Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy (15) rolls out to pass during a NCAA college football game in the Cheez-It Bowl against Clemson, Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

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Iowa State QB Brock Purdy declares for NFL draft

Brock Purdy, who set multiple records during his career as quarterback for Iowa State, announced Saturday that he will enter the NFL draft.

Purdy finished his tenure with more touchdown passes (81), passing yards (12,170), quarterback wins (30), 300-yard passing games (14) and rushing yards (1,177) than any other quarterback in Iowa State history.

“Cyclone Nation, I just want to say thank you,” Purdy wrote on his Instagram account. “Thank you for taking my in with open arms and believing in my the last four years. My dream as a kid was to play for a great college town and community and y’all have been that and more. So, I thank you.

“I will be pursuing the opportunity to play in the NFL moving forward.”

Purdy completed 71.7 percent of his passes this season — also a school record — while throwing for 3,188 yards, 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

“There’s no greater competitor that I’ve been around that wanted the result to be different than it was,” Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said after Iowa State lost to Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29.

“But for Brock, as I said two days ago, it’s, ‘Thank you. Thank you for all you’ve done. Thank you for how you’ve led. Thank you for giving belief to this football program that hasn’t been there for a long time.’”

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA;  Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) warms up before the game against the Oklahoma Sooners at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU aims for bowl trip in dustup at Iowa State

TCU will look to become bowl eligible when it squares off against bowl-bound Iowa State on Friday afternoon in their Big 12 Conference finale in Ames, Iowa.

And while the Cyclones will play in the postseason no matter what happens on Friday, the game with TCU is a chance for Iowa State’s accomplished senior class to win one more time in front of the home crowd.

The Horned Frogs (5-6, 3-5 Big 12) travel to Iowa after a nail-biting 31-28 home win over Kansas on Nov. 20. Griffin Kell’s 25-yard field goal with six seconds to play produced the win for the Horned Frogs, their second victory in their three games under interim coach Jerry Kill.

“Proud of the kids,” Kill said. “They know and understand that we’re not going to be here. There’s a new coaching staff coming in. They’re still playing hard. The coaches are coaching hard.”

Kendre Miller rushed for 112 yards that included a 56-yard TD run. Miller eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the third time in his last six contests as TCU ran for 326 yards in the game. Max Duggan passed for 166 yards for the Horned Frogs and Derius Davis caught six passes for 103 yards and ran 43 yards for a touchdown for the Horned Frogs.

Iowa State (6-5, 4-4) heads home after a 28-21 loss at No. 13 Oklahoma on Nov. 20. The Cyclones have dropped two straight games after shellacking Texas 30-7 on Nov. 1 and have lost three of their past four contests.

“A little bit of precision and detail at points in the game probably cost us the football game, but not our heart, not our character and not our leadership,” Cyclones coach Matt Campbell said. “I’m a proud football coach because of that.”

It is the final home game for the Cyclones’ 23 seniors, including record-breaking running back Breece Hall and quarterback Brock Purdy. Hall has scored a rushing touchdown in 23 straight games, tying an FBS record set by Arkansas’ Bill Burnett from 1968-70; Purdy owns or shares 31 school records.

Iowa State owns a 10-game home winning streak against league teams and can finish off a perfect home record versus Big 12 teams for the second straight season.

Before the season, the Cyclones were considered a real candidate to play for the Big 12 title. Instead, they will be trying to avoid a .500 season.

TCU has an 8-4 lead all-time in the rivalry with the Cyclones, including a 3-2 edge in games played in Ames.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Lubbock, Texas, USA;  Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Tahj Brooks (28) rushes against the Iowa State Cyclones in the first half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Texas Tech clips Iowa St. on 62-yard FG as time expires

Texas Tech’s Jonathan Garibay ended the game against Iowa State the same way he ended the first half, but the second boot will be one he and Red Raiders fans will remember for a long time.

Garibay boomed a 62-yard field goal through the upright as time expired to lift Texas Tech to a white-knuckle 41-38 victory in Lubbock, Texas.

