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October 6, 2012A change at quarterback and decisively flipping the turnover ledger combined to carry Iowa State to a 37-23 win at no. 15 TCU Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. The victory improved ISU's record to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the Big 12. The Cyclones host another ranked conference foe - Kansas State - next week.
Iowa State's win at TCU was the program's first over a top 15 team on the road since the 1977 win at Nebraska. It also ended the Horned Frogs' nation's longest winning streak at 12 games. And it was the first Cyclone victory over TCU in four tries, avenging two previous regular season losses plus the 2005 Houston Bowl setback.
In a game that had all the earmarks of a defensive battle coming in, both offenses moved the ball and scored points throughout the day.
But even though Iowa State gave up 455 yards to an offense being operated by a no. 2 quarterback, the Cyclone stoppers came up with two forced takeaways inside their own five-yard line and also got a game-clinching pick six interception from an unlikely source.
With Iowa State leading 30-23, sophomore defensive end David Irving batted a pass in the air, tracked it in the air and snagged it, racing 20 yards for a touchdown with 7:51 to play in the ball game.
On TCU's ensuing drive, senior linebacker Jake Knott stepped into a slant route pass on fourth-and-goal from the ISU three, once-and-for-all sealing the win for Iowa State.
I-State, -6 on turnover margin in their first four games combined, was +4 in the victory at TCU.
The Cyclones never trailed and kept the 15th-ranked Horned Frogs at bay throughout the afternoon. Sophomore quarterback Jared Barnett, starting for the first time this season, connected with senior wide receiver Josh Lenz on a 51-yard touchdown pass just over a minute into the game that staked I-State to an early 7-0 lead.
After a Jacques Washington interception on Texas Christian's first offensive series, the Cyclones scored again on their second possession with junior Edwin Arceo connecting on a 46-yard field goal. Iowa State led, 10-0, with 9:38 still to play in the first quarter.
TCU got on the board with 1:50 to go in the first half as running back Aundre Dean scampered seven yards with an option pitch to make it 10-7. But the Cyclones were in the end zone again just 43 seconds later as Barnett connected with Lenz on a 74-yard touchdown pass. Arceo missed the PAT and Iowa State led, 16-7, after one quarter.
A forced fumble by senior cornerback Jeremy Reeves, recovered by senior safety Durrell Givens at the ISU three-yard-line, was the second quarter highlight for Iowa State. The ISU offense managed just 12 net yards in the second quarter. A TCU field goal was the only scoring in the quarter and Iowa State led, 16-10, at halftime.
The Cyclone defense forced a three-and-out on TCU's possession to open the third quarter and then the Iowa State offense got untracked again. An 80-yard drive highlighted by a 33-yard run by senior receiver Aaron Horne and a 23-yard burst by junior running James White ended with the third TD pass of the day from Barnett-to-Lenz. The one-yard slant gave I-State a 23-10 with 10:24 to go in the third quarter. But TCU responded with 10 straight points and the Cyclones' lead was trimmed to 23-20 going into the fourth quarter.
A 10-play, 75-yard Iowa State drive that was aided by two TCU personal foul penalties ended with a gadget play for six. On a reverse, Lenz threw to wide open junior tight end Ernst Brun on a 2nd-and-10 from the TCU 15. Iowa State's lead was 30-20 with 13:33 to play in the game.
TCU responded with a 39-yard field goal and had the ball back when Irving came up with the biggest play of his young Cyclone career. The 6-foot-7 Irving managed to get two hands up while engaged with a blocking tackle, deflecting the ball and then catching it and galloping untouched for the big defensive TD.
Barnett completed 12-of-21 passes for 183 yards with three TDs and one INT and also rushed for 30 yards. Lenz had five catches for 147 yards and three scores, plus the TD pass. White was ISU's leading rusher with 53 yards on 11 carries. The Cyclones finished with 350 total yards on the day on a modest 57 total snaps. TCU had a big advantage in time of possession, running 26 more plays than Iowa State while holding the ball for nearly 36 out of 60 minutes.
But Iowa State's defense was opportunistic enough when it had to be. Knott led the team with 13 tackles and fellow senior linebacker A.J. Klein had nine. Senior nose guard Jake McDonough had seven tackles, including two sacks. ISU totaled four sacks on the day. I-State had three passes broken up in addition to the three picks for a total of six passes defended.
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