Quarterback Spencer Sanders returned from injury to account for two touchdowns as No. 6 Oklahoma State held on for a 24-21 win over No. 17 Iowa State on Saturday in Big 12 play at Stillwater, Okla.
Sanders, who missed two games after suffering an ankle injury early in the opener against Tulsa, completed 20 of 29 passes for 235 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 71 yards and a score. Chuba Hubbard carried 25 times for 139 yards for the Cowboys (4-0, 3-0 Big 12).
The Cyclones (3-2, 3-1) mostly stalled after tying the game at 14 early in the second half, but Brock Purdy connected with Xavier Hutchinson on a 20-yard touchdown with 49 seconds to go. Oklahoma State receiver Tylan Wallace easily recovered the ensuing onside kick to seal the win.
Iowa State running back Breece Hall, a sophomore, posted his fifth consecutive 100-yard game, finishing with a career-high 185 yards on 20 carries. He had runs of 70 and 66 yards, the latter of which tied the game at 14 with 10:12 to go in the third quarter.
But Oklahoma State's stout defense ruled most of the rest of the game, holding the Cyclones to just 41 yards on their next five possessions. Purdy finished 19 of 34 for 162 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
After Hall's touchdown, Oklahoma State quickly wrested back momentum with a four-play, 67-yard drive, capped by Sanders' 14-yard run around right end on a zone-read play.
Oklahoma State went up 24-14 with 11:27 remaining on Alex Hale's 31-yard field goal.
The Cowboys, who entered third nationally in scoring defense at 9.0 points per game, denied Iowa State its first 4-0 conference start in school history.
Iowa State struck for a 7-0 first-quarter lead when Purdy scored on an 11-yard keeper. Oklahoma State roared back with a pair of big scoring plays -- a 34-yard pass to Jelani Woods and a 32-yard rush by Hubbard, who weaved through traffic near the line of the scrimmage, then darted into open space to his left, getting into the end zone with 9:50 to go before halftime.
Iowa State's Connor Assalley missed two field goal attempts in the first half -- from 48 yards and a 33-yarder that caromed off the right upright.
--Field Level Media