3:30 PM ET, October 29, 2005
Kyle Field, COLLEGE STATION, TX
COLLEGE STATION, Texas (AP) -- Todd Blythe was so good against Texas A&M on Saturday, he was making touchdown catches with one hand.
The Iowa State sophomore set a school record with four touchdown receptions to lead the Cyclones' 42-14 rout of the Aggies. Blythe caught a career-high eight passes for 214 yards, the second highest single-game mark by an Iowa State receiver. His four TD catches was also a record for a Texas A&M opponent.
"I've been waiting for a day like that," said Blythe, who caught four passes in last week's 37-10 win over Oklahoma State. "Last week really helped in getting my confidence back. Obviously, this game did too."
His best highlight came early.
The Cyclones drove to the Aggies' 9-yard line in the first quarter when Bret Meyer lofted a pass to Blythe in the corner of the end zone. With his right hand pushing away cornerback Brock Newton, Blythe pulled down the ball in his left, foreshadowing the way the Cyclones toyed with the Aggies' defense all day.
"I didn't think he caught it at first," said Meyer. "I'm sure it will look good on film."
Meyer went 20-of-32 for 371 yards and four touchdowns, and Stevie Hicks rushed for 122 yards and two more scores as the Cyclones (5-3, 2-3 Big 12) beat the Aggies for the first time in eight meetings.
Iowa State has won two in a row after three straight league losses, two of them in overtime. The Cyclones were in a similar spot last season, losing their first three conference games before reeling off four straight victories.
"This time of year, you either get better or get worse," said Iowa State coach Dan McCarney. "This football team is getting better."
Texas A&M (5-3, 3-2), meanwhile, had a five-game home winning streak snapped and suffered its worst defeat at Kyle Field since a 46-15 loss to Texas in 2003.
It certainly wasn't the way the Aggies wanted to head into a rugged November that features road trips to Texas Tech and Oklahoma and a season finale with Texas.
"We can't dwell on today," said senior linebacker Archie McDaniel. "It's something we've got to get through, we've got to live with."
The Cyclones manhandled A&M's league-worst defense all day, piling up 549 yards and converting 11 of 18 third downs. The yardage total was the second-highest on the road in Iowa State history.
"This was a great day for Iowa State," said McCarney. "We left no doubt who the better team was."
Hicks started the Cyclones' first drive with a 10-yard run, and Blythe capped the march with his nifty catch.
The Aggies got more than half their rushing yards on Courtney Lewis' 73-yard touchdown run with 1:27 left in the opening quarter. The run by Lewis was the longest against Iowa State this season and Lewis' longest run since an 86-yard dash against Baylor in 2003.
Meyer, meanwhile, shredded A&M's secondary from the start, completing 13 of his first 19 passes. He threw a 23-yarder to Austin Flynn to give the Cyclones a first-and-goal at the A&M 3, and Hicks scored two plays later, his first TD since the season opener against Illinois State.
Facing third-and-20 on the Cyclones' first drive of the second half, Meyer scrambled 21 yards to spark another touchdown march. On another third down, Meyer scrambled to his right and lofted a pass to Blythe, who shed a tackler and sprinted for a 53-yard touchdown.
"We just did not seem to have enough answers for anything they did," said A&M coach Dennis Franchione.
Hicks went over 100 yards rushing on the Cyclones' next drive. Meyer found Walter Nickel for a 24-yard gain on third-and-3, then hit Blythe in the corner of the end zone with 4:12 left in the third quarter.
McDaniel said the Aggies prepared for everything they saw from the Cyclones on Saturday -- it only looked like they didn't.
"We just didn't show up today. That's all there is to it," said McDaniel.
Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal, erratic all day, drove the Aggies inside the Iowa State 5 and even then, it seemed like A&M would find a way to come away with nothing. The Aggies were called for offensive pass interference in the end zone and McNeal was sacked, bringing up third down. McNeal salvaged the drive by zipping a pass to Jason Carter just across the goal line to make it 28-14.
The maroon-clad crowd of 86,172 -- the fifth largest in Kyle Field history -- desperately tried to rally the Aggies, but Meyer silenced them again and sent the first wave of fans to the exits with a 63-yard TD pass to Blythe down the sideline. The pass play was the longest of the season for Iowa State, surpassing the 53-yarder from the third quarter.
Lewis fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and Hicks scored four plays later.
The Aggies had rushed for 635 yards in their last two games but were held to 126 against the nation's 20th-best rushing defense.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||11-18||5-14|
|4th Down Conversions||2-2||1-2|
|TD||7:45||TODD BLYTHE 9 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||1:27||COURTNEY LEWIS 73 YD RUN (TODD PEGRAM KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 83 yards.
|TD||4:24||STEVIE HICKS 2 YD RUN (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||10:52||TODD BLYTHE 53 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 75 yards.
|TD||4:12||TODD BLYTHE 19 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 84 yards.
|TD||13:49||JASON CARTER 9 YD PASS FROM REGGIE MCNEAL (TODD PEGRAM KICK)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||11:31||TODD BLYTHE 63 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 81 yards.
|TD||9:39||STEVIE HICKS 5 YD RUN (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 19 yards.