Iowa State 34, Nebraska 27
Bret Meyer threw for a career-best 345 yards and three touchdowns to lead surging Iowa State past Nebraska, 34-27, Saturday and into a tie for first place in the Big 12 North.
Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) had been stuck in a 13-game conference losing streak in mid-October but now has won three straight. If the Cyclones win their final two games, at Kansas State and home against Missouri, they would become the North champions and play in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.
It was Iowa State's second victory over Nebraska in three years, but only the third since 1978.
Trailing 34-14 in the fourth quarter, Nebraska (5-4, 3-3) drew within seven on Brandon Jackson's one-yard touchdown run with 5 minutes 1 second to play. The Cornhuskers got the ball back two minutes later, but Tim Dobbins's interception with 2:45 left ended their hopes of completing the comeback.
Iowa State fans stormed the field after the final play and several climbed the north goal post, rocking the steel structure in a futile attempt to bring it down.
Nebraska's defense wasn't nearly as stout. The Cornhuskers are 0-3 in Big 12 road games, giving up an average of 49.7 points and 469 yards.
After managing only 192 yards in a 13-7 victory over Kansas a week ago, Iowa State amassed 283 by halftime Saturday and had 466 for the game.
Meyer, a redshirt freshman, accounted for most of it, throwing touchdown passes of four yards to Ben Barkema, 17 yards to Todd Blythe and 77 yards to Jon Davis. Under frequent pressure from Nebraska blitzes, Meyer usually managed to scramble out of trouble and finished 17 of 38 with one interception.
Blythe, also a redshirt freshman, had eight catches for 188 yards -- all in the first half. The touchdown catch was his ninth of the season, breaking the school record he had been sharing with Tracy Henderson (1983) and Ty Watley (1997).
Davis's over-the-shoulder catch of a perfectly thrown ball from Meyer and sprint to the end zone gave Iowa State a 34-14 lead with 1:58 left in the third quarter.