The game-winning boot was the end of a seven-play drive engineered by Red Raiders freshman quarterback Donovan Smith, who was dazzling in his first career start. Smith passed for 322 yards and three first-half touchdowns to help Texas Tech (6-4, 3-4) become bowl-eligible for the first time since 2015.

Iowa State kicker Andrew Mevis made a 29-yard field goal to knot the score 38-38 with a minute on the clock, which wiped out a Red Raiders lead that was 31-14 at halftime and remained in double digits most of the second half.

Unfazed, Smith and the Texas Tech offense shrugged off a frustrating half with the clutch drive. Smith was 4-for-4 on the series, utilizing short passes to preserve time on the clock.

Texas Tech had two chances to extend the lead in the third quarter when it moved into field-goal range. But the Red Raiders opted to go on fourth down both times and came up short, and that left the door open for the Cyclones (6-4, 4-3) to rally.

Iowa State did so by scoring touchdowns on three consecutive series before the game-tying kick.

Quarterback Brock Purdy was big in the second half and finished with 356 yards through the air and two touchdowns. But Iowa State never completely got star running back Breece Hall on track: He finished with only 51 yards, though he did score twice.

The stirring finish capped an emotional week for the Red Raiders program, which gained a new coach when former Baylor assistant Joey McGuire was tabbed to replace the fired Matt Wells. McGuire will not take over until after the season.

Texas Tech stormed to a 31-14 halftime lead, sparked by Garibay’s 45-yard field goal right as the second period expired that seemed to provide a spark.

The Red Raiders racked up 326 yards in the first two quarters, buoyed by Smith’s 14-of-18 passing for 209 yards. He zipped three touchdown passes and was a key on third downs when Texas Tech was 6-of-8.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) throws a pass during the second quarter against the Texas Longhorns at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Post-season implications on line as Iowa State visits Texas Tech

A strange season for Texas Tech took another unexpected veer on Monday when the school announced that it has hired its new coach. From a Big 12 Conference rival who will move to Lubbock immediately and take over — but not on the field until the season is over.

Meanwhile, the Red Raiders have some difficult business to tend to on the field for three more weeks, starting Saturday afternoon when they entertain Iowa State in a game dripping with importance for both teams.

Texas Tech (5-4, 2-4 Big 12) is still seeking to nail down a sixth victory to attain bowl eligibility under interim coach Sonny Cumbie, who will give way to newly hired Joey McGuire — formerly the Baylor associate head coach — once the 2021 season concludes.

The goals for the Cyclones (6-3, 4-2) are loftier: They need to keep winning to stay in the hunt for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game after notching a fourth win in the last five games last week.

Finding the right focus shouldn’t be a problem for Iowa State, which is coming off perhaps its best half of the season in a 30-7 rout of Texas. The Cyclones trailed 7-3 at halftime but churned out 14 first downs and 296 yards over the final 30 minutes to win going away.

Running back Breece Hall pounded away at the Longhorns for 135 yards rushing (118 in the second half), while veteran quarterback Brock Purdy passed for 252 yards. A trick play — Xavier Hutchinson’s 49-yard double pass to Tarique Milton — triggered the second-half onslaught.

“I don’t think we were too far off from the first half,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “We just had more precision and detail in the second.

“I think Breece had one of the best games of his career. … For our team to play great football, he needed to be an A-player.”

The Cyclones head to Lubbock seeking a sixth straight win against the Red Raiders as well as a victory that would secure a winning conference record for the sixth season in a row after recording only one such season from 1990-2016.

They will encounter a Texas Tech team in the middle of a strange transition and sorely in need of an infusion of better defensive play.

In a 52-21 loss at Oklahoma on Oct. 30, the Sooners gashed the Red Raiders for 541 yards — 469 through the air. Both were season worsts for Texas Tech, which has allowed 52 points or more in three of its league setbacks.

Matt Wells was fired on Oct. 25 after the Red Raiders coughed up an early 14-0 lead in a 25-24 loss to Kansas State. Cumbie, a former Texas Tech quarterback who was hired in the offseason as the offensive coordinator, stepped in and seemed to bring a new energy. But the lopsided loss at Oklahoma was not the step in the right direction the Red Raiders were looking for.

