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Breaking down the numbers: OSU vs. Iowa State

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Oklahoma State put itself firmly in control of its Big 12 destiny with a win Saturday in Stillwater. The defense looked dominant, making Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy look anything but comfortable. The offense was efficient in Spencer Sanders' return after sitting out due to injury. The execution on both sides of the ball gives a glimpse of how good the Cowboys can be as the season progresses. This article analyzes vital statistics on both sides of the ball that contributed to OSU's win.

29%: Third-down conversion success rate for the OSU defense

OSU limited the Iowa State offense to 4–14 on third down. The seasoned defensive group controlled the tempo for most of the game, never allowing Iowa State to establish a rhythm in the passing game, particularly making Matt Campbell's unit one dimensional for much of the contest.

27: First downs

The OOSU offense controlled its field position for much of the day, with 27 first downs. The offense didn't stick with a bad field position throughout the game, moved efficiently down the field and controlled the clock as a result for the second half of the game in what ultimately proved to be a critical factor on Saturday’s win.

69%: Completion rate for Spencer Sanders

The biggest question of the day was how Sanders would fare in his return after missing (essentially) three weeks of action. Sanders did not disappoint as he went 20-29, throwing the football with only one questionable throw all game against one of the better Big 12 defenses in Iowa State. Sanders also was a contributor in the ground game for the Pokes offense in what a solid return for the redshirt sophomore as he will continue to build momentum for the remainder of the season.

163: Pass yards allowed

The secondary limited Purdy to 163 yards through the air. Purdy faced consistent pressure and scheming that had the quarterback flustered all day and never let him establish the deep threat that one has been accustomed to during his tenure at Iowa State. This defense is one of the best in program history and will be one that coach Mike Gundy and the rest of the coaching staff will look to continue to lean on as the season progresses in an attempt to capture the elusive Big 12 title and bring it back to Stillwater.

sports.ed@ocolly.com