Iowa State Cyclones

TCU 17, Iowa State 14: Last-minute field goal sinks Cyclones

TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Shawn Robinson runs for a first down against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Forth Worth, Texas, on Saturday. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Shawn Robinson runs for a first down against the Iowa State Cyclones at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Forth Worth, Texas, on Saturday. (Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports)
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FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU’s Jonathan Song kicked a 28-yard field goal with 37 seconds left, enabling the Horned Frogs to escape with a 17-14 victory over Iowa State Saturday night.

ISU may also have lost running back David Montgomery to an injury.

Defense and turnovers ruled the Big 12 game.

The game was tied in the final minute largely because TCU scored on a sack and fumble recovery less than a minute into the second half.

For that matter, the Cyclones wouldn’t have been in the game at all if not for their three takeaways. One set up a 22-yard touchdown drive and two others stopped TCU drives in the red zone.

Iowa State’s game-tying touchdown drive was legit. On 11 plays, the Cyclones gained 83 of their 198-yard total for the game. Montgomery carried eight times for 51 yards, including the 1-yard TD. Quarterback Zeb Noland converted a third-and-25 by scrambling for a 28-yard gain.

“My most pride is how Zeb responded and gave us a chance to go right down the football field,” Cyclones coach Matt Campbell said.

Montgomery left the game on ISU’s next possession because of an apparent arm injury. He still finished with 21 carries for 101 yards. The junior became the 15th Cyclone to exceed 2,000 yards rushing.

“One thing I am a little concerned about is David,” Campbell said. “It looks like in his arm.”

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Without Montgomery, Iowa State was forced to punt. The Horned Frogs took over at the Cyclones’ 46 and used up 36 yards and most of the clock to set up the winning field goal.

The defeat dropped ISU to 1-3 and an 0-2 start in the Big 12. TCU snapped a two-game losing streak to improve to 3-2, 1-1 in the conference.

“Again, there was a lot of growth and a lot of improvement in areas that we need to improve in,” Campbell said.

The most obvious area is the offense.

Noland, who completed 69 percent of his passes in the first three games, was just 14 for 28 for 79 yards.

“(TCU’s) fast,” Noland said. “We gotta execute better on offense and do a better job from me delivering the ball.”

Perhaps Campbell hoped he could jump-start the offense by being aggressive in play calling on Iowa State’s first possession, going for a first down on fourth-and-4 at the TCU 43. Noland’s pass went over Deshaunte Jones’s head and off his outstretched hand.

On the next possession, with similar field position, Campbell chose to punt.

Iowa State forced the game’s first turnover early in the second quarter when Will McDonald sacked TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson and forced a fumble. JaQuan Bailey finally corralled the ball at the Frogs’ 22 for a 28-yard loss.

Four plays later, Noland rolled to his right and passed to redshirt freshman Charlie Kolar in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown. It was the first TD by a Cyclones tight end since E.J. Bibbs scored against Texas Tech on Nov. 22, 2014.

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The Frogs tied the game 7-7 with an 83-yard drive. Robinson passed to Taye Barber behind the line of scrimmage, and he eluded tacklers to reach the end zone from 10 yards out.

TCU broke that tie on the Cyclones’ second play after the second-half kickoff. Noland dropped back to pass. Blitzing safety Innis Gaines knocked the ball out of his throwing hand, and Ben Banogu took the ball 47 yards for a touchdown.

O’Rien Vance recovered a third-quarter fumble at ISU’s 9 yard line, and in the fourth quarter Braxton Lewis intercepted a pass at the 3.

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