Starting with the Cyclones, Texas Tech closes the season against ranked opponents including Oklahoma State on Nov. 20 and at Baylor on Nov. 27. A bye week after the trip to Oklahoma was a welcome respite from a season that is dangerously close to swirling down the drain.

“I think it was important for everybody in this building to really take a step back, take a deep breath and get your feet back under you,” Cumbie said. “I think mentally and physically our guys are in a better place than they were Saturday (after the loss to Oklahoma).

“What we’re trying to do this week is establish a deep belief in yourself, a deep sense of belief in this team, and do everything with great effort and get back to our fundamentals.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Brock Purdy (15) celebrates with teammates following a touchdown during the first quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

Texas, Iowa State meet in battle of Big 12 disappointments

Texas and Iowa State, both unranked and coming off losses, will square off on Saturday evening in Ames, Iowa, in an attempt to find some sort of winning formula as the Big 12 Conference winds into its second half.

This game was once considered one of the marquee matchups of the season, back in August when the Longhorns and Cyclones were expected to battle Oklahoma for a conference championship.

But Texas (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) has lost three straight games and has stumbled to a break-even mark with the final third of its season to play. The most recent setback was a 31-24 loss at No. 16 Baylor last Saturday.

Casey Thompson passed for 280 yards and two scores for the Longhorns, who dropped their third straight game after having a double-digit lead in the third quarter. Texas rushed for just 102 yards, with star running back Bijan Robinson gaining only 43 yards on 17 totes.

Texas coach Steve Sarkisian said the Longhorns’ spirit has been good and that its focus is on this week’s game.

“Win this week — our emphasis every week is about the most important game: the next one,” Sarkisian said. “This is no different. We recognize big picture where we’re at. I think this group is connected. They’re sticking together, and that’s going to pay dividends for us.”

The Longhorns have not lost four consecutive games since their disastrous 2010 season in which they went 5-7 and finished last in the Big 12’s Southern Division.

Iowa State (5-3, 3-2) is not much better, especially after a 38-31 defeat at West Virginia last Saturday that dropped the then-No. 22 Cyclones out of the Top 25.

Breece Hall ran for 167 yards, including a 70-yard TD on Iowa State’s third play from scrimmage, in the loss and had a crucial fumble at the goal line in the fourth quarter. Brock Purdy passed for 185 yards and a score and ran for another TD for the Cyclones.

The Cyclones’ defense, which had allowed no more than 350 yards in its first seven games, surrendered 492 yards to West Virginia.

“We certainly lacked making plays out there,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said after the loss. “We’re doing a lot of really good things, but there’s things we’ve got to continue to improve on. They showed up again (Saturday). From an attitude, effort and investment standpoint, I’m really proud of our kids.”

Iowa State has defeated the Longhorns the past two seasons, winning 23-21 in Ames in 2019 and 23-20 last year in Austin.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Morgantown, West Virginia, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton (0) catches a pass for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Iowa State Cyclones at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia topples No. 22 Iowa State

Brock Prudy’s final pass fell incomplete over the back line of the end zone as time expired and unranked West Virginia stunned No. 22 Iowa State 38-31 in a Big 12 matchup on a rainy Saturday afternoon in Morgantown, W.Va.

Jarret Doege completed 30 of 46 passes for 370 yards, three scores and two interceptions for the Mountaineers (4-4, 2-3 Big 12), who gashed Iowa State for 492 yards in total offense, the most the Cyclones have given up in a game this season.

Purdy finished 16 of 27 passing for 185 yards and a touchdown and Breece Hall rushed for 167 yards — 123 coming on two big plays — and a touchdown for the Cyclones (5-3, 3-2), who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Hall, however, also had a key fumble into the end zone on Iowa State’s next-to-last drive, leaving the Cyclones trailing by a touchdown when they took over with 3:42 left.

