AMES, Iowa (AP) — With a chance to finish off the surprisingly tough Jayhawks, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell put the game in sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy’s hands.
Purdy made Campbell look like a genius, closing the door on Kansas with a fourth-down touchdown pass with 1:09 left.
Purdy threw for 372 yards and four TDs — including the game-clinching one on fourth-and-goal from the 4 — and Iowa State rallied to beat Kansas 41-31 on Saturday and clinch its third straight winning season.
“Like I told our seniors, it was fitting that guts, toughness (and) heart was the way we were able to win,” Campbell said. “We didn't play great. I'm not going to sugarcoat that in any way, shape or form.”
La’Michael Pettway had 96 yards receiving and two touchdowns for the Cyclones (7-4, 5-3 Big 12), who’ve now complied three consecutive winning years just twice in the modern era. Iowa State, under coach Earle Bruce, won eight games each in 1976, 1977 and 1978 before Bruce bolted for Ohio State.
But the Cyclones nearly blew it against the league’s last-place team.
Kansas (3-8, 1-7) scored two touchdowns in just 77 seconds late in the third quarter, the second coming after Purdy threw an interception, to jump ahead 24-21.
Purdy responded with a 24-yard TD pass to Breece Hall, and he ran for a five-yard touchdown with 5:10 left to put Iowa State back on top 34-31.
After stopping Kansas on fourth down at the Iowa State 37, the Cyclones could have either kicked the chip-shot field goal and made it a six-point game — with Kansas out of timeouts — or go for it all.
Campbell went for the kill, and Purdy scrambled away from danger until Shaw could get open for the score that sealed Iowa State’s fifth straight win over Kansas, a 24-point underdog entering play.
“They made one more play than we did, certainly at the end,” Kansas coach Les Miles said.
Carter Stanley threw for 328 yards and three TDs for Kansas, and Pooka Williams ran for 154 yards.
“Sick, frustrated,” Williams said of the vibe in the KU locker room. “But I feel like we have a chance...against every team we play.”