May 26, 2024

No. 22 Kansas holds off Iowa State 28-21 to reach 7-win mark for first time since 2008

Kansas quarterback Jason Bean (9) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State, Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

By ANDREW LOGUE Associated Press
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Jason Bean passed for 287 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown to Lawrence Arnold after Iowa State pulled within three points in the fourth quarter, and the No. 22 Jayhawks held off the Cyclones for a 28-21 victory Saturday night.
The Jayhawks (7-2, 4-2 Big 12) won consecutive conference games for the first time since 2008. They also reached the seven-win benchmark and won in Ames for the first time since that ’08 season.
“This is a great college environment,” Bean said of Iowa State’s Jack Trice Stadium. “It’s a tough environment for any team to come in and play.”
Iowa State (5-4, 4-2) began the day in a five-way tie for first place in the Big 12, but the Cyclones’ comeback bid came up short after they trailed 21-3 with 9:24 left in the third quarter.
“We never put our head down,” Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht said. “We kept fighting. That’s what I love about this team.”
Bean completed 14 of 23 passes, his biggest one to Arnold giving Kansas a 10-point cushion right after Iowa State had scored to make it 21-18. Arnold got behind the secondary to make the catch at the 50 and ran the rest of the way untouched.
“It was a play we worked on all week,” Bean said. “I felt like all game we were baiting them to come down low enough to get past them on that play. I delivered the ball to (Arnold) and he did the rest.”
A field goal got the Cyclones within 28-21 with 4:53 left. The Jayhawks were able to pick up two first downs on their final possession to run out the clock.
“We don’t get too high. We don’t get too low,” said Arnold, who finished with 112 yards on three catches. “It was just keeping your composure and making sure we did what we had to.”
Kansas’ Devin Neal scored the first of his two touchdowns on the game’s opening series, capping a nine-play, 87-yard drive.
Mello Dotson returned an interception 50 yards for Kansas’ second touchdown, and his second pick-six in two games. The Jayhawks missed two field goals before Iowa State trimmed the margin to 14-3 on Chase Contreraz’s 35-yard kick before halftime.
Neal’s second touchdown completed a 75-yard drive to start the third quarter and gave Kansas a 21-3 lead.
“I feel like it was a lack of detail on our part,” Cyclone receiver Jaylin Noel said of Iowa State’s slow start. “Just little things. Jumping offsides, holding personal fouls. It’s hard to win when you get those type of penalties.”
POLL IMPLICATIONS
The first two times Kansas was in the Top 25 this season, it lost its next game. The Jayhawks should stay in the rankings a second straight week.
INJURY REPORT
Kansas’ Dotson appeared woozy after hitting his head while making a diving tackle of Dimitri Stanley with 10 seconds left in the first half. Athletic trainers tended to Dotson on the field for a few minutes, but he was able to walk off the field on his own.
Bean grabbed the back of his left leg after ISU’s Will McLaughlin hit him low after he threw a pass in the second half. No. 3 quarterback Cole Ballard came on to take one snap.
NOT GAINING ON THE GROUND
Iowa State’s defense neutralized the top running back duo in the Power Five. Neal and Daniel Hishaw came into Saturday with a combined 1,259 rushing yards on the season but netted a combined 86 yards on 30 carries. Neal ended up with 57 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
UP NEXT
Kansas hosts Texas Tech on Saturday.
Iowa State visits BYU on Saturday.