Iowa State fans celebrated the Cyclones’ first home win over Oklahoma in 60 years deep into this week.
As for the team itself, once the postgame party ended in the locker room, it was on to Texas Tech.
“Whether it’s a win or loss, we know the reality is you’re judged at the end of the season, not from game to game,” coach Matt Campbell said. “Sometimes that can be hard for everybody else. In our walls, our kids understand that. We’re trying to get better one day at a time. We’ve never been result-driven. We’ve always been process-driven.”
Wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson said he and his teammates know the win over OU won’t mean as much if they stumble at home against the Red Raiders (1-2, 0-2 Big 12) on Saturday.
“We all relished the moment and enjoyed it all together,” he said. “We have great leaders to remind us this is a new week and this is a new opportunity against a really good opponent.”
The Cyclones (2-1, 2-0) are looking to open conference play with three straight wins for the first time since 2002 and only the second time since 1950.
All three of the Red Raiders’ games have been close, starting with a 35-33 win over FCS Houston Baptist. They lost 63-56 in overtime to Texas after squandering a 56-41 lead with under 3 minutes to play in regulation. Last week, they led 21-17 at Kansas State early in the fourth quarter before losing 31-21.
“We’re this close to getting it together,” Tech defensive lineman Tony Bradford Jr. said, holding his right thumb and index finger an inch apart. “We just have to do a better job as a unit and as a team taking all the work we’ve done in practice and moving it to game day. When we do, man, watch out.”
Second-year Tech coach Matt Wells said he’s been impressed with how his players have handled the disappointment.
“Internally there is a lot of belief here,” Well said. “I do believe we have to keep grinding, keep knocking on the door and at some point that door is going to open and hopefully we don’t just stick our little toe in there and stop the door — we slam the door wide open and throw it open. And I do believe our time is coming, though. I’ve got a great belief and faith in that.”
TECH QB SITUATION
Wells has not named a starting quarterback. Alan Bowman, who has started 13 straight games, was knocked out of the Kansas State game with an ankle injury. If Bowman can’t play, Utah State transfer Henry Colombi would get the call.
Iowa State has won four in a row over the Red Raiders, including 34-24 in Lubbock, Texas, last year. Breece Hall ran for 183 yards and two second-half touchdowns. Texas Tech and Kansas are the only Big 12 teams Campbell beat each of his first four years at Iowa State.
The last time the Red Raiders won in the series, in 2015, future Super Bowl champion and NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes threw for 428 yards and five touchdowns in a 66-31 win.
Iowa State’s 11 sacks through three games lead the Big 12 and are tied for 10th nationally. Will McDonald has 8.5 sacks in his last seven games, tied for first by an active FBS player since Nov. 16, 2019.
RAIDING THE RANKED
The Red Raiders will try to take down a Top 25 opponent for the third straight season, having beaten a ranked Oklahoma State team each of the last two years. Tech has knocked off at least one ranked opponent nine of the past 13 seasons.
HITTING THE ROAD
Texas Tech will be playing its first road game of the season. The Red Raiders were 1-5 on the road last season, its only win coming at Kansas.
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