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Oklahoma State Football

Malcolm Rodriguez Makes Most of Opportunity, Intercepts Purdy as History Repeats

January 28, 2024

STILLWATER – When Derrick Barnes was injured early in the NFC Championship Game on Sunday between the San Francisco 49ers and the Detroit Lions that brought former Oklahoma State Cowboys standout and starter last season Malcolm Rodriguez off the bench and into the line-up. Rodriguez, a popular player in Detroit and one of the stars of Hardknocks, the HBO series his rookie traning camp with the Lions.

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Rodriguez on the return.

In the second quarter history repeated itself as Rodriguez dropped in coverage and picked off a Brock Purdy pass over the middle. The ball was slightly tipped at the line-of-scrimmage and Rodriguez read the ball well picked it off. He had a nice return, but a holding penalty on the return nullified the return and brought it back basically to the place Rodriguez intercepted the ball. 

Still, Detroit’s offense drove the ball into the end zone covering the 46-yards in five plays with running back Jahmyr Gibbs scoring on a 15-yard run to make it 21-7 in favor of the underdog Lions.

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Rodriguez on pick six off Purdy in 2019.

Why was it history repeating itself? That’s because in 2019 in Ames, Iowa Oklahoma State’s sophomore linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez intercepted Purdy in the fourth quarter and returned it for a touchdown to put the Cowboys in front. 

In the NFC Championship Game, Rodriguez had four tackles when he came in the first half and also had a pass defended along with the interception of Purdy that set up the third Detroit touchdown.  

The Lions led 24-7 at halftime, but San Francisco and Brock Purdy scored 27 unaswered points in the second half and went onto win 34-31 to earn their way into Super Bowl LVIII and another meeting with the defending NFL Champion Kansas City Chiefs, who earlier in the day won the AFC Championship 17-10 over the Baltimore Ravens.  

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Malcolm Rodriguez Makes Most of Opportunity, Intercepts Purdy as History Repeats

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