When the Philadelphia Eagles and San Francisco 49ers take the field at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday, it will be the second-ever meeting between quarterbacks Brock Purdy and Jalen Hurts. And if this game is anything like the first one, we are in for a doozy.
On Nov. 9, 2019, at Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma, 83,541 people watched Hurts lead the No. 9 Sooners to a thrilling 42-41 win over Purdy's Iowa State Cyclones.
While Sunday's paid attendance won't match that of the 2019 regular-season Big 12 showdown (the Link in Philly seats fewer than 72,000 fans), the stakes are just a bit higher this time around, with a trip to Super Bowl LVII in Glendale, Arizona, on the line.
Purdy and Hurts Balled Out with 11 Total TDs
In typical Big 12 fashion, yards and points were easy to come by in the fast-paced shootout.
Purdy, the future Mr. Irrelevant (as the final pick in the 2022 NFL Draft), had a monster day. He completed 19 of 30 passes for 282 yards and FIVE touchdowns. That tied a single-game school record and ran his streak of consecutive games with a touchdown pass to nine, and tied for third longest in Iowa State lore. Purdy also added 61 rushing yards and a score on the ground, pairing with future New York Jet Breece Hall in the Iowa State rushing game.
Hurts threw for three touchdowns and rushed for two more, netting 68 on the ground and 273 through the air. Two of his touchdown passes went to future NFL baller CeeDee Lamb, who caught eight passes for 167 yards. Hurts hit Lamb for 48 yards just 1:18 into the game and added a rushing TD to put the Sooners up 14-0 with less than six minutes gone.
Another bomb to Lamb (63 yards) gave Oklahoma a 28-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
Oklahoma led 35-14 at the half, but Purdy led the Cyclones on an incredible fourth-quarter comeback. He engineered three touchdown drives in the final 15 minutes, which should have tied the game. Instead, the Cyclones elected to go for two and steal an upset win, but Purdy's pass on the 2-point conversion was broken up and Oklahoma escaped.
Since That Day in Norman...
Hurts was taken in the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft and won the Philadelphia Eagles' starting job late in his rookie year. After going 9-10 over his first two seasons, Hurts has had a breakout year in 2022. He threw for 3,700 yards and 22 touchdowns while going 14-1 as a starter, though late in the year he dealt with a sprain to his throwing shoulder that might have ended his chances at the MVP.
Purdy spent two more years at Iowa State, leading the Cyclones to a 34-17 win over Oregon in the 2020 Fiesta Bowl and setting 32 school records by the time he graduated. He was selected with the 262nd and final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft and started the year as the third QB on the 49ers roster, but he was thrust into a starting role after injuries to Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo. He became the first Mr. Irrelevant to throw a touchdown pass in a regular season game.
From that moment, Mr. Irrelevant has been Mr. Unbeatable. He went 5-0 to close out the regular season and now has led the 49ers to playoff wins over the Seahawks and the Cowboys. In seven games, he has 16 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He has not turned the ball over in the postseason.
The Over/Under for Sunday's NFC Championship game is 45.5
Purdy and Hurts led their respective teams to nearly double of Sunday's total over/under of 45.5 points four years ago in their first matchup. Hurts and the Sooners escaped an upset attempt at the hands of a relatively unknown Brock Purdy.
Could Purdy, who is becoming more relevant by the day, finish the job this time?
MORE: Jalen Hurts & His Girlfriend Bry Split Up When He Transferred to Oklahoma
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