Laddie Brown scored on a pair of 2-yard runs in topping the 100-yard mark rushing for the third time this season with 109 yards on 22 carries for West Virginia. Bryce Ford-Wheaton had two touchdown receptions for the Mountaineers among his six catches for a season-high 106 yards and Winston Wright had six receptions for 100 yards and a score.

The back-and-forth affair was tied five times until Brown’s second score with 9:25 left in the game broke a 31-31 tie.

The game was deadlocked l7-17 at the half after Iowa State’s Andrew Mevis and West Virginia’s Casey Legg swapped field goals of 34 and 31 yards, respectively, in the second quarter.

Iowa State scored two touchdowns in the third quarter with Purdy’s 1-yard run giving it a 31-24 lead. But West Virginia knotted the score 11 seconds into the final stanza on Doege’s 22-yard pass to Wright.

The Cyclones scored on two big plays in the first quarter with Hall going 70 yards on his second carry of the day and Purdy hitting Tarique Melton for a 68-yard score.

The Mountaineers countered with a pair of 75-yard drives that ended with touchdowns on Brown’s 2-yard rush and Doege’s 20-yard strike to Ford-Wheaton.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez (20) warms up before the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 8 Oklahoma State faces Iowa State as unbeaten underdog

No. 8 Oklahoma State is undefeated and has passed every test to date. But the Cowboys nevertheless are seven-point underdogs heading into Saturday afternoon’s game at Iowa State.

The spread might be more of an indictment on the style of football the Cowboys (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) have played more than anything else. Four of their six wins have been decided by eight or points or less, including last week’s 32-24 victory at Texas.

Still, the Cyclones (4-2, 2-1), fresh off a 33-20 win at Kansas State, are starting to round into the form that caused AP voters to place them No. 7 in the preseason.

“This will be a big challenge for us,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “Statistically, arguably, whatever comment you want to make, (this is) the best defense we have played or could potentially play based on what people say. They’ve been good for a number of years; they’re starting to come around, in my opinion.”

Iowa State is giving up league lows in points per game (16.3) and yards per game (251.3). Defensive end Will McDonald has forced three fumbles and recorded 5 1/2 sacks. Fellow defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike has four sacks, and linebacker Mike Rose is the top tackler on the team, averaging 7.2 per game.

And after a slow start to the season, running back Breece Hall has sprung to life with four straight 100-yard performances, including last week’s season-high 197 yards and two touchdowns.

“No. 28 (Hall) is very patient and runs a lot like Thurman Thomas used to run,” Gundy said. “He’ll wait and then hit a seam. He’s a very patient runner and productive at what he gets accomplished.”

The Cowboys bring their own offensive stars to the matchup in Ames, Iowa, with Jaylen Warren at running back (705 yards, six touchdowns) and Tay Martin at wide receiver (27 catches for 365 yards in four games), though as usual, the Cowboys will need quarterback Spencer Sanders to perform, too.

On defense, Cowboys linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez leads the Big 12 with 10 tackles per game and has forced a pair of fumbles. Oklahoma State is the second-stingiest defense in the Big 12, surrendering 307.2 yards per game.

“Very talented in the skill positions, very talented on the defensive side of the football,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “(They) have really become one of the standards on the defensive side of the football in our conference, and I think for years have been the standard on offense. (It’s a) really well-coached football team that we have a lot of respect for.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Manhattan, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back Deuce Vaughn (22) runs against Iowa State Cyclones linebacker Mike Rose (23) during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State uses balanced attack to defeat Kansas State

Breece Hall had a rushing touchdown in his 18th straight game, leading the Iowa State Cyclones to a 33-20 victory over Kansas State Saturday night in Manhattan, Kan. Hall’s mark is a Big 12 record and the fifth longest streak in FBS since 1996. Hall finished with 197 yards rushing with two touchdowns.

Brock Purdy was 22-of-25 for 208 yards and one touchdown.

The victory snapped a seven-game losing streak in Manhattan for the Cyclones (4-2, 2-1 Big 12). The two teams had split the last four meetings, with each team winning two home games. Prior to that, K-State had won nine straight games in the series and had won 15 of the last 16 games in Manhattan.

