In contrast to Texas Tech’s lengthy rivalries with old Southwest Conference and current Big 12 foes Texas, Baylor, and TCU, the series with Iowa State is comparatively brief and recent. The two programs have squared off, beginning in 1967, a grand total of 13 times, with 11 of those clashes coming in Big 12 play. The Red Raiders hold a 10-3 advantage, and an 8-3 edge in Big 12 contests.
Tech began the series by winning the first four games, and then, after losing for the first time by a 31-17 count in Ames in 2002 (Red Raider fans will recall a certain Seneca Wallace running wild), won the next three.
The Cyclones actually beat Tech consecutively in 2010 and 2011, but have since lost three straight to the Red Raiders, and the series currently stands with Tech on a three-game winning streak.
The largest margin of victory in the series came in the initial game that saw the Red Raiders paste the ‘Clones 52-0 in 1967. Iowa State’s premiere drubbing of Tech came in Lubbock in 2011 when the Cyclones ran all over the 19th ranked Red Raiders and left town with a 41-7 victory.
For the most part, the series has been a high-scoring one. The lowest combined point total came in 1974 when Tech whipped ISU 24-3. The highest point total—perhaps not surprisingly—was in 2003 when B.J. Symons led the Red Raiders to a 52-21 victory.
The games in this series, despite Tech’s lopsided win advantage, have tended to be fairly close. The average outcome has been Texas Tech 30 Iowa State 24. And if anything, the Cyclones have been much more competitive over the course of the last five games. As noted above, ISU won in 2010 and 2011, and Tech’s last three wins have come by an average of seven points.
Tech’s road win last season was the closest outcome in series history. The teams battled back and forth with the lead swapping hand four times. The Red Raiders trailed by a field goal at halftime and were down 24-14 early in the third quarter after Aaron Wimberly scored on a two-yard touchdown run.
From that point, however, Tech got serious, converting a 4th-and-2 on a fake punt, getting two Pat Mahomes TD passes to Devin Lauderdale, and finally a 44-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Williams with 4:07 to play for the winning score.
Iowa State’s final hopes were only extinguished, however, when quarterback Sam Richardson was stopped two yards short of a first down on 4th-and-7 at the Tech 31 yard-line.