AMES, Iowa -- For weeks, Iowa State had quietly been improving.
It all came together on Saturday for the Cyclones, who pummeled Texas Tech in one of the most stunning victories in school history -- and left the Red Raiders wondering about their own future.
"Nothing surprises me with our team. I think we've got a chance to do great things here," coach Matt Campbell said.
Campbell might have been the only one in the stadium not shocked by the Cyclones.
Lanning ran for 171 yards for Iowa State (3-8, 2-6 Big 12), which scored its most points since beating Colorado State 69-0 in 1980.
The Cyclones entered play as a slight underdog, only to overwhelm the Red Raiders with a 45-3 halftime lead and set a school record for points in a Big 12 game.
Iowa State scored touchdowns on five consecutive first-half possessions -- a stretch capped by Kamari Cotton-Moya's 48-yard interception return -- and racked up a program-best 31 points in the second quarter.
Pat Mahomes had 219 yards passing for Tech (4-7, 2-6), which is guaranteed to finish with a losing record for the second time in four years under coach Kliff Kingsbury.
"All I can do is apologize. It's very disappointing. The program is disappointed. The players, the coaches. It's not acceptable to play like that and represent the university that way," Kingsbury said.
Texas Tech: This was arguably the low point of Kingsbury's tenure, which also includes an 82-27 loss to TCU in 2014. It was hard to believe that a team that came within a point of No. 13 Oklahoma State on the road last week could look as bad as the Red Raiders did. "We just did not show up at all," Kingsbury said.
Iowa State: For a fan base that's been searching for hope for over a decade, Saturday's performance was like a dream come true. Everything the Cyclones did worked -- and the result was perhaps the most dominant conference game the program has ever played. Iowa State still has a ways to go, but beating Tech by 56 points might buy Campbell an entire offseason of good will.
Lanning had ceded the starting job to Park weeks ago. But the Cyclones still use him in rushing packages -- and the junior showed why against Texas Tech's porous rush defense. Lanning was the first Iowa State player to run for five touchdowns since Troy Davis did it in 1996 against then-Division 1-AA Northern Iowa. "We were just on with everything," Lanning said. "It brings you back up a bit after being through a rough season."
The Red Raiders entered play ranked third in the nation with 46 points a game. Against Iowa State, Tech had just 306 yards and was 4 of 14 on third down. It was a performance so bad that Kingsbury, who has a hefty buyout, was peppered with questions about his job status after the game. "I really don't harp on that...I've been trying to win these last two games. That's it," Kingsbury said.
Texas Tech will travel to AT&T Stadium in Arlington for a neutral site game against Baylor next Saturday. Given the direction both programs are headed, it's hard to imagine many folks will be excited for that one.
Iowa State concludes coach Matt Campbell's first season by hosting West Virginia next week. It'll be a trip that suddenly looks a lot more dangerous for the Mountaineers.
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