Skylar Thompson was 15-of-23 for 206 yards. He had two touchdowns and one interception for the Wildcats (3-3, 0-3 Big 12)

The game started perfectly for the Cyclones. Hall raced almost untouched for a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage. Hall found a hole in the right side of the line and was off.

Greg Eisworth intercepted Thompson giving the ball back to Iowa State. Andrew Mevis hit a 44-yard field goal to extend the lead to 10-0.

K-State converted a second-and-23 for a first down on its next possession. Thompson found Phillip Brooks for a 40-yard touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 10-7.

After K-State missed a chance to tie the score on a 33-yard field goal by Taiten Winkel, Iowa State responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive. Hall’s 1-yard run capped the drive. Mevis’ 41-yard field goal as time expired gave the Cyclones a 20-7 halftime lead.

Iowa State started the second half with an 18-play, 93-yard drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock. Purdy hit Sean Shaw in the front corner of the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown to close the drive.

Thompson ran it in from 1-yard out early in the fourth quarter, but K-State missed the extra point. Mevis then hit another 41-yard field goal for Iowa State.

Thompson hit Malik Knowles with a 9-yard touchdown with 5:05 left in the fourth quarter.

–Field Level Media

Sep 4, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats quarterback Skylar Thompson (7) throws a pass in the third quarter against the Stanford Cardinal at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas State rekindles ‘Farmageddon’ rivalry with visiting Iowa State

Iowa State and Kansas State will renew their “Farmageddon” rivalry Saturday in Manhattan, Kan., with both sides feeling refreshed following a Saturday without a game.

The Cyclones (3-2, 1-1 Big 12) will take on a Kansas State squad that has a renewed optimism after starting quarterback Skylar Thompson surprised everyone by starting the Wildcats’ game against Oklahoma Oct. 2.

K-State coach Chris Klieman said Thompson didn’t show much rust in the Oklahoma game, after missing most of the last three games with a right knee injury, and he used the bye week for some fine-tuning.

“We worked some of those guys who were nicked up, like Skylar, to get some of their timing back,” Klieman said Monday. “We worked some of our younger players, pushing those guys along. We’re going to need some guys who are freshmen or redshirt freshmen that haven’t played yet.

“The guys who have played a bunch of snaps have to get their minds and their bodies fresh too. We gave them a little bit of time off. Overall, our guys are going to come back pretty fresh.”

Klieman had said all week leading up to the Oklahoma game that it was unlikely that Thompson would see action against the Sooners, even though his recovery was progressing well. But as the starting offense trotted onto the field at the beginning of the game, Thompson went with his teammates.

All Thompson did was complete 29 of 41 passes for 320 yards and three touchdowns in a 37-31 loss to the Sooners.

Thompson’s biggest weapon likely will continue to be running back Deuce Vaughn. After being stymied the previous week against Oklahoma State, Vaughn was the team’s leading rusher and receiver, both in receptions and yards, against OU.

Through five games, he’s averaging just under 90 yards rushing per game. He’s first in receptions and second in yards per game receiving.

The Wildcats (3-2, 0-2) should get tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe back. Imatorbhebhe has only four catches this season, but his 68-yard touchdown reception against Nevada was K-State’s longest play of the season.

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell took a slightly different approach to the bye week, though rest was a big part.

“I don’t really think (we’ll see) much different,” he said. “I think our goal going into the bye week was to continue to do what we’ve done during the first five weeks. That’s to just get better each day. I thought we had some really good practices throughout the week.”

The Cyclones’ offense revolves around quarterback Brock Purdy. He’s completing better than 70 percent of his passes for 226.6 yards per game. His favorite receiver, in catches and yards, is Xavier Hutchinson. Running back Breece Hall leads the Cyclones with 110.2 rushing yards per game.

The two teams have split the last four meetings, with each team winning two home games. Prior to that, K-State had won 10 straight games in the series. The Wildcats have won 15 of the last 16 games in Manhattan. That leaves the all-time series at 51-49-4 in favor of Iowa State.

— Field Level Media