AMES, Iowa – For the first time since 2008, the Kansas Jayhawks defeated Iowa State on its home field as No. 22 KU claimed a 28-21 victory over the Cyclones in front of a sold-out crowd at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday night.
The win improves Kansas to 7-2 (4-2 Big 12) on the year and secures the Jayhawks a winning season for the first time since 2008. It is also KU’s first win over the Cyclones in Ames since 2008, snapping a stretch of seven-consecutive road defeats at ISU.
Iowa State falls to 5-4 on the year and 4-2 in Big 12 play with the loss.
After Kansas forced ISU into an opening drive three-and-out, the Jayhawks marched down the field on big plays to Quentin Skinner and Tanaka Scott, which put Kansas into Iowa State territory. After the drive stalled, Kansas converted on fourth-and-10 on a 21-yard pass play from Jason Bean to Lawrence Arnold with a late hit penalty from Iowa State added on.
Three plays later, junior Devin Neal scored the opening touchdown of the game on a 5-yard rush to put Kansas up, 7-0 with 8:40 remaining in the first quarter.
Kansas held Iowa State scoreless for its first four possessions of the first half, which included an interception returned for a 50-yard touchdown by junior Mello Dotson with 10:21 remaining in the first half. The interception return was Dotson’s second interception return for a touchdown in back-to-back games, while his sixth-career interception put Kansas up 14-0.
Iowa State would get its first points of the game on a 35-yard field goal to send Kansas into halftime with the lead, 14-3.
Kansas came out of the half with an 11-play, 75-yard drive to strengthen its lead to 21-3. The drive was capped off by a 1-yard touchdown rush by Neal, who secured his seventh-career multi-rushing touchdown game.
The Cyclones would respond with a touchdown drive of their own on their next possession, which took nine plays and 75-yards and was capped off with a 6-yard touchdown rush by Eli Sanders. Iowa State converted the two-point conversion to cut Kansas’ lead to 21-11 with 3:26 to go in the third quarter.
ISU scored again on the first drive of the fourth quarter, covering 90 yards on 12 plays to get within three at 21-18 with 8:09 to play.
The response from Kansas was immediate, however, as Bean connected with Arnold for an 80-yard touchdown – KU’s longest play from scrimmage this season – on the opening play of the Jayhawks next drive. With the score, Kansas pushed the lead back to 10, 28-18, with 7:51 remaining.
Iowa State again drove into Kansas possession, but the Jayhawks defense forced a field goal and KU maintained a 28-21 lead with 4:53 to play. Kansas converted on two crucial third downs on its final drive, which allowed the Jayhawks to run out the clock and secure the victory.
Kansas is back at home next week, hosting Texas Tech on Saturday, Nov. 11 at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 11 a.m. CT on FS1.