Brock Purdy’s bizarre interception, fumble prove costly in Iowa State’s Cheez-It Bowl loss to Clemson

Brock Purdy has, at least statistically, been one of the Big 12’s best passers across his four seasons at Iowa State. Unfortunately for the senior quarterback, his final game with the Cyclones will be remembered for two of the most bizarre turnovers of the college football season rather than his passing prowess.

During the third quarter of Wednesday’s Cheez-It Bowl between Iowa State and Clemson, Purdy threw a pass that was batted into the air by defensive end Justin Mascoll. Purdy then attempted to swat the ball away, but it landed in the hands of defensive back Mario Goodrich, who ran it into the end zone to give Clemson a 20-3 lead.

Then, things got worse.

Iowa State was trailing 20-13 with 42 seconds left in the game and staring down a fourth-and-2 situation. Fourth down had been a strength for the Cyclones, as they ranked 14th nationally on fourth-down conversions (68.2 percent) coming into the game. Again, it had been a strength.

Purdy got the snap, surveyed the field and pulled off a nice pump fake before tucking the ball and running for the first down. However, Goodrich punched the ball out of Purdy’s hand, and Purdy recovered the football behind the first-down marker, resulting in a turnover.

The Tigers went on to win 20-13, giving Clemson coach Dabo Swinney his 150th career victory. He became just the third coach to reach at least 150 wins in 15 seasons, joining Urban Meyer and Bob Stoops.

Purdy finished his Iowa State career as a two-time All-Big 12 selection. He totaled 12,170 passing yards, a 67.7 percent completion percentage and 81 touchdowns to 33 interceptions. He also finished in the top 10 in Big 12 history in completion percentage (seventh), passing yards (eighth) and total yards (eighth).

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