Iowa State swamps undermanned TCU

TCU wasn't at full strength, but Paul Rhoads didn't take very long to get his first win over a ranked opponent in 2012. He did it on the road in 2009 (Nebraska) and 2010 (Texas); last season, No. 2 Oklahoma State played victim. This time, it was a 37-23 victory over TCU, thanks to a strong start from Jared Barnett, selected to move in front of Steele Jantz. Barnett connected on two long touchdown passes in the first quarter and finished with 183 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 12-of-21 passing.

It was over when: Iowa State defensive lineman David Irving deflected a pass with his face ... and caught it anyway. The 262-pounder caught the ball off his facemask and raced 21 yards for a touchdown to put Iowa State up two touchdowns with 7 minutes, 51 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Game ball goes to: Receiver Josh Lenz. The Bifocal was in full focus on Saturday, hauling in touchdown passes of 1, 51 and 74 yards to pace the Iowa State offense. He wasn't done. He later threw a 15-yard touchdown pass. More on that later ...

Stat of the game: TCU lost the turnover battle, 5-1, and two came inside the Iowa State 5-yard line, TCU's seventh and eighth turnovers in the red zone this season. Another was returned for a touchdown. Playing without Casey Pachall, the Frogs couldn't afford mistakes like that.

Best call: Facing a second-and-10 on the TCU 15-yard line, Iowa State ran a flawless reverse pass, finished off by Lenz, who found a wide-open Ernst Brun Jr. for the touchdown that put Iowa State ahead, 30-20. A field goal in that situation would have kept it a one-possession game, but the well-executed trick play wouldn't allow it.

What it means: TCU might need to brace for a long season. Iowa State looked like the better team on the field by far, and to this point, the Cyclones had looked like the ninth-best team in the Big 12. Iowa State's defense continues to be underrated around the league, but it frustrated Trevone Boykin for much of the day. Boykin, starting in place of Pachall, who was suspended indefinitely after a drunk-driving arrest Wednesday, finished with 270 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions on 23-of-40 passing. The Frogs badly missed Pachall, and never established a running game without Waymon James, who's out for the season with a knee injury. Meanwhile, Iowa State went on the road and got yet another victory over a top-15 team under Rhoads. He seems to make a habit of that.