Brock Purdy and Jalen Hurts will quarterback the 49ers and Eagles, respectively, Sunday in the NFC Championship Game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
The last time the two shared a field was Nov. 9, 2019 in Norman, Oklahoma, when Hurts’ Sooners outlasted Purdy’s Iowa State Cyclones, 42-41, in a memorable Big 12 conference game with plenty of offensive firepower.
Hurts passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 68 yards and two more. Purdy threw for 282 yards and five touchdowns, adding 55 yards and another score on the ground.
Iowa State entered the fourth quarter trailing 42-21, but Purdy threw three of his touchdowns in that final quarter, including a 13-yard fade to tight end Charlie Kolar with 24 seconds left to bring his team within an extra point of tying the game.
But instead, the Cyclones chose to go for two and the win. Purdy saw receiver La’Michael Pettway open for a split second and threw a ball to him under duress, but Sooners cornerback Parnell Motley ripped the ball away Pettway and OU escaped with the win.
“When I see Brock Purdy making unbelievable play after unbelievable play, I’d rather put the game in his hands because I trust him,” Cyclones coach Matt Campbell told the Associated Press. “Yeah, the question if I would do it over again — yes, in a heartbeat.”
Hurts did most of his damage in the first half, finding now-Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb for a 48-yard bomb to open the scoring just 78 seconds after kickoff. Lamb later took a short hitch pass from Hurts 62 yards for a second-quarter score. Hurts had a rushing touchdown in each of the first two quarters and Oklahoma led 35-14 at halftime
The Sooners seemingly took control with a 10-play, 97-yard drive in the third quarter. Running back Kennedy Brooks finished it with a 48-yard run that gave Oklahoma a 42-21 lead with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.
Purdy found Chase Allen on a short score on the first play of the fourth quarter, then connected with Sean Shaw for a 33-yard touchdown to trim Oklahoma’s lead to 42-35 with 3:35 left. Lawrence White intercepted Hurts to give Iowa State good field position and set up the final sequence and a classic finish.
If the NFC title game is half as explosive as that Big 12 game three-plus years ago, fans will be in for a treat. Purdy told Fox reporter Erin Andrews after the 49ers’ win Sunday over the Cowboys that he’s relishing the opportunity to get the biggest road win of his life.
“That’s what NFL football’s all about, to be able to go into a hostile environment like that,” he said. “We’re excited, we’re ready for it.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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