21 of those 48 points came in a five-minute stretch in the first quarter and quarterback Philip Bates said the offense did not have a big hand in those touchdowns.
"That was all special teams. They came out there and executed and finished it off," Bates said. "That didn't have anything to do with the offense.
Kent State came out of the gate and got on the board first, taking advantage of an Austen Arnaud fumble at the Cyclone 35. Tailback Eugene Jarvis sprinted in from 23 yards out to make it 7-0.
Grant Mahoney missed a 41-yard field goal on the next Iowa State series, but Jason Scales blocked a punt on the next KSU series. That punt was recovered at the one and Scales barreled in from the one to tie it up. After a punt, the Cyclones went 61 yards in five plays and Bates hit RJ Sumrall for his first career touchdown catch, a 24- yarder to make it 14-7.
Austen Arnaud said he felt bad for Sumrall, who had gone 102 catches with out a score, and was going to try to his best to get him one.
"Sedrick (Johnson) got one and Darius (Darks) got one and they have been here for one game," Arnaud said. "RJ hadn't got one his whole career and tonight he got two and he is feeling pretty good."
The Cyclones then forced a fumble on the second play of the next Golden Flash series and Josh Raven recovered at the KSU 20. Two plays later, JJ Bass scored from three yards out. Kent State bounced back on a Jarvis 29-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Julian Edleman, but Arnaud hit Sumrall for a 49-yard touchdown to make it 28-14.
Edleman threw another TD pass with a minute left in the first half to send it to the locker room at 28-21 and coach Gene Chizik said he was not particularly pleased with the performance of his defense at times, however.
"We were very sloppy on defense tonight," Chizik said. "The silver lining is that we are creating turnovers. What I am proud is that the kids keep playing."
Iowa State had to punt for the first time this season on their first series of the second half.
"(South Dakota St.) was the first time I hadn't played in a game and it was great to see the offense do that," punter Mike Brandtner said. "Tonight for the whole first half I didn't play and I give the offense credit for that."
Later in the third quarter, Michael O'Connell set up a 30-yard Mahoney field goal with a 21-yard punt return. On the ensuing possession, Fred Garrin recovered a fumble but the Cyclones could not convert and Brandtner had to punt. Josh Pleasant muffed the punt and Leonard Johnson recovered that one on the KSU 5.
Arnaud scored on the next play to make it 38-28.
"The defense performed pretty good as a unit," Raven said. "We would have liked to do a lot better today, but as a whole we performed pretty well."
Edleman would not let his team quit and cut the lead back to ten with a 36-yard strike to Shawn Bayes. Mahoney hit a career long field goal of 48 yards and Iowa State made two straight stops to put the nail in the coffin. Bates set up the last score with a 56-yard run and Scales closed out the scoring with his second touchdown run of the day.
Bates ran for 83 yards and threw for 48 and a touchdown, while Arnaud was 12-of-15 for 166 yards and a touchdown and also ran one in. Sumrall had his two touchdowns as well as 104 yards receiving. Kent State did have a 410-374 edge in total yardage, including 243-160 on the ground.
Iowa State did a better job of taking care of the ball, though, with a plus-three margin in turnovers.
Chizik said the quarterbacks are doing a good job of moving the team and handling the offense.
"We did not play perfect at quarterback, but they did enough things for us to win," Chizik said. "Coach McFarland has a great plan for both of them each week. (On the quarterback rotation) We will probably keep it going."