Texas Tech scores final 17 points to beat ISU
AMES — Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege weathered the storm.
His Iowa State counterpart, Steele Jantz, didn’t.
And in a defense-driven Big 12 Conference matchup Saturday, the more resilient playcaller won.
Doege rebounded from two first-half interceptions — including a record-setting pick six by Cyclone linebacker A.J. Klein, and threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns as the Red Raiders sent 54,149 fans home from Jack Trice Stadium shaking their heads over a 24-13 loss.
“He never got rattled at all,” Cyclone nose guard Jake McDonough said. “He stayed the course and did what he needed to do.”
ISU (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) led 13-7 after Ernst Brun caught a four-yard touchdown pass from Jantz with 4:26 left in the third quarter.
It was the Cyclones’ first and only offensive score of the game.
Kicker Edwin Arceo missed the extra point — his second errant PAT boot this season — and the Red Raiders (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) scored the game’s final 17 points to secure the hard-nosed triumph.
Tech snapped a two-game skid to the Cyclones, which included a 41-7 rout last season at Lubbock.
ISU has not won a conference home opener since 2002 and saw hopes for its first 4-0 overall start in 12 years dashed by second-half turnovers and a grinding Red Raiders’ attack.
Jantz threw three interceptions and lost a key fumble early in the fourth quarter as ISU was driving past midfield down 14-13.
He ended up 10-of-20 passing for 73 yards and was sacked four times.
“Steele Jantz is not the one to blame for this single loss,” Cyclone coach Paul Rhoads said. “Obviously, Steele Jantz contributed to it.”
Doege ended up 30-of-46 through the air with touchdown passes to Jakeem Grant, Darrin Moore and Eric Ward. Ryan Bustin added a 34-yard field goal to complete the game’s scoring.
Tech ran 77 offensive plays to the Cyclones’ 58.
“It’s tough when we’re on the field as much as we were,” McDonough said. “But that’s the name of the game. We have to show up to play and we’ve got to stop them when we need to stop them.”
The Red Raiders outgained the Cyclones 395 yards to 189 — and proved their No. 1 national ranking in total defense isn’t based solely on playing teams such as Texas State, Northwestern State and New Mexico.
But ISU’s defense dominated early.
Tech punted as many times in the games first eight minutes (twice) as it had all season and struggled to counter well-timed blitzes and the Cyclones’ surging defensive front.
Cleyon Laing clubbed Doege’s cocked arm in the first quarter for a fumble, but the Red Raiders recovered.
Roosevelt Maggitt contributed two of ISU’s three sacks. Laing had the other.
“Two fantastic defensive efforts — by our kids and Texas Tech,” Rhoads said.
ISU’s signature play came from Klein, who notched his team record fourth interception return for touchdown to put his team ahead 7-0 with 1:42 left in the first quarter.
Klein rambled 87 yards to create positive momentum — and tie an NCAA record in the category for linebackers.
Texas Christian on the road.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at Fort Worth.
The Cyclones and No. 15 Horned Frogs (4-0) last met in the 2005 Houston Bowl.
TCU won that game 27-24 — and owns the nation’s longest winning streak of 12 games.“We’re going to get better,” McDonough said. “We’re going to find out what we did wrong and improve on it.”