Cyclones Pick Off Cowboys

Al Pena was completing 75 percent of his passes through almost three quarters of Oklahoma State's game against Iowa State on Saturday. The sophomore quarterback was 18 of 24 passing, including seven in a row to open the second half, and had the Cowboys facing a first-and-goal with a chance to cut Iowa State's lead to six points. But Pena threw interceptions on three of his next four passes and the Cowboys saw their chances to upset the Cyclones slip away as Iowa State won 37-10 in Ames, Iowa.

Pena, making his second collegiate start with the injured Bobby Reid not making the trip for the second week in a row, had four turnovers (all interceptions) against the Cyclones a week after he had five turnovers (four interceptions and one fumble) in Oklahoma State's loss to Texas A&M.

The Cowboys, 3-4 overall and 0-4 in Big 12 play, also had a fumble to finish with five turnovers on Saturday. They return to action next Saturday looking for their first Big 12 win of the season against second-ranked Texas.

Oklahoma State played its best football since Big 12 action began in the first quarter. The Cowboys scored on their first two possessions – a 27-yard field goal by Bruce Redden and a 4-yard touchdown run by Julius Crosslin – to take a 10-7 lead with 2:53 remaining in the first quarter. But they would not score again.

The Cowboys drove 60 yards in 13 plays – from their own 30-yard line to the Iowa State 10 – on their first possession to pull within 7-3 of the Cyclones. Pena completed passes of 13 yards to Ricky Price, 13 yards to Luke Frazier, 8 yards to Paschal Smith, and 5 yards to Tommy Devereaux on the drive. They then took their first lead against a Big 12 team this season by driving 64 yards the next time they touched the ball. Pena had completions of 10 yards to D'Juan Woods and 19 yards to Price, and Grant Jones ran 22 yards on a reverse to the Cyclone 13. Crosslin scored three plays later to give the Cowboys the 10-7 lead.

Iowa State scored 13 unanswered points in the second quarter to go up 20-10 at halftime, and extended the lead to 23-10 with a field goal in the third quarter. Pena drove the Cowboys the length of the field on their next possession – completing five consecutive passes to Devereaux (5 yards), Price (16 yards), Frazier (4 yards), Brandon Pettigrew (14 yards) and D'Juan Woods (18 yards) – to give them a first-and-goal at the Iowa State 9. But on the next play, Cyclone cornerback LaMarcus Hicks intercepted Pena's pass to D'Juan Woods in the end zone.

The Cowboy defense forced a Cyclone punt, and Pena and the offense took over at midfield. But on the second play Pena's pass was picked off by Nik Moser. Again the OSU defense stiffened, forcing a Cyclone punt. But on first down from his own 20 Pena's pass was intercepted by DeAndre Jackson at the Cowboy 28. The Cowboy defense couldn't keep them out of the end zone this time as Cyclone quarterback Bret Meyer scored on a quarterback sneak to give Iowa State a 30-10 lead.

Guess what happened on OSU's next possession? If you said that Pena was intercepted again – the second of the game by Hicks – then you are right. The Cyclones added a late touchdown on Ryan Kock's 5-yard scoring run to end the scoring.

Pena finished 24 of 40 passing for 203 yards with the four interceptions. D'Juan Woods had 10 catches for 66 yards, while Price finished with five catches for 55 yards. Iowa State's Meyers was 13 of 20 for 227 yards and did not throw an interception for the first time in six games. His favorite receiver was Todd Blythe with four catches for 90 yards. Tailback David Brown, a transfer from East Texas Baptist College playing in his first Division I game ever, led the Cyclones with 77 rushing yards on 15 carries.

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