David Montgomery ran for three touchdowns, including the winner with 4:34 to go, and 25th-ranked Iowa State rallied from 17 down in the fourth quarter to stun Kansas State 42-38 on Saturday night and snap a 10-game skid against the Wildcats.
Montgomery had 149 yards rushing for the Cyclones (7-4, 6-3 Big 12), who clinched their best-ever finish in the Big 12.
Down 38-21, Iowa State scored twice in just 1:44 early in the fourth -- on a short Brock Purdy TD pass and a 21-yard fumble return by Mike Rose -- to pull within 38-35. The beleaguered Cyclones' defense then made a stop, and Montgomery's 18-yard touchdown run gave Iowa State an improbable lead.
Kansas State's (5-7, 3-6) fate was sealed when a long pass to Dalton Schoen deep in Iowa State territory glanced off his fingertips with 1:20 left.
The Wildcats went 92 yards on eight plays after picking off Purdy and opened up a 31-21 lead on Skylar Thompson's 9-yard TD pass to Chabastin Taylor late in the third. K-State's Kevion McGee then intercepted Purdy again, and Isaiah Zuber's second TD grab of the game made it 38-21 early in the fourth.
Purdy redeemed himself down the stretch though, finishing with 337 yards passing and two touchdowns for Iowa State.
Thompson threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Alex Barnes rushed for 184 yards and a TD for the Wildcats.
Iowa State: The Cyclones revival since the start of last season had been sparked by their defense. But the cracks that began to show in a win over Baylor and a loss at Texas developed into sink holes against the Wildcats. Iowa State's offense, bailed out so often by their teammates on the other side of the ball, finally returned the favor -- and the defense showed up when it mattered.
K-State: If this proves to be Bill Snyder's final game, what a brutal way to go out. All the Wildcats had to do was protect a 17-point lead with 12 minutes to go bowling, but they couldn't do it.
Iowa State hosts Drake of the FCS in a makeup for its canceled opener.
Kansas State's season is complete.