This game is on the list because I remember it as one of the craziest finishes to a Kansas State football game maybe that I’ve ever seen. And the unlikely comeback by Kansas State forced the Iowa State administration to fire head coach Paul Rhoads after the game!
Here are some highlights I found, but the video doesn’t tell the whole story:
K-State trailed 35-14 at halftime and 35-21 going into the 4th quarter. K-State got within a touchdown early in the 3rd quarter but had trouble moving the ball after that. K-State turned the ball over on downs with one minute and 31 seconds left in the game down seven points. All Iowa State really had to do was kneel on the ball three times and punt it back to K-State with very little time remaining. Since the K-State offense was sputtering, it didn’t seem likely that they were going to be able to get anything done with that little time left on the clock.
So my Dad, my son and I decided to head for the exits and try to beat the traffic heading home from the stadium. This one was over. All Iowa State had to do was kneel three times. I remember the roar of the stadium crowd as I was walking up the stadium stairs and I turned around to see that Iowa State decided to run a play and Will Geary had forced a fumble and Elijah Lee had recovered the ball at midfield! The aisles were full of people that were leaving but were now trying to scramble to get back to their seats or take the nearest seat available to them. We ended up sitting in three open seats on the top row of the lower bowl to watch the remainder of the game.
A 42 yard pass to Andre Davis, a Joe Hubener five yard run followed by a Joe Hubener three yard run and a Charles Jones five yard touchdown run later and the game was tied at 35. K-State kicked off and Iowa State started the possession at their own 25 yard line with 42 seconds left. Instead of kneeling and playing for overtime, Rhodes decided to try to move the ball down the field. They ran a play and gained four yards on first down. On the second play of the drive, Marquel Bryant forced Iowa State quarterback Joel Lanning to fumble and it was recovered by Charmeachealle Moore. Then Jack Cantele kicked a 42 yard game winning field goal. K-State won the game in one of the unlikeliest comebacks I’ve ever seen!
It seems like Bill Snyder always had Iowa State’s number like this. A lot of the K-State/Iowa State games were close games that K-State would somehow pull out in the end. I sure hope this trend continues into the Klieman era!