieve it’s been in years past.

Iowa State had 282 yards passing on just 25 pass attempts and Hall had 28 carries for 139 yards. The special teams haven’t been great either. Gabe Brkic missed the first field goal of his career on Saturday and the long kickoff return put ISU right back into a game that Oklahoma could have easily put away.

The special teams mistakes came a week after blunders led to Kansas State’s comeback in Norman for a second straight win over the Wildcats.

Rattler was 25-of-36 for 300 yards and threw two touchdowns but he also had a game-sealing interception for the second straight week. But to be fair to him, he’s a first-year starter quarterbacking an Oklahoma offense that lost a lot of contributors from the 2019 season. That’s significant, especially as the defense continues to be nothing above average.

Oklahoma’s loss coupled with Texas’ loss means that the two teams will meet next week coming off losses for the first time since 2014. If Texas wins the Red River Showdown, the Sooners will be staring at a 1-3 start. If Oklahoma wins, Texas will be 1-2.

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