They’ve done gone and done it again.
The they is No. 25 Iowa State, the what is upsetting a Top Five opponent. Earlier this year, ISU knocked off No. 3 Oklahoma in Normanm. At home again against No. 4 TCU in Week 9, the second Top-Five time was a charm once more as the Cyclones ended the Horned Frogs’ perfect season in a defensive-minded 14-7 slugfest.
ISU took a 14-0 lead into the halftime locker room, with TCU immediately cutting the lead in half as they returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown. That, though, would be the end of the scoring for both teams the remainder of the way.
Defense was the name of the game for the Cyclones as they held a Horned Frogs offense that came into the game tied for ninth in the country in points per game at 41.6 and 26th in yards per game at 466.3 to just seven points and 307 yards. They also forced three second-half turnovers that loomed large in the upset win.
The win means that ISU, unbelievably, controls its own destiny in the race to the Big 12 championship game. If they win out against West Virginia, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas State — only the OSU game is at home — they would qualify for the conference title game. Even one loss would leave them in decent shape given the win over OU earlier this year.
TCU’s loss, coupled with Notre Dame’s continued winning, deals yet another blow to the Big 12’s playoff chances.
The loss also means that, when combined with Penn State’s loss to Ohio State, there are four undefeated Power Five teams with five weeks of the regular season remaining: Alabama, Georgia, Wisconsin and Miami. With USF’s loss, UCF is the only Group of Five unbeaten.