Brock Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts: College Football Offered NFC Championship Preview

min read
Brock Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts: college did it first, NFL fans.
(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Jan 25, 2023, 7:48 PM
  • Brock Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts is a rematch from a crazy 2019 college football game.
  • Purdy and Iowa State (+14) mounted a late 20-point comeback.
  • Now, Hurts and the Eagles (-2.5) will host Purdy and the 49ers on Sunday.

The eyes of the NFL world are narrowing their focus to just two games this weekend: the conference championship games. Winners head on to the Super Bowl; losers go home. 

As it turns out, two of the most important players on the field during the NFC Championship are familiar foes.

Brock Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts: College Offered NFC Championship Preview

Sunday’s NFC Championship game won’t be the first time the football betting community sees Brocky Purdy vs. Jalen Hurts. Take a trip back to the 2019 college football season, and you’ll see the original affair.

Three years ago, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell was still trying to build the Cyclones into a bona fide Big 12 power. He’d won in Norman in 2017, and a second consecutive road win at Oklahoma would lend him a lot of recruiting firepower. 

Iowa State (+14) trailed Hurts and Oklahoma, 42-21, at the start of the fourth quarter. But Purdy led a monstrous comeback effort to get the Cyclones just yards away from the upset.

Unanswered touchdown passes to Chase Allen, Sean Shaw Jr. and Charlie Kolar made the score 42-41, Oklahoma, with the extra point pending.

You can watch what happened from there below.

Iowa State vs. Oklahoma 2019 Highlights

Big 12 Football Champions

Hurts, who had actually transferred over from Alabama during the previous offseason, finished the game with a nice stat line: 18-for-26 with 273 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed 22 times for 68 yards and threw one pick.

Purdy had better raw numbers but a worse QBR: 19-for-30 for 282 yards and five touchdowns with no picks. He also rushed 15 times for 55 yards.

Iowa State didn’t ultimately get the win, but their near-upset in Norman did a lot to change the public perception of what Oklahoma was that season. The Sooners had made the College Football Playoff for two straight years, and their quarterbacks (Baker Mayfield in 2017; Kyler Murray in 2018) had won two straight Heisman Trophies. 

The Iowa State game – played in early November – led to a chain reaction of tight wins that were largely read by college football fans as proof of Oklahoma’s second-tier contender status. 

Oklahoma went on to beat Baylor in the Big 12 championship in yet another thrilling finish – 30-23, in overtime.

Despite his initial Heisman favorite status, Hurts lost out on the award to LSU quarterback (and current AFC Championship contender) Joe Burrow. A few weeks later, Burrow and the Tigers walloped Oklahoma in the CFP semifinal, 63-28.

You can lay some of the credit (or blame) for how the season ultimately unfolded at the feet of Brock Purdy and the Iowa State Cyclones.

On Sunday, we’ll see which quarterback – Hurts or Purdy – can win Round 2.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.