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Recap: Iowa State Destroys Kansas Behind Balanced Offensive Effort

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The Iowa State offense totaled 512 total yards, including 243 on the ground and 269 through the air, en route to a 38-13 demolishing of a Kansas Jayhawks team that will struggle to pick up a single win for the rest of the year. The performance was what ISU needed to do against a sub-par KU squad, and kept hopes of reaching bowl eligibility alive, for now.

The first half featured a lot of what many fans expected for the presumed two worst teams in the Big 12 Conference. Both teams missed a field goal and many punts were kicked. Cole Netten scored the first points of the game on a 34 yard field goal from the right hash with 1:54 left in the 1st quarter.

The Cyclones and Jayhawks repeatedly slapped each other over the course of the next few possessions, then the ISU offense broke through for a six play, 62 yard drive with 5:40 left in the 2nd quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 30 yard pass from Sam Richardson to tight end Justin Chandler that took Iowa State all the way down to the Kansas 19 yard line. A Joel Lanning 15 yard scramble to the left set ISU up with a 1st and goal at the 4 yard line, and Richardson trotted into the end zone after faking everyone out on a beautiful zone read. 10-0 Cyclones.

Iowa State got the ball back with a couple minutes left in the half and ended up driving 73 yards for another touchdown on a nine yard slant pass from Richardson to sophomore wide receiver Allen Lazard. At the half, it was 17-0 ISU.

Coming out of halftime, the Cyclone offense went 3-and-out and was forced to punt, but the defense stopped Kansas on their ensuing drive. On the first play after getting the ball back, Mike Warren took a run up the middle 62 yards to the house to put Iowa State up 24-0. The run put Warren over the century mark for rushing yards on the day, making it his second consecutive outing with 100+ on the ground.

The Jayhawks finally got on the board with 5:36 left in the 3rd quarter when quarterback Montell Cozart found Tre' Parmalee over the middle for a 47 yard catch-and-run touchdown. Kansas' kicker, Nick Bartolotta, hit the upright on the PAT and the ball careened away to leave the score at 24-6.

ISU's offense didn't waste any time answering KU's first successful offensive series. After starting on their 35 yard line following a kickoff out of bounds by the Jayhawks, the Cyclones mixed together a balanced attack of runs and passes and eventually found the end zone on a 13 yard pass from Richardson to D'Vario Montgomery that saw the 6-foot-6 wide receiver go up and grab the pass over a Jayhawk defender. A successful PAT from Cole Netten pushed the score to 31-6 in favor of Iowa State.

Another 3-and-out gave the Cyclone offense the ball back quickly, and they drove all the way down to the red zone when the 3rd quarter ended. Unfortunately, a nicely timed KU blitz moved Iowa State back to the 24 yard line for a 3rd and 18. On the next play, Richardson was picked off by Marcquis Roberts, who tiptoed up the sideline and returned the interception 83 yards for a touchdown. The pick-6 made the score 31-13, and gave Richardson his second INT of the season.

The good news for ISU is they put together a nice drive on the next possession that resulted in another Mike Warren rushing touchdown. The scoring play was set up by a 41 yard screen pass from Richardson to sophomore wideout Jauan Wesley. After Wesley took the ball all the way down to the 7 yard line, Warren ran the ball up the gut to tally rushing touchdown #2 on the day. 38-13, Cyclones. That ended up being the final score, and Iowa State improved to 2-2 on the season.

Sam Richardson finished with 269 yards on 27/37 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. The senior signal caller picked up his first win as a starter over a Big 12 opponent in the victory. Mike Warren tallied 175 yards and two touchdowns on the ground on 18 attempts.

The Iowa State defense played a great game as well, only allowing 288 yards to Kansas, including just 38 on the ground. The Cyclones repeatedly got pressure into the backfield and caused problems for the Jayhawks all over the field.

ISU moves to 2-2 on the year and 1-0 in conference play. They go on the road to take on Texas Tech in Lubbock next Saturday. That game will kick at 2:30 p.m. CST.