LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Kyle Kempt threw three touchdown passes and Iowa State dumped Texas Tech 31-13 on Saturday.
Texas Tech coach and chief offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury broke away from his offensive trends and the Cyclones made him pay.
Iowa State (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) remained in the midseason chase for the conference’s new championship game. Five league teams began play on Saturday with 2-1 records and trailed TCU by a game in the standings.
Texas Tech (4-3, 1-3) fell back the championship game hunt last week after blowing an 18-point lead at West Virginia and faced an 18-point halftime deficit of its own against the Cyclones.
The nation’s seventh-most productive offense through eight weeks bucked its passing trend through the first half and ran 22 rushing plays against 9 of 11 passing by Nic Shimonek for 18 yards.
Running backs Justin Stockton and Desmond Nisby fumbled on back-to-back offensive plays and on the wrong side of midfield in the first half. Iowa State converted the turnovers — recovered by D’Andre Payne and Mike Warren — into 10 points on a 22-yard field goal by Garrett Owens and a 4-yard touchdown grab by Matthew Eaton, who caught a 3-yard score later in the half for a 24-6 lead at the break.
Shimonek ultimately completed 31 of 40 passes for 207 yards with an interception as Texas Tech tried to claw back into the mix. The Red Raiders ran the ball 41 times through the game’s course and amassed 336 total yards, well below their average of 543 yards.
Cyclones signal caller Kempt threw three touchdown passes with an interception and completed 22 of 32 attempts.
Iowa State didn’t score in the second half until the 9:07 mark of the fourth quarter, but Michael Spears’ pick-6 of 61 yards was a backbreaker against a squad which dominated second-half time of possession and managed to get back within 11 points on Shimonek’s 2-yard scramble.
One key issue for Texas Tech reared its head once again to spoil the squad’s homecoming game with the Heisman Trophy in house. Matthew Cluck missed a 34-yard field goal one week removed from kicker Michael Barden missing three tries.
A third kicker, Michael Ewton, missed an extra-point kick. That allowed the Cyclones to erase Nisby’s opening touchdown on Texas Tech’s first possession with a 13-yard reception from Allen Lazard and PAT by Owens.
Iowa State: The Cyclones, who might elevate into the Top 25 after receiving 28 votes in the Week 8 poll, return home to host No. 4 TCU.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders travel and have a primetime date with former teammate Baker Mayfield, who guides No. 9 Oklahoma offense.
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)