Cyclones take #16 Kansas to the wire but fall 35-33 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cyclones take #16 Kansas to the wire but fall 35-33

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(Ames) The no. 16 Kansas Jayhawks battled back from a 20-0 halftime deficit and stopped a late Cyclone comeback to defear Iowa State 35-33.

The Cyclones made it interesting late, almost rallying from a nine-point deficit with 3:39 left to play in the game. Marquis Hamilton caught a 2-yard touchdown pass, his second of the game, to help ISU creep closer to KU, 35-33, with 1:15 left. The Cyclones then went for the onside kick, and got it, as Sedrick Johnson jumped high to catch the perfect kick from Grant Mahoney to give ISU new life and the ball at the ISU 41-yard line with 1:13 remaining. However, four-straight incomplete passes ended ISU's hopes, including a final bomb to R.J. Sumrall that was just off his fingertips.

"The last series right there was pretty dismal," ISU head coach Gene Chizik said. "The bottom line is everybody talks about playing 60 minutes and we haven't done that yet, and that's really disappointing to me."

The first half was all Cyclones. ISU took advantage of the wind and outstanding field position to stake a 14-0 first quarter lead. After KU went three-and-out in its first series, the Cyclones began their first drive at the ISU 45-yard line. Five plays later, Alexander Robinson raced 16 yards untouched up the middle to give ISU a 7-0 lead just under five minutes into the first quarter.

The Cyclones struck again at the 3:56 mark of the first quarter, again taking advantage of another quick KU series and the wind. The Cyclones went 39 yards in nine plays to go up 14-0. The key play was a gutsy call by ISU head coach Gene Chizik, who decided to go for it on a 4th-and-1 at the KU six-yard line. Robinson went up the middle for three yards to move the chains and then Austen Arnaud hit Hamilton in the corner of the end zone to cap off the drive. Two Grant Mahoney field goals would give the Cyclones a 20-0 halftime lead.

The Jayhawks wasted little time in the second half to get back into the game. After a quick three-and-out by the Cyclones, Todd Reesing found a wide open Jake Sharp who sprinted 67 yards to make it a 20-7 game with 12:20 left in the second half. The Cyclones failed to move the ball on their next possession and the Jayhawks again took advantage. Reesing led the Jayhawks on a 7-play, 70-yard drive in just 2:42, as Angus Quigley ran it in from 1-yard out to inch KU closer at 20-14.

KU then took the lead for good (21-20) with just 4:37 left in the third quarter on a Kerry Meier 23-yard touchdown catch from Reesing. The Jayhawks converted two fourth downs in the series, including Meier's touchdown grab on a fourth-and-seven. KU then capitalized on a costly ISU turnover, as Arnaud threw a quick out pattern that was read perfectly by defensive end Max Onyegbule, who intercepted the pass and darted 21 yards to the ISU 6-yard line. KU scored two plays later on a Jake Sharp two-yard plunge to make it a 28-20 KU advantage with 9:23 left to play in the game.

The ISU offense finally revived, mounting a 6-play, 60-yard drive that was capped off by a 22-yard touchdown catch by Sumrall, his fifth this season, from Arnaud. ISU's ensuing two-point conversion was unsuccessful to make it a 28-26 KU lead with 7:33 remaining in the game. Reesing and company promptly answered, however, scoring 3:54 minutes later on an 8-play, 80-yard drive that was culminated by another Meier touchdown catch, this time from 21 yards out to push KU back up by nine points (35-26) with 3:54 left in the game.

"My expectations of Iowa State is that we should be able to win games against great football teams," Chizik added. "If I expected anything less, I wouldn't be here, and they shouldn't be playing for me."

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