Texas Tech vs. Iowa State: The Series History


This weekend sees Texas Tech face off against Iowa State for the 14th time, and while the series may lack the vitriol of games versus in-state rivals, there have been numerous memorable moments between these two teams.

Texas Tech holds a commanding 10-3 lead in the series after last season’s come-from-behind 34-31 win in Ames, Iowa. While the 2014 edition of this series was largely ignored on a national scale (and rightfully so as neither team entered the game with more than three wins) it was a game of critical importance for the future of Texas Tech football.

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The 2014 game really turned for the Red Raiders when true freshman quarterback Pat Mahomes found senior running back Kenny Williams in the flat for a game-winning 44-yard touchdown pass, it was the first time the upcoming Texas Tech quarterback experienced victory at the collegiate level. Mahomes was making his third career start and considering winning at Jack Trice Stadium is never easy, last season’s game was a huge step forward in his young career.

Texas Tech has won the last three games in the series dating back to 2012. But in 2011, Iowa State pulled the biggest upset in the history of the series by coming to Lubbock and blowing out a top 20 Texas Tech team coming off a win versus a top-3 Oklahoma team in Norman.

The Cyclones jumped out to a 21-0 lead and never let up humbling the Red Raiders 41-7 for the Cyclone’s largest margin of victory in the series. Iowa State ran for 368 yards and started a streak of five consecutive losses to end the season for Texas Tech.

Interestingly, this series actually pre-dates the formation of the Big 12 conference. In fact, Texas Tech’s largest victory in the series came the first time the two teams met. In 1967, the Red Raiders beat the Cyclones 52-0 in Lubbock.

Seven years later, in 1974 Tech again defeated the Cyclones, this time 24-3 under head coach Jim Carlen. Spyke Dykes would lead Texas Tech to a 31-24 win in Ames in 1998, the first time the two teams met as conference foes.

Though the series has been heavily slanted Texas Tech’s way, the most memorable moment between the two teams came during the Cyclone’s first ever win against Texas Tech.

In 2002, Mike Leach’s Red Raiders fell to Iowa State 31-17 in a game that will forever be remembered for a play that has become known at Iowa State as The Run.

Behind electric quarterback Seneca Wallace, the 11th ranked Cyclones and the unranked Red Raiders were locked in a 3-3 third quarter tie. Then Wallace did this:

Some estimates say that Wallace covered over 130 yards of actual ground during that 12-yard-touchdown run. Thirteen years later,

The Run

remains one of the singular moments in Iowa State football history.

The only winning streak for Iowa State in this series came during the dark era of Texas Tech football known as the Tommy Tuberville era. In both 2011 and 2012, Paul Rhoads’ squads outclassed Texas Tech.

Ultimately, the tale of the tape in this series shows that Texas Tech has been far more successful as a program. Texas Tech football has a .561 overall winning percentage to Iowa State’s .453 and Tech has won 35 more games as a program despite playing 33 fewer seasons of college football.

Texas Tech fans hope that this series continues to follow these trends in 2015.

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