LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Things were looking pretty good for Iowa State under Matt Campbell, even before Saturday’s road showdown with Texas Tech.
Then the Cyclones slowed the nation’s seventh-most productive offense in a 31-13 win, allowing the program to keep pace with some bigger-name Big 12 schools for its best conference start in 15 seasons and its longest road winning streak since 1960.
“As soon as you start buying in to everything else that everyone wants to say nice about you, bad things happen,” Campbell said. “Our fan base is outstanding. I’m so grateful for them that they get the reward of their loyalty over the last couple of years to this football program, but our reward to them is doing a great job finishing the year.”
Iowa State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) had 28 votes in the Top 25 poll entering the week and could squeak in considering it held the Red Raiders (4-3, 1-3) to 336 yards, well below Tech’s six-game average of 543. That would make next week’s homecoming game against No. 4 TCU one of the nation’s most intriguing games.
People are also reading…
Texas Tech coach and chief offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury broke away from his offensive trends, and the Cyclones made him pay in the Red Raiders’ homecoming game.
Kingsbury bucked his passing trend in the first half and ran 22 rushing plays for 79 yards against 9 of 11 passing by Nic Shimonek for 18 yards.
Running backs Justin Stockton and Desmond Nisby fumbled on back-to-back plays on the wrong side of midfield in the first half. Iowa State converted the turnovers, recovered by D’Andre Payne and Mike Warren, into 10 points on a 22-yard field goal by Garrett Owens and a 4-yard touchdown grab by Matthew Eaton, who caught a 3-yard score later in the half for a 24-6 lead at the break.
Cyclones signal caller Kyle Kempt threw three touchdown passes with an interception and completed 22 of 32 attempts, and the offense reached 400 yards.
Shimonek ultimately completed 31 of 41 passes for 207 yards with an interception as Texas Tech tried to claw back into the game. The Red Raiders ran the ball 41 times for 129 yards.
“It was more the looks we were getting,” Kingsbury said. “We felt like we could execute the run at a high level, and we didn’t. Turned the ball over a couple of times, got us off schedule.”
Iowa State didn’t score in the second half until the 9:07 mark of the fourth quarter, but Michael Spears’ 61-yard pick-six was a backbreaker against a squad that dominated second-half time of possession and managed to get back within 11 points on Shimonek’s 2-yard scramble.
“We’re not a defense that’s going to give you 30 different looks,” Cyclones linebacker Joel Lanning said. “We’re sticking with what we’re rolling with. Right now, we’re just clicking as a defense.”
Copyright 2017 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.