Cyclones Come Up Short in Final Moments , Fall to KSU
KANSAS CITY – Iowa State and Kansas State were locked in a back-and-forth affair Saturday afternoon that concluded with a 27-20 Wildcat win in front of 36,468 fans at Arrowhead Stadium. Kansas State running back Daniel Thomas registered 181 yards of rush offense for the Wildcats on 34 carries and scored two touchdowns.
“Ultimately, Kansas State made a few more plays,” Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said . “We had a couple chances to do something. On the final drive we needed to move the ball better than we did. We were picking up first downs but needed more.”
Iowa State (1-2/0-1 Big 12) led 20-17 with 11:26 remaining in the game before Kansas State (3-0/1-0 Big 12) went 83 yards to score a touchdown off a two-yard run from Thomas with 6:47 remaining. The Wildcats added three points with 1:38 left following a fumble recovery on a sack to Cyclone quarterback Austen Arnaud. Arnaud had hurt his shoulder on the last play of the third quarter, but returned for a last-gasp drive.
“Austen is OK,” Rhoads said. “I thought Jerome Tiller did a real solid job when Austen was out. We said from the start this season that we had a young defense and they were going to learning game-to-game. You should give credit to Daniel Thomas. He is one of the nation’s top five running backs and overall as good as anyone in the nation.”
On the last Iowa State drive of the game, the Cyclones responded by driving to the Kansas State 36-yard line but could not find the endzone and eventually turned the ball over on downs.
Arnaud went 15-27 for 122 yards in the air and gained 39 yards rushing. Alexander Robinson carried the ball for 82 yards for the Cyclones.
Grant Mahoney’s 43-yard field goal had tied the score, 17-17 with 3:32 left in the third quarter. His 35-yarder put the Cyclones ahead, 20-17 with 11:26 left in the game. Kansas State got a break when Carson Coffman’s 47-yard pass was nearly intercepted but was instead grabbed by Brodrick Smith. The Wildcats scored five plays later for a 24-20 lead with 6:47.
Earlier, Cyclone linebacker A.J. Klein picked off a Carson Coffman pass and raced 69 yards for a touchdown to give Iowa State a 14-10 lead. It was Iowa State’s first defensive touchdown since Derec Schmidgall’s interception runback against South Dakota State in the 2008 season opener.
But the Iowa State defense didn’t have an answer for Thomas who ripped off several strong runs. His dive for a TD put KSU back into the lead, 17-14 with 9:47 left in the third quarter.
Iowa State recorded a 3-0 early lead before the Cyclones executed their longest drive of the season thus far, going 81 yards in 14 plays. Arnaud hit Jake Williams on a 13-yard TD over the middle and the Cyclones took the lead, 7-3 with 14:55 left in the second quarter.
KSU responded immediately, going 67 yards in nine plays to take a 10-7 advantage when Coffman scored on a 10-yard run. When Iowa State could not sustain its ensuing offensive drive, Kansas State drove to the Iowa State 19. A Kansas State fake field goal attempt was stymied but the Cyclones could not counter with a scoring opportunity and the half came to an end. A bright spot in the first half for Iowa State was the punting of true freshman Kirby Van Der Kamp, who averaged 51 yards on three punts. Back-up running back Jeff Woody was another promising Cyclone performer, rushing for 43 on just six carries.
“We put Woody in there because it was hot and we wanted to give (Alexander Robinson) a rest,” Rhoads said.
Iowa State plays its next game Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. against Northern Iowa in Jack Trice Stadium.