Big 3rd quarter leads Cyclones to win

Whatever Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said at halftime Saturday made a profound effect on his team. The Cyclones (5-4, 3-2 Big 12) outscored Kansas 21-0 out of the halftime locker room on the way to a 28-16 win over the Jayhawks (2-6, 0-4) in front of a crowd of 46,485 at Jack Trice Stadium.

Iowa State outgained Kansas 218-15 in that third quarter, using a nearly 50-50 mix of the running and passing attacks along with big plays on defense and special teams.

"We were frustrated in the first half because we were hurting ourselves," tight end Collin Franklin said. "We can't drop balls and we can't have penalties and we came back after half and put together two real good drives."

After those adjustments, the Cyclones came out with a resounding nine-play, 74-yard drive to take the lead on a two-yard run by Robinson, who rushed for 117 yards in the game, which also gave him over 3,000 yards in his career.

"It was a calm locker room and that was exactly what we expected," coach Paul Rhoads said. "We just needed to execute, especially offensively, and we definitely did that in the third quarter."

Iowa State continued to roll after forcing the Jayhawks into a quick three-and-out and then promptly driving right down the field to make it 21-9 on a Jeff Woody three-yard scamper into the end zone. Woody's run capped a 16-play, 89-yard drive that took nearly seven minutes off the clock.

"We came out flat but we came out and established the ground game early," quarterback Austen Arnaud said. "We are always trying to move the ball fast but it seemed even more evident after half."

The Cyclones stopped Kansas quickly for the second time when Jake Knott intercepted Jayhawk quarterback Quinn Mecham and returned the ball to the Cyclone 45. Shontrelle Johnson scored three plays later from 33 yards out and the score after the third quarter was 28-9.

Iowa State ran 28 plays to just 11 for Kansas and that was the key to the game according to linebacker Jake Knott. "They did a great job of finishing drives in the second half," Knott said. "It allowed us to get our legs back under us and come back out and play a little bit harder."

Kansas moved the ball down deep into Iowa State territory early in the fourth quarter but Stephen Ruempolhamer blocked a Jacob Branstetter field goal to stop the drive.

"We need to win the punting game and the starting position battle," Rhoads said. "We did what we wanted to in the special teams' game and Shane Burnham did a good job of getting our players ready in that aspect."

The defense continued its strong second half play by not allowing the Jayhawks to score until the final minute, despite spending nearly 35 minutes of the game on the field.

"They had one play that they were hurting us with a little bit in the first half," Knott said. "We drew it up at halftime and came up with a good way to stop it."

Iowa State went three-and-out on its first two series and was able to control the field possession game in the first quarter, which allowed the Jayhawks to take a 6-0 lead after one on two Branstetter field goals.

The Cyclone offense had trouble most of the first half but Josh Lenz was able to get his team on the scoreboard and take a 7-6 lead with a 62-yard punt return only four minutes before half. Lenz took the ball on the right side of the field, broke a tackle and followed a wall of blockers after that to pay dirt.

Kansas, however, stopped Iowa State just before half on downs and went down and took a 9-7 lead into the half on another Branstetter field goal.

"Hats off to Turner Gill, they came out and play toughed and we expected that," Rhoads said. "Our kids came out after half and really stepped our level of play up."

Iowa State welcomes No. 14 Nebraska to Ames next week after two consecutive wins. The Cyclones upset the Huskers (7-1, 3-1) 9-7 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln last season.

"They are going to come in here with a lot of confidence," Arnaud said. "It's going to be a showdown if they continue to play the way they are."

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