MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- With a thrilling comeback, Iowa State is
a win away from a surprising championship.
Iowa State trailed the Wildcats by two touchdowns early in the
fourth quarter, but freshman Bret Meyer ran for one score and threw
for another in a 28-0 run that gave the Cyclones a 37-23 victory
"When you are down, you can only dream about things like
this," Meyer said. "You just keep believing, keep playing
together, and good things will happen."
Iowa State, which scored three times in the final 3½ minutes,
broke a 10-year losing streak against Kansas State and spoiled
Darren Sproles' 167-yard effort in his last game for the Wildcats.
"I'm not really mad. I'm just hurt," said Sproles, who entered
the season on the Heisman short list but has only broken 100 yards
five times this season. "We had that team, but we lost. We just
The Cyclones (6-4, 4-3 Big 12) became bowl-eligible for the
fourth time in five years and will win their first North Division
title if they can beat Missouri next week in their regular-season
finale. Their four-game conference winning streak is their first
The Cyclones had lost 13 straight conference games before
starting their winning streak and putting themselves in position
for their first trip to the Big 12 title game.
"Might as well take it all the way," said Stevie Hicks, who
ran for a career-high 156 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown
with just over two minutes to go.
Kansas State (4-7, 2-6), last year's Big 12 champion, finished
with its worst record and first losing season since the 1992 team
also went 4-7.
"We went on the field determined," coach Bill Snyder said.
"I'm just not so sure we ended up that way."
Sproles had a 41-yard touchdown run for Kansas State, extending
his school record to 48 TDs. Quarterback Allen Webb ran for two
scores for the Wildcats, but also committed two costly turnovers
late in the fourth quarter.
Webb's second TD, a 1-yarder, put Kansas State up 23-9 on the
third play of the fourth quarter. But Nik Moser blocked Joe Rheem's
extra point, and the momentum from then on belonged to the
"It didn't look real good at that point, but the kids just
found a way to make plays and come back and win it," Iowa State
coach Dan McCarney said. "It was just an outstanding team victory
Meyer's 1-yard TD keeper with just under 10½ minutes left got
the Cyclones within 23-16, and his 3-yard pass to Todd Miller -- set
up by Todd Blythe's 51-yard catch to the Wildcats 9 -- tied it at 23
with 3:24 to go.
Kansas State appeared to catch a break when the ensuing kickoff
went out of bounds, but Webb fumbled two plays later and Tim
Dobbins recovered at the Wildcats' 35.
Hicks carried for 15 yards to the 20, then broke up the middle
on the next play for a 30-23 lead. Then, on the first snap of
Kansas State's next drive, LaMarcus Hicks intercepted Webb's pass
and returned it 40 yards to put the Cyclones up 37-23.
"We just took it for granted," Kansas State defensive tackle
Jermaine Berry said. "There were a couple of minutes left, and the
next thing I knew, I was putting my head down in tears."
Sproles finished his career with 4,979 yards rushing. His
36-yard carry set up Kansas State's first TD, Webb's 1-yard keeper
for a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. That followed field goals of
30 yards by Iowa State's Bret Culbertson and 51 yards by Rheem.
Culbertson hit a 36-yarder late in the first half and cut Kansas
State's lead to 17-9 with a 20-yarder early in the third.