1674916354 This guys going to be a problem In the first

“This guy’s going to be a problem”: In the first QB duel between Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy

PHILADELPHIA – Different teams. other level. Different missions.

But Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers (3 p.m. ET, Fox) features a college rematch between quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Brock Purdy.

Hurts’ Oklahoma Sooners and Purdy’s Iowa State Cyclones met under the lights in November 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma. It was a thrill with the Sooners earning a 42-41 win.

Hurts threw three touchdowns and rushed for two more, while Purdy set a school record for touchdowns by a single player with six — five through the air and one on the ground.

“Everyone knew Jalen Hurts. Not many people knew Brock Purdy,” said former Oklahoma assistant head coach Shane Beamer, now South Carolina head coach.

Iowa State trailed by 21 points at halftime, but Purdy caught fire in the second half and set up a wild finish that some on the Cyclones coaching staff still say should have been different.

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“I have a lot of respect for him,” Hurts said of Purdy. “He’s always been a really good player, has a lot of courage, he makes plays. He’s been doing this since college so it’s no surprise when he got this opportunity to see the success he’s having now.”

Purdy added: “A different situation and scenario than what we’re going to go through on Sunday, but it was a fun college game. It was a great experience playing Jalen and they had a great team and he was making games and I feel like we had to do the same to play in this game and stay alive.”

Oklahoma improved to 8-1 en route to a Big 12 title and a college football playoff appearance. Iowa State fell to 5-4. Hurts was a Heisman Trophy finalist and was selected in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Eagles. Purdy was the final pick of the 2022 draft by the 49ers. Although their paths have varied, the 2019 matchup was a glimpse into the qualities of both quarterbacks that helped push them to the brink of Super Bowl LVII.

Here’s how the Oklahoma and Iowa State coaches and former players at the time remembered the night:

Iowa State offensive coordinator Tom Manning: “At the beginning of the game, before the game, all I remember is an electric atmosphere.”

Iowa State Receivers Coach Nate Scheelhaase: “Oklahoma got off to a quick start, which is what they usually did with Coach [Lincoln] Riley and the offensive weapons they had. That was kind of always the deal with them. They felt like you could withstand the early attack and make it a game in the fourth quarter, that was the way to beat them. It was like the old Mike Tyson fight deal: if you can make it out of the first few rounds, you have a chance. It felt the same when you played it.”

Cyclone defensive end Matt Leo: “Jalen was elusive, just as elusive as [Kyler Murray]. He’s just a guy who, when there’s pressure in the pocket, is just as much of a flight risk as Murray.”

(Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

Calvin Thibodeaux, Oklahoma defensive line coach: “He got it rolling. He was there. Everything clicked.”

Skip Brabanec, Assistant Athletic Director, State of Iowa: “[Oklahoma receiver] CeeDee Lamb was probably the best receiver I’ve ever seen in this game in my life.”

Lamb had eight catches for 167 yards and two points in the contest. His second TD of the game — a 63-yarder from Hurts — gave the Sooners a 28-7 lead midway through the second quarter.

Occupation: “We played a kind of catch-up game from the start. It felt like the lead grew a little bit more each time we got close.”

Purdy: “It was almost like you had to score every time you had the ball.”

Oklahoma Running Back Trey Sermon: “I got hurt in the second quarter. It was a gap scheme game. I ended up just cutting it up and kind of stretching and hitting at the same time. I tore mine [lateral collateral ligament].”

Pains: “I remember getting out early. Got about five touchdowns in the first half and then I think it was 35-14 at halftime or something.”

Thibodeaux: “We were so far ahead at half-time but nobody felt comfortable. We knew we didn’t have the game under control. I don’t know why but we felt that way. There was just a weird vibe in the air that night.”

Occupation: “Obviously no one was excited that we were down. I don’t think anyone in the dressing room freaked out. came out, got [running back] breeze [Hall] went into the third quarter early and regained some momentum in our favor. Just had to keep chopping. We went into the fourth quarter and Brock, that was one of the things we always knew we could do with him. We would never get out of this as long as we had time on the clock. He made a furious comeback in the fourth quarter.”

