Arnaud did not have much success and looked out of sync in his first game in three weeks going only 14-for-27 for just 188 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
Iowa State appeared to have Oklahoma State stopped on its first possession of the second half but a 15-yard horse collar penalty kept a Cowboy drive going that was capped by a Keith Toston three-yard touchdown run.
"That call was one of the key plays in the game and was obviously the right call," Rhoads said. "If we get that stop, it could have been a different game."
The Cowboys put the game on ice early after a short Mike Brandtner punt gave them the ball at the Iowa State 46. A Toston 17-yard touchdown scamper made it 27-0 and Toston, who had 206 yards in the game, was the second consecutive 100-plus yard rusher that Iowa State allowed after going five weeks without allowing one.
The next drive would be the deepest that the Cyclones would move the ball in the first three quarters as they had it at the OSU 22 before Arnaud threw an interception.
"It is tough getting timing back against a good defense," Rhoads said. "We also made ourselves one-dimensional." The Cyclones did score in the fourth quarter to make the game closer on a 45-yard screen pass to Alexander Robinson. Robinson had 94 all-purpose yards with 51 of those coming on the ground. Unfortunately for Iowa State, Toston ripped off a 69-yard burst on the next series, which led his a one-yard touchdown run.
"There were a number of different plays that he hit on," Rhoads said. "They did a good job of checking plays at the line."
Oklahoma State took advantage of two short punts and turned those into Dan Bailey field goals in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead after the first stanza. The Iowa State defense was able to battle early but a 20-minute disadvantage in time of possession exhausted the defense and allowed the Cowboys to wear the Cyclones out.
On the Cowboys' first possession of the second quarter, Mike Brandtner buried Oklahoma State at its own two-yard line with a punt but the Cowboys went on a methodical 14-play, 98-yard drive that was capped by a 10-yard pass from Robinson to Tracy Moore to make it 13-0 at the half.
"Their front seven and lines owned the game," Rhoads said. "There were white jerseys everywhere and we couldn't get them blocked.