Iowa State will get over the hump in the annual Farmageddon game someday. Not today, however.
The Kansas State Wildcats came into Ames and spoiled the Cyclones’ homecoming game by coming away with a 31-26 win. The victory is KSU’s 9th straight win over ISU in the Farmageddon rivalry and dropped Iowa State to 1-7 on the season.
The Cyclones got themselves in a 17-3 hole in the first half, with their only points coming on a 24-yard field goal from Cole Netten. ISU had a chance to add a touchdown on their second-to-last drive of the half, but Trever Ryen dropped a wide-open pass down the middle of the field that would have been a surefire TD. Ryen had the defense beat and was on the 5-yard line when the pass from Jacob Park got to him, but the ball careened off both of his hands and ISU was forced to punt the ball away.
The Wildcats were set to get the ball to open the second half, but in a brilliant move, Matt Campbell called for the onside kick and Chris Francis tapped the ball off the tee and recovered it himself after it traveled 10 yards down the field. Just a few minutes later, Jacob Park hit Deshaunte Jones for a 24 yard touchdown pass over the middle to pull the Cyclones back to within a TD, 17-10.
For a moment, it appeared that ISU might have a glimmer of hope.
The ensuing possession for K-State was much of the same as they had in the first half. A long, methodical drive that Iowa State had no hope of stopping. On the 14 play, 85-yard drive, the Wildcats converted on three different 3rd downs, including a 1-yard Winston Dimel run-in for their third touchdown of the day to put them up 24-10.
ISU got the ball back and Park completed a long pass to Carson Epps down the sideline to move the ball into K-State territory. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass as the officials claimed Epp had been forced out of bounds, but never re-established himself inbounds before making the catch. A replay overturned that call, but Iowa State turned the ball over on downs just four plays later after Park’s pass for Sam Seonbuchner was broken up by a Wildcat defender.
6 plays and 62 yards later, Kansas State tacked on another touchdown courtesy of an Alex Barnes 8-yard run to push the lead up to 21 points.
The Cyclone offense wasn’t ready to give up quite yet though. A Park pass to Allen Lazard for 48 yards to open up the 4th quarter brought ISU all the way down to the K-State 5 yard line. Joel Lanning was brought into the game for the “JoelDozer” formation and plowed over a Wildcat defender to get into the end-zone for a TD. 31-17, Kansas State.
Remarkably, the Iowa State defense forced a punt on the next drive to get the ball back with 11:10 remaining in the 4th quarter, down 14 points. That’s when things started getting a little weird.
The Cyclones drove all the way down to the 1-yard line. They were then stopped on four consecutive plays by the K-State defense. ISU refused to go under center on any of the plays near the goal line and the 4th down play was a botched pass on a rollout by Jacob Park that should have been an easy TD.
With the ball back in the hands of KSU in the shadow of their end zone, the Iowa State defense forced a safety, with Kane Seeley bringing down Charles Jones in the end zone for 2 points.
Iowa State’s Kene Nwangwu returned the ball to the 39-yard line, setting the Cyclones up in good field position. The offense moved the ball down to the KSU 22-yard line before two incomplete passes, a 9-yard sack, and another incomplete pass once again gave the ball back to the Wildcats, trailing 31-19.
K-State ended up having to punt the ball back to the Cyclones, but with 2:42 remaining, ISU needed a miracle to pull off the late comeback.
Jacob Park helped Iowa State march down the field in under 2 minutes and threw a TD pass to Deshaunte Jones, his 2nd TD reception of the day, to pull the score to 31-26 with 51 seconds left.
The Cyclones were successful on an onside kick earlier in the game, but this time Cole Netten tried kicking it to himself and recovered it a half yard short before it had traveled 10 yards, giving the ball to K-State to run out the clock. Wildcat victory.
ISU tallied 493 yards of total offense on the day, with 339 of those yards coming through the air. Jacob Park was the QB who slinged most of those, picking up 301 yards through the air on 19/35 passing. The other quarterback, Joel Lanning, was ISU’s leading rusher with 46 yards on 7 carries. Running backs Mike Warren and David Montgomery combined for 52 yards on the ground on 12 attempts.
Allen Lazard led the Cyclones in receiving yards with 134 on 8 catches. Deshaunte Jones had 2 TD receptions and 43 receiving yards.
Iowa State’s next game is against the Oklahoma Sooners at home on Thursday. That game will kick at 6:30 p.m. and can be viewed on ESPN.