Thibodeaux: “The guy just had something. He was just annoying. All they knew was that there was something special about this guy. … This guy was like a little thorn. They said, ‘This kid is better than you want him to be.'”

skull hare: “I remember [Purdy] In the fourth quarter we said we were a few points behind and he was right: ‘They won’t be able to stop us all quarter.’ He was kind of in that zone where he was playing with his arm, he was using his feet when needed, we had the running game going. We attacked them in a way that put pressure on those guys.”

Oklahoma’s tight end Grant Calcaterra: “The fans went crazy. The thing about OU fans is they never expect it to go to the last minute, they expect a blowout. So they were pretty pissed that it went that far. But they rocked.”

Purdy: “In terms of the environment and everything, yeah, those kinds of games definitely helped. I feel like there’s just a lot at stake right now, focus on what’s in front of you, focus on defending instead of getting caught at the top of the crowd.”

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Occupation: “I spoke to him on the phone [from the coach’s booth], he was always the same guy. Easy to communicate with, very coachable. Obviously there were times when the adrenaline and emotion of the game could fire anyone up and he definitely had his moments when he was fired up and wanting the ball, you just had to get into that mode with him and place the ball in his hands and let him try to take over the game.”

Iowa State cut the lead to seven points with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Purdy to Sean Shaw at 3:35. But it was the first game of the drive — a 27-yard completion for Tarique Milton — that inspires Cyclones coaches to this day.

Occupation: “We had called a pocket movement concept and he had about two people right on his heels and he kind of threw the ball against the grain, took advantage of incredible compensation and let the ball go on a corner route to our slot receiver right over safety fall range. It was one of the most incredible throws I’ve ever seen him do.”

skull hare: “We didn’t expect them to play a man on the first game of that drive, but they did and shot, he made them pay for it.”

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Projector: “It was only two good teams that came out and Iowa State just didn’t want to go away. Give Brock Purdy credit for that. But Jalen Hurts is a guy, you want him on your team as Philadelphia sees it. He’s a winner and you always had that confidence with Jalen by your side that you would be fine.

Sermon: “I knew we were going to win, especially with Jalen, how dynamic he was.”

Thibodeaux: “[Hurts] never panic. He just had this look like, ‘Okay, just give me the ball back.'”

Hurts made a rare error on the 3rd and 7th with less than three minutes to go, firing a ball into traffic near the touchline as it rolled to the right, which was intercepted by defenseman Lawrence Wright. Eight games later, Purdy hit the tight end of Charlie Kolar for a 13-yard touchdown with 24 seconds left, reducing the deficit to 42-41. Knowing his quarterback was buzzing, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell decided on a 2-point effort to try and win the game.

Projector: “Because of the kind of teammate Jalen Hurts was and is that wanted him to have that success and have him go into the college football playoffs as our starting quarterback, I just remember… wanting that 2-point- Game is unsuccessful so this picture-perfect season continues with Jalen.”

Hurts watched from the sidelines, arms crossed, as Purdy dropped back. Pressured by a blitz down the middle, Purdy threw one off his back foot for La’Michael Pettway. Two defenders hit the ball. There was a three-man collision and when Pettway fell to the ground, Parnell Motley was able to wrestle the ball away to intercept the game.

skull hare: “It felt like there should have been a pass interference call on the last game. We had a frontside corner route with a whip route on the inside and Breece lets loose into the flat quickly. We had three options right in front of Brock and he went with the first option which was this corner pylon route. Had an open guy. Our guy went upstairs to do a play and you can probably look up stills where the ball isn’t there yet and the DB wraps up the receiver.”

Occupation: “Yes, there was a lot of contact back in the corner if you ask my opinion. [Purdy] had to make a quick decision, throwing him off balance a bit and probably not being able to get the timing and speed he wanted on the throw. But we had a chance to make a game and you have to give them credit – contact, no contact, they played with the ball and there was no flag. Obviously it was very unfortunate for our boys not to get a flag and end the game like this after they fought back in the fourth quarter and got to that point. But it was a damn good game.”

Thibodeaux: “It was a relief. ‘Okay, my goodness, we came away with a win.’ You left the field knowing, man, that guy [Purdy] will be a problem.”

Pains: “It was a good game. I’m glad we won.”