Iowa State upset over OSU no fluke

It seemed shocking when it happened, and for good reason.

Oklahoma State, 28-point favorite, had won all but two games by double digits. Even the game being close would have been a shocker.

But Iowa State won the Nov. 18 game, and did much of it on the back of its defense. Oklahoma State's offense scored just 17 points in regulation, adding a defensive touchdown and scoring in overtime in the 37-31 loss in Ames.

That's the only time in the past two seasons Oklahoma State had scored fewer than 30 points with Justin Blackmon in the lineup.

It was hardly a fluke, though. Despite facing the Big 12's best scoring offense -- Oklahoma State averages 49.8 points a game -- the Cyclones lead the Big 12 in scoring defense over the past four weeks.

The Cyclones allowed just 10 points to Kansas after limiting Texas Tech to 7 points in a 41-7 victory in Lubbock.

Texas and Texas A&M were the only teams to hold the Jayhawks to fewer points. Oklahoma State was the only other team to keep Texas Tech from scoring 20 points in a game.

The only team to hold Oklahoma to fewer than 26 points was Florida State, with 23 back in September. Iowa State lost 26-6 in a game played in blustery winds in Norman last week. The Sooners average 43 points a game, ranking No. 8 nationally.

The Cyclones went 3-1 over that stretch to reach bowl eligibility heading into Saturday's regular-season finale at Kansas State.

Their average of fewer than 19 points allowed game leads the Big 12 over the past month.

The offense is led by a freshman quarterback, Jared Barnett, who threw for 376 yards and ran for 84 more in the upset of the Cowboys. Don't expect that pace to continue, but quietly, the underrated Iowa State defense is keeping the Cyclones in games.

They've taken advantage.

On paper, the Oklahoma State upset remains a shocker. With the Cyclones' defense late in the season, however, maybe it shouldn't be.