Following the Cyclones upset victory over intrastate rival Iowa, it was a pretty tough go for Chizik and the boys. The hope generated by that win came crashing down the very next week when Iowa State lost to Toledo, and it snowballed from there. Four of their next five opponents were ranked, and all of them beat the Cyclones. In none of the five games after the loss to Toledo did the Cyclones come within a touchdown of victory. Things were looking bleak. Then came:
November 3, 2007
Iowa State 31 - Kansas State 20
Kansas State was 5-3 heading into this game, and had just crushed Baylor. A win here would make the Wildcats bowl eligible for the second year in a row. The Cyclones, riding a 6 game losing streak, were just trying to play spoiler and start building for the next year.
The tone was set early, as Kansas State fumbled the kickoff and set up Iowa State with a short field. A quick 35 yard drive later, and Iowa State was leading 7-0. They would never trail.
After an exchange of punts and another punt by Kansas State, Iowa State went on one of their longest drives of the season, an 8 play 90 yard touchdown drive, powered by consecutive pass plays of 35 and 25 yards to give Iowa State first and goal from the 4. A couple of quick plays later, and Iowa State was up 14-0. I dare say was probably their biggest lead of the season to date. They would go on to score on 3 of their first 4 possessions to build a 21-3 lead.
Kansas State never mounted a rally. Turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown, killed their chances to win, and they never got closer than 8 points away from the Cyclones again.
The Cyclones saw very productive play from their two quarterbacks who rotated the action in this one, as they averaged 8.8 yards per attempt and threw one touchdown pass versus one interception.
Kansas State never would get their sixth win, and would end their season a disappointing 5-7. They would get absolutely blown out by a very bad Nebraska team, 73-31, and would lose to Fresno State to close out season.
I would say that this victory followed the low water mark of the Gene Chizik era in Ames, but it isn't true. The low water mark is, in fact, right now.