After a brisk start to the final tailgate of the 2019 season, Cyclone fans headed to Jack Trice Stadium to honor the departing seniors for their last game at our cathedral, and watch Iowa State take on an improved, but still very Kansas-y Kansas team. Les Miles did eat some grass before the game, if that’s important to you.
After a couple quick three and outs to start the game, Brock Purdy made a couple ridiculous throws, as Iowa State trucked down the field with relative ease, before Purdy hit La’Michael Pettway on an absolute dime on a post route.
The second featured much the same feel as the first, with both teams driving the field consistently, but largely unable to finish drives. Iowa State’s scoring struggles largely stemmed from self-inflicted wounds like drops and penalties, while Kansas struggled to move the ball outside of Pooka Williams’ individual brilliance.
Kansas’ first drive of the quarter was highlighted by a 48 yard run by Williams, but eventually stalled out at the ISU 18. KU’s Liam Jones lined up for the field goal to bring it to 9-7, but the kicked careened off the upright to fall no good.
Iowa State answered with their own long drive. Breece carried the ball four out of the first five plays for a total of 21 yards (the other was a completion to Sean Shaw for 11 yards). After a couple incomplete passes to Dylan Soehner ad Charlie Kolar, Breece Hall and Johnnie Lang team up for three carries to pick up the first down, before Purdy hit Hall in the flats for a long gain.
After a short run by Hall, La’Michael Pettway caught a pass in the flats that was initially ruled pass interference on Shaw, but the penalty was overturned after the officials determined the pass was caught behind the line of scrimmage. The next play, Breece Hall soared over the line to finish the drive with a touchdown and move the score to 14-6.
After a quick three and out by KU and another punt by Iowa State that was downed at the two yard line, Pooka Williams took the first play of the drive for 33 yards. The Jayhawks pushed their way upfield against another annoyingly soft Iowa State prevent defense, before the Cyclones finally bowed up in the redzone to hold Kansas to a field goal, and take the game into halftime with a 14-9 lead.
After forcing another quick three and out for Kansas to start the second half, Iowa State marched down the field on an eight play, fifty-nine yard drive to push the Cyclone lead to 21-9. After struggling a little bit to find some space early in the drive, a couple precise passes to Charlie Kolar and Chase Allen got the Cyclones to the four yard line, before delivering yet another well thrown ball on an out route to Pettway in the endzone.
The defense locked up the Jayhawks for yet another three and out on the following drive stopping the running back for a loss on first down to force a second and long situation. Iowa State’s next drive ended with a turnover on downs after a questionable spot on the third down run.
Then things got bad. Kansas drove down the field and capped off the drive with a long touchdown pass after Braxton Lewis blew his coverage. The following offensive play, Kansas tipped a pass and intercepted Brock Purdy. The next KU drive, Braxton Lewis immediately blew his coverage again, giving up a long completion to put the Jayhawks at goal to go. A couple plays and a successful two point conversion later, and the Jayhawks were taking a 24-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter started on a much higher note, as Brock Purdy found Breece Hall in the flats for a 24-yard catch and run for the score to put the Cyclones back ahead 27-24 after Connor Assalley’s extra point hit the upright.
AND THEN THINGS WERE BAD AGAIN.
Kansas moved the ball up the field easily, then connected on a 40 yard touchdown pass to retake a 31-27 lead. Braxton Lewis was the culprit once again.
Once again, Iowa State followed that up with their own 9-play, 71 yard drive for a touchdown on a Brock Purdy keeper to take a 34-31 lead. Needless to say, the stadium was wildly uneasy at this point.
Finally, Iowa State’s defense stepped up and made a stand on the next KU drive, forcing a turnover on downs on the ISU 37 yard line with 4:14 to play.
A couple quick runs left Iowa State with 3rd and 6, before La’Michael Pettway made one of the most important catches of his career to pick up the first down. Iowa State ran the ball a few times to get the ball to the 4-yard line with 1:16. Instead of taking the three points, Iowa State went out and WON. THE. DAMN. GAME. with a touchdown pass to Sean Shaw.
One more defensive stand later, and Iowa State came away with the tough win over Les Miles’ Jayhawks by a score of 41-31.