AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s State 13-year drought in Big 12 openers is finished, thanks partly to a Kansas team that’s likely in for a long league season.
Mike Warren set an Iowa State freshman record with 175 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and the Cyclones throttled Kansas 38-13 Saturday to begin conference play.
Sam Richardson threw for 269 yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Cyclones (2-2, 1-0 Big 12). They notched their most lopsided win since blowing out the Jayhawks 34-0 in 2013.
“You’ve got to find ways to win. The little things are the ways to win,” said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, whose team had five sacks and was also penalized just twice for 10 yards. “We were aggressive in our tackling. Thirty-eight points … in this league you’ve got to score and we went out and scored.”
Iowa State stretched its lead to 24-0 early in the second half on Warren’s 62-yard TD run, the longest of his career. Warren’s 7-yard score with 11:34 left was the capper on the best day of his young career.
Montell Cozart was 15-of-21 passing for 150 yards before leaving with a sprained left shoulder. Kansas coach David Beaty said the Jayhawks won’t know more about Cozart’s status until they return to Lawrence.
Marcquis Roberts had an 83-yard interception return for a score for Kansas (0-4, 0-1).
“Those kids are not happy about what took place. But at the same time, our job is to make them look themselves in the mirror each day and try to understand that there’s a reason it happened and you’ve got to get better at it,” Beaty said.
There was plenty of talk this week that this game might be the worst Power Five matchup of the year.
For much of the first half, it didn’t disappoint.
Iowa State’s offense couldn’t get out of its own way in the early going, scoring just three points in the opening 24 minutes. But Richardson broke the drought on a 4-yard TD run through a hole that, thanks to a little misdirection and an over-aggressive Kansas defense, was at least 15 yards wide.
The Jayhawks then jumped offside on a crucial third-and-3 on their own 14, giving the Cyclones a fresh set of downs. They only needed one, as Richardson found Allen Lazard for a 9-yard touchdown and a 17-0 lead.
Warren followed with his long touchdown run — a play on which he was never touched until his teammates met him the end zone — to make it 24-0.
Warren needed just 18 carries to match the best day by an Iowa State back since Ryan Koch had 175 yards against Missouri in 2006.
“Just patience,” Warren said. “Everything will play out and if you see it, hit it at 100 miles an hour.”
Kansas finally got on the board when Cozart found Tre Parmalee for a 47-yard TD pass.
But the point-after try bounced off the upright.
The subsequent kickoff bounced out of bounds — and Parmalee muffed a punt that Iowa State recovered midway through the fourth quarter.
“That was not something you felt good about,” Beaty said about losing momentum by missing the extra point. “Man that was tough to see.”
Kansas also ran for just 38 yards.
The Jayhawks next host Baylor as potentially one of the largest home underdogs in recent memory