Iowa State offense shines in win over Texas Tech

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Running back Alexander Robinson breaks free for a 65-yard run. Robinson finished with 103 yards and one touchdown.

David Merrill

Iowa State’s 52-38 victory over Texas Tech is just one game, but it was one that produced plenty of milestones.

It was also a game the Cyclones were ready for.

“We had a pregame meal at 2 o’clock. Our team was there eight minutes early ready to eat,” said coach Paul Rhoads. “We were ready to play.”

Iowa State’s 52 points were the most ever scored against a Big 12 opponent. It was also the first time a Cyclone team scored at least 50 points against any opponent since 2002 against Tennessee Tech.

Jeremy Reeves put the Cyclones’ final touchdown on the board with a 42-yard return of an onside kick attempt, the first kick returned for a touchdown for the Cyclones since Troy Davis did it in the season finale in 1994.

The two teams combined for 949 yards of total offense.

Running back Alexander Robinson had 12 carries for 103 yards while Shontrelle Johnson carried the ball 12 times for 102 yards.

“It was definitely good to get things going,” Robinson said of the running game. “It was good to get in a little bit of a rhythm.”

Both Robinson and Johnson had runs of 60-plus yards, but Johnson’s 61-yard run with 13:17 left in the fourth quarter gave the Cyclones a 38-24 lead and the momentum they needed.

“Coach always talked about pressing the line,” Johnson said. “I listened to him, finally. I listened to him and trusted my speed, and the offensive line had great blocking downfield.”

Reeves’ kick return for a touchdown provided another spark when he returned Texas Tech’s onside kick late in the fourth quarter, pushing the Cyclones over the 50-point mark.

The return was also only the second kick return for a touchdown in the history of Jack Trice Stadium.

When Texas Tech tied the game at 24 in the third quarter, sophomore linebacker A.J. Klein felt he and his teammates kept their composure, enabling the Cyclones to go on and win the game.

“We just got to stay level-headed,” Klein said. “We thought of the game as zero-zero again, just starting from the beginning and getting the ball back to our offense who was producing tonight.”

After the offense only put up 13 points last week against Northern Iowa, quarterback Austen Arnaud gave the running game some help.

He threw four touchdowns to four different receivers and finished with 190 yards on 20-of-28 passing.

Collin Franklin led the way with 68 yards on six receptions while also getting his first touchdown catch of the year. Darius Reynolds, Josh Lenz and Kurt Hammerschmidt also each caught a touchdown pass on the night, each being their first of the season.

Arnaud was quick to shine the spotlight on his teammates.

“It’s good to do, but you have to give the credit to the receivers,” Arnaud said of his four-touchdown performance. “If I didn’t have any receivers, no one would catch the ball. I’m glad those other guys had a great night tonight.”

While Taylor Potts and Texas Tech didn’t go down without a fight — Potts went 42-of-62 with 377 yards — Rhoads was happy to see his team play well, especially the offense.

“I think the passing game opened up the running game,” Rhoads said. “We threw the ball effectively, and we threw the ball downfield. That opened up the running game, and the kids took advantage of it.”