Cyclone Offense Shines In 52-38 Win Over Texas Tech
AMES, Iowa- The Iowa State offense fired on all cylinders, as Austen Arnaud tossed a career-high four touchdown passes to help the Cyclones light up the scoreboard in a 52-38 win over Texas Tech Saturday night in Jack Trice Stadium.
The Cyclones squandered a 24-point lead, but regrouped with four fourth-quarter touchdowns to improve to 3-2 on the year and 1-1 in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders fall to 2-2 overall and 0-2 in the conference.
Arnaud, who finished the game with 190 yards on 20-of-28 passing, hit four different Cyclone receivers in his touchdown hurls. The 52 points scored by the Cyclones was the most ever vs. a Big 12 opponent and was the highest point total against a conference opponent since scoring 55 points against Kansas State in 1972. The Cyclones finished the game with a season-high 441 yards of total offense.
"There was a different energy tonight," Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said. "It starts with being ready to play. When you are 18, 19, 20 years old, you take the field with a conviction and we played differently. We practiced with conviction and it showed tonight. We put 52 points on the board, but we had a kickoff return and short field to work with. We haven't worked with short field much this season. It is hard to drive the ball 80 yards and get the defense off the field."
Iowa State gained most of its yards on the ground, churning out 251 rushing yards. The Cyclones had two backs gain over 100 yards in a game (Alexander Robinson, 103; Shontrelle Johnson, 102) for the first time since 2004 when Bret Meyer and Stevie Hicks both reached the century mark against Miami (Ohio) in the 2004 Independence Bowl.
Iowa State raced out to an early 24-0 lead behind some key plays from its senior quarterback Arnaud. Arnaud connected with Darius Reynolds on a 36-yard touchdown strike to make it 10-0 Iowa State with 11:17 in the first half. It was Reynolds first career touchdown reception.
The Cyclones answered on their next possession after Tech's Austin Zouzalik fumbled a Kirby Van Der Kamp punt and Ter'Ran Benton recovered to give the Cyclones the ball at the Red Raider 18-yard line. Iowa State scored two plays later on an Arnaud to Josh Lenz pass and catch from 14 yards out to make it 17-0.
It quickly became 24-0 when Alexander Robinson scored from 1-yard out to give the Cyclones a 24-0 lead with 2:59 remaining the half.
Tech, however, kept their poise and went 75 yards on eight plays to cut the deficit to 24-7 with 2:12 left in the half. Iowa State was on the verge of going into the half with a 17-point lead, but Van Der Kamp couldn't handle the snap on a punt and the Red Raiders recovered at the Cyclone 20-yard line with 0:15 seconds left.
On the next play, Tech's Taylor Potts hit Lyle Leong on a 20-yard pass to cut the gap at 24-14 at the half.
With just 5:25 left in the third quarter, the Red Raiders battled back to tie the game at 24-24. A Matt Williams 24-yard field goal was followed by a Leong 21-yard pass from Potts to make it 24 unanswered points for the Red Raiders.
The Cyclones rallied, however, capitalizing on a Red Raider fumble to move back ahead, 31-24 with 14:12 left in the game. Arnaud was flushed out of the pocket and found a diving Collin Franklin deep in the end zone on a 27-yard toss to switch the momentum back toward the home team.
After stopping Tech on its next possession, freshman Shontrelle Johnson raced 61 yards on the first play of the drive to move Iowa State ahead by 14 points (38-24) with 13:07 left in the game.
After another Tech touchdown shaved the score to seven points, Arnaud found Kurt Hammerschmidt from four yards out to again give Iowa State a comfortable 14-point cushion (45-31) with 3:40 remaining.
Again Tech scored quickly, going 78 yards on nine plays culminating in a Leong 26-yard catch to make it 45-38 with 1:30 remaining. The Red Raiders opted for an on-side kick and Jeremy Reeves caught it in stride and raced 42 yards for a kickoff return touchdown to put the game away at 52-38. It was the Cyclones' first kickoff return for a touchdown since Troy Davis recorded one at Colorado in 1994. It was only the second kickoff return for a touchdown by a Cyclone in Jack Trice Stadium history (Luther Blue, vs. Nebraska in 1976).
Franklin led all Cyclone receivers with 68 yards on six catches. Robinson's 103 yards rushing was his 10th 100-yard effort of his career. Sophomore linebacker Jake Knott finished the game with a team-high 13 tackles.
Iowa State plays host to Utah next weekend (Oct. 9). Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.