Mahoney's PAT followed an Austen Arnaud to Jake Williams 23-yard touchdown strike off of a tipped ball, after the Cyclones went down in under two minutes to score. Arnaud also hit Marquis Hamilton on fourth down to keep the drive going.
"Coach Johnny Majors once told me the number one way to win a football game is to not to lose it," Coach Paul Rhoads said. "We didn't get that done today; we contributed too many things to this loss." Williams said he just kept playing despite the ball being tipped.
"It was just concentration," Williams said. "It should have not even come down to that; there were opportunities that we missed throughout the game."
Iowa State was ahead before their offense started sputtering, with two fumbles and two three-and-outs. Kansas State stepped up and turned those into points on third-down conversions. Gregory hit Lamark Brown for a 16-yard touchdown to tie the game after safety James Smith fell down.
Two series later it looked like the Wildcats were stopped and Christopher Lyle had Gregory stopped but he squirted away and found Brandon Banks for a 54-yard touchdown to give Kansas State a 24-17 lead.
"We did not get enough pressure on the quarterback," Rhoads said. "The quarterback had too much time to throw and you cannot ask people to cover for that long."
Defensive tackle Nate Frere said the game was pretty even but a couple of mistakes did Iowa State in. "We could have got more stops than we did and put the ball on the ground a couple of times," Frere said.
Kansas State stopped Iowa State on the first series and went right down and scored by dominating on the ground, getting a two-yard score from quarterback Grant Gregory.
The Wildcats looked to be on the move again but the Cyclones forced a fumble and Lyle recovered at the Cyclone 8. An Alexander Robinson 37-yard run, after which he got hurt again and left the game, got Iowa State in position for a 32-yard Mahoney field goal.
A questionable pass interference call on a ball that appeared to be uncatchable allowed Kansas State to tie the game at half at 10-10. Iowa State got a stop right after half and went on an 80-yard march, which was capped by an Arnaud three-yard run to make it 17-10 before Kansas State set up the last second heroics and dismay for Iowa State.
Despite the two touchdown passes and one touchdown rushing, Arnaud, who was under 50 percent on the day, said the he and the offense need to perform better.
"We need to throw and catch the ball a lot better," Arnaud said. "We have to do the little things that will make us better in the long run."