AMES, Iowa – Iowa State surged to its third-consecutive victory with a 40-31 win over Texas Tech on Saturday afternoon at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium. The Cyclone defense came up with three interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown by Marcel Spears, and a safety to vault Iowa State to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in Big 12 play. Texas Tech drops to 5-3 overall and 3-2 in conference action.
The Red Raiders came out of the gates fast, forcing a three-and-out on ISU’s first offensive drive, followed by a blocked punt by TTU’s Thomas Leggett, who jumped on the ball in the end zone to put the Cyclones in an early 7-0 hole. Texas Tech extended its lead to 10-0 at the end of the first stanza on a 28-yard field goal by Clayton Hatfield.
Iowa State countered in the second quarter, with the offense marching 75 yards in nine plays for a touchdown to open the period. Junior running back David Montgomery punctuated the drive with his fifth rushing touchdown of the season on a one-yard plunge into the end zone. Iowa State took its first lead of the day two drives later, as a 41-yard Brock Purdy-to-Hakeem Butler connection propelled the Cyclones on a 7-play, 89-yard drive that ended with Charlie Kolar’s third touchdown of the season on a nine-yard grab.
Texas Tech punched in a one-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Alan Bowman late in half to take a 17-14 lead at the intermission.
Iowa State emerged from the locker room and took advantage of Kene Nwangwu’s 58-yard kickoff return, starting the drive at the TTU 42. The Cyclones eventually tied the game with a 27-yard field goal by Connor Assalley. On the ensuing Texas Tech drive, Spears intercepted a Bowman pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown, pushing ISU back in front 24-17.
The two teams then traded punches, with Texas Tech tying the game on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bowman to Antoine Wesley, followed by a 75-yard Cyclone drive to re-take the lead. Montgomery put on the finishing touches once again with a one-yard touchdown run to make the score 31-24, ISU.
Texas Tech came up with a defensive touchdown of its own, tying the game with 12:50 to play in the fourth quarter on a strip sack by Rico Jeffers. Linebacker Dakota Allen recovered the fumble in the end zone for a Texas Tech touchdown.
Iowa State re-gained the lead with yet another game-changing play by its defense. With less than five minutes to play, a bad snap at the TTU 15 forced Bowman to retreat into his own end zone. With Cyclone defensive end JaQuan Bailey bearing down on him, the Red Raider quarterback was forced to fling the ball out of bounds. The play was ruled intentional grounding in the end zone, resulting in a safety to put Iowa State ahead 33-31.
Purdy and Butler hooked up for a 48-yard touchdown pass with 2:25 to play on the following ISU drive to secure the Cyclone win.
Players of Note…
Spears had four tackles, 0.5 TFL’s and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. It was the second “pick six” of Spears’ career – both against Texas Tech.
Montgomery rushed for 125 yards on a career-high 33 carries. He also recorded his first multi-touchdown game of the season, with a pair of rushing scores.
Purdy finished the game 13-of-27 passing for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed 14 times for 47 yards.
Butler put up 148 yards on four catches with one touchdown. His fourth-quarter touchdown went for 48 yards to cap off the afternoon.
Brian Peavy recorded a team-high nine tackles with one tackle for loss and a pair of pass break-ups.
Cyclone Quick Hits
*Today’s Attendance: 57,908 (eighth-largest home crowd in program history).
*ISU is 13-4 when leading after three quarters under head coach Matt Campbell.
*Iowa State is 7-0 in October in the last two seasons, all Big 12 opponents, with four wins over ranked opponents.
*David Montgomery now ranks 11th in ISU history with 2,357 career rushing yards, breaking his tie with Dwight Nichols (2,232) and passing Blaise Bryant (2,269).
*Hakeem Butler now has back-to-back 100-yard receiving games for the first time in his career. It’s the 13th time in ISU history a receiver has had consecutive 100-yard receiving games.
*Deshaunte Jones caught a pass for the 30th consecutive game, the second-longest streak in school history.
*Marcel Spears recorded the first multi-interception game by a Cyclone defender since Sam E. Richardson vs. Oklahoma (2014).
*Kene Nwangwu’s 58-yard kick return to open third quarter was his eighth career return of at least 40 yards.
*Iowa State recorded a safety for the third-straight game for the first time in program history. The last time ISU had three safeties in the same season was 1974 (3).
Iowa State travels to Kansas to take on the Jayhawks next Saturday. The game kicks-off at 11 a.m. and will be televised by FSN.