AMES, Iowa — Kyle Kempt threw for 202 yards and two touchdowns and 25th-ranked Iowa State upset fourth-ranked TCU 14-7 on Saturday, handing the Horned Frogs their first defeat and leaving the Big 12 without an unbeaten team.
Marcel Spears intercepted a Kenny Hill pass with 1:16 left to seal it for the Cyclones (6-2, 4-1 Big 12), who forced a pair of turnovers in the red zone in the second half in winning their fourth straight game.
“We had a formula: not turning the ball over and beat people at their own game. We did not do that,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
Kempt put Iowa State ahead 14-0 at the break with touchdown passes to Matt Eaton (17 yards) and Hakeem Butler (4 yards).
TCU (7-1, 4-1) answered to open the second half on a 94-yard kickoff return by KaVontae Turpin. But Brian Peavy intercepted Hill in the end zone in the third quarter and brought it back 70 yards, and Willie Harvey caused Hill to fumble a ball recovered by Iowa State at its own 15-yard line with 7:11 to go.
Hill had his worst game of the season, finishing 12 of 25 passing for 135 yards and those two very costly interceptions. The Horned Frogs also committed 11 penalties for 104 yards.
“The reality of it is, it’s hard to stay the course. But these kids are doing that,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell.
TCU: The Horned Frogs can still make an argument for a playoff spot — if they win out. But that’ll be a tall order with a trip to Oklahoma on tap for Nov. 11 after next week’s home game against a dangerous Texas team.
Iowa State: It’s time to stop asking if the Cyclones are for real and start asking who can stop them in the Big 12. Iowa State’s defense is allowing less than 14 points a game in league games, and it bailed out an offense that couldn’t find its footing in the second half.
TCU might tumble out of the Top 10, and Iowa State will certainly jump up a few spots. But early losses at home to Iowa and Texas will keep the Cyclones from climbing too high in the rankings.
TCU hosts Texas on Nov. 4
Iowa State travels to face West Virginia next Saturday. The Mountaineers lost at home to Oklahoma State 50-39 on Saturday.