For a solid 50 minutes or more of the Oklahoma State-Iowa State game, it looked as if one-half of a Big 12 playoff nightmare scenario would play out. In the end, though, the conference that’s seemingly on a collision course with being left without a seat at the big boy postseason table avoided said scenario — at least for now.
Trailing the Cyclones by 17 points in the first half and 10 late in the third quarter and on into the fourth, the Cowboys were able to dig deep and mount a comeback, scoring a touchdown late to grab a 35-31 win in Ames. It was the second time this season that OSU overcame a 17-point deficit, the first coming against Texas Tech.
It also exorcised some demons for the Cowboys after their national championship hopes were dashed in 2011 by the Cyclones in a double-overtime loss. For a far greater period of time than the conference would’ve liked, though, it appeared they were headed for history repeating itself.
Trailing 31-21 entering the fourth quarter, a J.W Walsh 16-yard touchdown run with just over 11 minutes remaining cut the lead to three. Eight minutes later, a Walsh touchdown pass gave the Cowboys their first lead of the game at 35-31.
OSU’s defense stepped up on the ensuing possession, holding ISU on fourth and short to hand the ball back to the offense and all but officially thwart the upset bid; an OSU interception of a Joel Lanning with 1:38 remaining officially thwarted it.
With the win, OSU improved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in conference play. No. 6 Baylor, which plays No. 12 Oklahoma (8-1, 5-1) later tonight, is the only other conference unbeaten at 8-0 and 5-0. The Cowboys get the Bears and Sooners to close out the season, a stretch that will decide whether the conference will be shutout again or earn its first College Football Playoff berth.