Becht guides Iowa State over Oklahoma State 34-27 in Big 12 opener
AMES, Iowa (AP) — 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.
Oklahoma State (2-2) tried to rally from a 14-point deficit in the final three minutes, but the Cowboys’ last drive ended when Iowa State’s T.J. Tampa intercepted a fourth-and-10 pass near midfield.
Becht became a starter this offseason when returning quarterback Hunter Dekkers left the program amidst a gambling investigation.
The season got off to a choppy start, with the Cyclones scoring a total of 20 points in their first two games.
On Saturday, Becht turned in his best performance.
Alan Bowman threw for 278 yards 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 after halftime.
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.
Jackson added 90 receiving yards for the Cyclones, with two touchdowns.
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.
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.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys host Kansas State on Oct. 6.
Iowa State: The Cyclones travel to Oklahoma on Saturday.
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