Mason Rudolph threw for 376 yards and three touchdowns - including two in the final 5:55 - and Oklahoma State beat Iowa State 49-42 on Saturday to keep its Big 12 title hopes alive.
Justice Hill had 134 yards and three TD runs for the Cowboys (8-2, 5-2 Big 12, No. 15 CFP), who remain in a tie for second place in the league with two games to go.
"We're very resilient. I knew it was going to be a difficult game," Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said after last week's exhausting 62-52 loss to the rival Sooners.
The top two finishers in the Big 12 will meet in the championship game in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 2.
But even if neither the Cyclones nor Cowboys make it to Jerry World, they still gave the Big 12 a game few in the league will ever forget.
Rudolph found Marcell Ateman for a 30-yard TD pass, and Hill's two-point conversion run tied the game at 42 with 5:55 left. The Cowboys jumped ahead 49-42 just two minutes later as Rudolph found Dillon Stoner for a 19-yard touchdown reception.
"We've been down so many times throughout my career. Down 14, down 21, down 17, it doesn't matter because we know we can bounce back real quick, get points on the board, get back into the game," Rudolph said.
The Cyclones got inside Oklahoma State's 3-yard line with 32 seconds left, but Zeb Noland threw an interception to A.J. Green to end the game - a call that both Iowa State fans and receiver Marchie Murdock won't soon forget.
Iowa State has now lost two straight after winning four in a row.
"It's a gut-wrenching loss. It's not easy. But college football isn't easy," Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. "It's a game of inches, and our job is to win the inch. And we came up a little bit short."
Quarterback-linebacker Joel Lanning had a rushing and passing TD for Iowa State (6-4, 4-3). He connected with Allen Lazard on his only pass attempt of the game, a 22-yard TD strike with 14:13 left - a pass Lazard caught with one hand while falling down.
David Montgomery made it 42-34 on a subsequent 4-yard run, but Iowa State's highly-rated defense faltered down the stretch.
Montgomery had 105 yards and three TDs for the Cyclones.
Oklahoma State: Give the Cowboys credit. They took it to one of the nation's best defenses on the road and made the plays that needed to be made in a game that went bonkers from the opening kick. Oklahoma State became the first Big 12 opponent to score more than their weekly average against the Cyclones. With two home games left against Kansas State and Kansas, Oklahoma State is still very much alive in the league title race.
Iowa State: The TD pass from Lanning to Lazard came in their final home game and was a fitting end to their brilliant careers. Lanning and Lazard both passed on offers from more prestigious programs to play for the hometown Cyclones - and if Campbell can get Iowa State in a position to compete for Big 12 titles on an annual basis, their contributions won't be forgotten. Sadly, losing a heartbreaker like this one is also fitting for a team with too many agonizing defeats in recent memory to count. "That's two loyal soldiers, and two awesome Cyclones forever," Campbell said. "That's one of the best catches I've ever seen."
KEMPT AND NOLAND
Iowa State quarterback Kyle Kempt left the game in the first half and didn't return because of injury, though Campbell didn't have specifics after the game. Noland, a redshirt freshman in his first significant action, finished 17 of 28 passing for 263 yards. "He kept us in the game," Lanning said.
Iowa State had 30 first downs - after only scoring 30 points in its previous two games. ... Rudolph was 25 of 31 passing. ... Penalties hurt both teams. Oklahoma State had nine of them for 105 yards, and Iowa State had seven for 40. ... The Cowboys scored on all six of their trips inside Iowa State's 20-yard line.
HE SAID IT
"We should raise ticket prices. We definitely give fans their money's worth," Gundy said.
Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State on Nov. 18.
Iowa State plays at Baylor next Saturday.
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