Iowa State's Jace Gilbert missed a 37-yard field goal attempt with 32 seconds remaining, allowing Kansas to hang on and win 14-11 to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2009.
Behind a series of defensive stops, the Jayhawks jumped out to a 14-0 lead midway through the second quarter and had complete control of the game.
KU’s first touchdown at the 11:30 mark of the second quarter broke a scoreless tie, and the defense then did its part to aid in the scoring.
Cobee Bryant’s leaping interception of a Hunter Dekkers pass set up the Jayhawks deep in Iowa State territory and KU quarterback Jalon Daniels picked up his first touchdown of the day a few plays later.
KU led 14-8 at halftime and continued to watch its offense stall in the third quarter. The Cyclones cut the KU lead to 14-11 late in the third quarter and went looking for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth.
View a gallery of images from Saturday's game between the Kansas Jayhawks and Iowa State Cyclones.
After KU elected to punt on two fourth down tries in its previous two drives, the Cyclones converted two fourth downs on their drive but came up empty when kicker Jace Gilbert hit the right upright on a 45-yard field goal try that missed. Earlier in the game, Gilbert hit the right upright on the other end of the field.
Kansas took over from there but went three-and-out and punted. The punt was muffed by the Iowa State return man and KU's Torry Locklin recovered it at the ISU 29, giving the Jayhawks a golden opportunity to pick up points for the first time since the 5:25 mark of the second quarter.
Two plays later, however, Daniel Hishaw fumbled while fighting for yardage on a 9-yard loss, giving the ball back to the Cyclones at their own 42-yard line with 9:05 to play.
That set the stage for the wild finish.
KU's offense never did get back on track, but the Kansas defense held when it needed to and the celebration started when Iowa State's effort to tie the game with a field goal with 32 seconds to play missed left. It was the third missed field goal of the day for Gilbert.
KU still had to kneel to officially kill the clock, but that was merely a formality and did nothing to push pause on the celebration that was under way.
Next up, KU will place host to TCU next weekend, looking to move to 6-0 and to clinch bowl eligibility.
Stay tuned to KUsports.com for much more from this one...
11:30 – Daniel Hishaw Jr. 4-yard run. Jacob Borcila kick.
The Jayhawks were the first team on the board in this one, driving 79 yards in seven plays and 3:59 to put up the day’s first points. The drive featured a completed pass by back-up QB Jason Bean, a pass interference call on Iowa State and a perfect option pitch from Jalon Daniels to Devin Neal, who rumbled for 30 yards to set up the TD. (KU 7, ISU 0).
5:25 – Jalon Daniels 2-yard run. Borcila kick. KU cornerback Cobee Bryant’s interception on the previous drive gave the Jayhawks a short field and KU punched it into the end zone in four plays from there. The drive covered 19 yards in 2:31 and featured a Daniels completion to Quentin Skinner for 10 yards on first down to set up a first-and-goal opportunity. (KU 14, ISU 0).
2:51 – Easton Dean 9-yard reception from Hunter Dekkers. Blake Clark 2-point conversion run. After falling behind by two scores for the first time, the Cyclones responded with a six-play, 75-yard scoring drive that took 2:34. The drive featured a pass interference call on KU’s Bryant and a 53-yard pass from Dekkers to Dimitri Stanley to set up the touchdown. (KU 14, ISU 8).
5:27 – 35-yard field goal by Jace Gilbert. After Iowa State held the Jayhawks on the opening series of the second half, the visitors marched 62 yards in 12 plays to cut into the KU lead with a field goal. Iowa State nearly got more on the drive, but a big hit by KU’s Kenny Logan Jr. on wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson in the end zone knocked the ball loose and prevented a touchdown. (KU 14, ISU 11).