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Oklahoma State stays in the Big 12 title hunt by beating Iowa State in a barnburner

The Pokes are still alive thanks to a late push past the Cyclones.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

No. 12 Oklahoma State beat No. 24 Iowa State in a Saturday barnburner in Ames, 49-42.

The winning touchdown in a back-and-forth game came on a 19-yard catch-and-run from Mason Rudolph to Dillon Stoner with 3:47 to play.

The decisive moment at the end was an A.J. Green interception of Zeb Noland in the end zone for OSU, as the Cyclones pressed to tie the game. It was nearly an ISU touchdown but correctly ruled a pick. That play:

Stoner’s touchdown shouldn’t have counted. Replay clearly shows teammate James Washington (No. 28) getting away with a holding foul to spring him.

The implications for the Big 12 standings are significant.

The Cyclones are pretty much out of the race for the conference championship game, even though they have tiebreakers on both TCU and Oklahoma. They now have three conference losses, so they’ll be behind even whichever team loses the Frogs-Sooners game Saturday night. They also lost tiebreakers to West Virginia and now OSU.

The Pokes are still in the hunt, though their road is difficult because they lost head-to-head to both TCU and Oklahoma. They’ll require help to finish top-two.

The top two teams in the standings meet in Dallas for the league title game on Dec. 2.

This game was lots of fun.

The Cyclones had taken an early fourth-quarter lead on a brilliant touchdown catch by star receiver Allen Lazard, an incredible feat of concentration and coordination:

Oklahoma State later pulled even on a Marcell Ateman 30-yard touchdown grab from Mason Rudolph, with Justice Hill’s two-point conversion run tying it.

ISU went up 14-0 in the first 10 minutes and change on touchdowns by Allen Lazard and David Montgomery. The Cowboys responded with a 21-0 run, which included two scoring runs by Hill. The Cyclones’ two-way star, Joel Lanning, plunged in from a yard out in the final minute of the half to knot the score at 21-all.

What looked like an Iowa State blowout became an apparent Oklahoma State cruise, but then it looked competitive again by the break. It’s stayed fun since then.