Bowman Starts At Quarterback As Cowboys Fall To Iowa State 34-27 In Big 12 Opener

Rocco Becht passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns as Iowa State held on to beat Oklahoma State 34-27 Saturday in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

Saturday, September 23rd 2023, 10:42 pm

By: Associated Press


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Rocco Becht passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns as Iowa State held on to beat Oklahoma State 34-27 Saturday in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

The Cyclones (2-2) were averaging just 16.7 points per game, the lowest total among Power 5 schools, but Becht spearheaded an offensive revival, completing 27 of 38 attempts.

“I just thought Rocco played an incredible game,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said, “his efficiency, the way he threw the football.”

Rocco Becht passed for 348 yards and three touchdowns as Iowa State held on to beat Oklahoma State 34-27 Saturday in the Big 12 Conference opener for both teams.

The Cyclones (2-2) were averaging just 16.7 points per game, the lowest total among Power 5 schools, but Becht spearheaded an offensive revival, completing 27 of 38 attempts.

“I just thought Rocco played an incredible game,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said, “his efficiency, the way he threw the football.”

Becht became a starter this offseason when returning quarterback Hunter Dekkers was suspended for his involvement in illegal sports wagering. He remains on the roster.

The season got off to a choppy start, with the Cyclones scoring a total of 20 points in their previous two games, following a 30-9 win over Northern Iowa.

“It’s just the brotherhood and the trust that we have in each other,” Becht said. “This week, we really flipped a switch in practice, and it really carried over to this game.”

On Saturday, Becht turned in his best performance against an Oklahoma State defense focused on stopping Iowa State’s run game.

“To get people out of the box, you’ve got to prove that you can throw the football,” Campbell said. “And prove that you can throw the ball vertically.”

Alan Bowman threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-48 passing for Oklahoma State, while Ollie Gordon II rushed for 121 yards on 18 carries.

But the Cowboys failed to convert their first five third-down chances of the second half and began to bog down.

“I thought we competed and got ourselves back in the game,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. “We had a chance.”

Becht’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Jackson put Iowa State up 27-17 with 5:30 left in the third quarter. The lead was 34-20 with 14:54 left in the fourth quarter.

Iowa State receiver Jaylin Noel had a career-high 126 yards in the first half, on seven catches.

Noel’s 38-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter tied the score at 7. He finished with 146 yards on eight catches.

“That guy (Becht) has been confident since week one,” Noel said. “Give him the opportunity to get the ball down the field and he’s going to make plays happen.”

Jackson added 90 receiving yards for the Cyclones, with two touchdowns.

“The preparation that everybody put in was just amazing,” Becht said. “Props to the offense and the defense for coming out here to play today.”


TAKEAWAYS

Both teams experienced an offensive spark when formerly struggling quarterbacks found their groove. Iowa State’s Becht threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, helping the Cyclones to a 20-17 halftime lead. Oklahoma State had been using a three-quarterback rotation, but Bowman took all the snaps in the first half, throwing his first touchdown of the season - a 60-yard toss to Jaden Nixon. Bowman also ran for a touchdown.

SLUMPING

Oklahoma State has lost eight of 12 games since starting last season 5-0. Iowa State came into Saturday having dropped ten of its past 12, dating to last season.

UP NEXT

Oklahoma State: The Cowboys host Kansas State on Oct. 6.

Iowa State: The Cyclones travel to Oklahoma on Saturday.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll

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