AMES, Iowa — Brandon Weeden connected with Tracy Moore, who then broke a tackle on his way to the end zone for a 30-yard score.
That put Oklahoma State up by 17 points less than three minutes into the third quarter Friday night against Iowa State.
But the No. 2-ranked Cowboys' potent offense would not score again in regulation, which gave Iowa State room to come back before topping OSU 37-31 in double overtime at Jack Trice Stadium.
A day that began with tragedy when news broke that a plane crash Thursday night killed OSU women's basketball coach Kurt Budke, assistant coach Miranda Serna and two others ended with the previously unbeaten Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) most likely falling out of the national title race.
“I did a poor job in the short week, obviously, getting the guys ready and executing,” OSU offensive coordinator Todd Monken said. “We didn't score enough. That wasn't good enough. It's going to be a hard one to take for a long time. It really is.”
The win was arguably the biggest in Iowa State history, which was 0-56-2 all-time against teams ranked in the Top 6 in The Associated Press poll entering Friday.
The OSU offense uncharacteristically never got in rhythm, while ISU scored 17 unanswered points after Moore's touchdown put the Cowboys up 24-7 to force overtime.
The Cowboys turned the ball over five times. Weeden threw three interceptions on a night where he also became the school's all-time leading passer with 8,644 yards. Joseph Randle lost two fumbles. OSU was shut out in the fourth quarter. Seven of the Cowboys' 24 points in regulation came on a 70-yard interception return for a touchdown by Shaun Lewis.
And the Cowboys had opportunities, especially late in the game.
With the score tied 24-24, Alex Elkins picked off ISU quarterback Jared Barnett, and a personal foul penalty gave the Cowboys possession at the Cyclone 25 with 3:17 to play. But after two runs by Jeremy Smith gained four yards and a 5-yard pass to Josh Cooper left OSU a yard shy of a first down, Quinn Sharp barely missed a 37-yard field goal wide right with 1:17 left.
“You have to take advantage of that,” OSU coach Mike Gundy said. “Had a chance to get the first down, kick the field goal, win the game.”
Then when OSU had a chance to continue momentum after it answered a quick Iowa State touchdown in overtime with Weeden’s 6-yard pass to Cooper in the end zone, Weeden's first pass of the second overtime was intercepted by Ter'Ran Benton.
Three Jeff Woody runs later, the Cyclones (6-4, 3-4 Big 12) were in the end zone, and fans were storming the field.
OSU now goes into a bye week with its national championship hopes likely over but with the opportunity to still win the Big 12 and go to a BCS game with a victory against No. 5 Oklahoma on Dec. 3. But Monken knows rebounding so quickly will not be easy.
“We all know what we were hoping for, and that's going to be hard,” Monken said. “That's going to be hard for me. Shoot, I need a couple days. That's hard. But as men, as a group, you've got to find a way to battle back.
“Our No. 1 goal is still out there — to win the Big 12 and play in a BCS game.”