LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury was happy with the three interceptions his Red Raiders came up with and how they won on both sides of the ball on third downs in beating Iowa State 66-31 on Saturday.
Texas Tech succeeded on 11 of 15 third downs and stopped Cyclones on 10 of their third-down tries.
"That’s huge," the third-year coach said. "Between that and the turnover margin that was the difference … our offense made some plays to stay on the field and then our defense made some to get them off. Gave us some momentum early and were able to kind of run away with it."
Patrick Mahomes threw for 428 yards and five touchdowns, two to Jakeem Grant, to lead Texas Tech to the Red Raiders’ first Big 12 win.
Grant had a career-high 166 yards on nine catches. He caught TD passes of 75 and 37 yards for Texas Tech (4-2, 1-2). It was Grant’s third 100-plus-yard game this season.
DeAndre Washington had a receiving and a rushing TD, while Justin Stockton scored on a 54-yard run.
The Red Raiders intercepted Cyclones quarterback Sam Richardson three times — two by J.J. Gaines — and Texas Tech scored touchdowns off two of them.
Redshirt freshman Mike Warren had his third straight game of more than 100 yards for the Cyclones (2-3, 1-1), finishing with a career-high 245 yards on 23 carries. Warren said hopes to continue to contribute as he did Saturday
"If they set the bar high, it’s up to me to reach that, and I feel like this game truly showed that we as an offense, we can run the ball," he said. "We’ve just got to keep going up from there."
Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson completed 10 of 21 for 139 yards and the three interceptions. He had three coming into the game.
Joshua Thomas scored two rushing touchdowns for the Cyclones, each from a yard out.
Texas Tech’s 776 total yards was a school record.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said Texas Tech’s fast offense was relentless.
"A lot of things were pivotal, starting out with the interception early that didn’t allow us to have a fast start and then several scrambles that, when it comes down to it, there’s not much excuse for," he said.
The Red Raiders’ pass offense was the best in the country coming into the game but their receiving corps has thinned due to injuries. Ian Sadler and Devin Lauderdale, who have combined for five TDs and 527 yards, did not play.
That gave true freshman Jonathan Giles, a quarterback in high school, opportunities he might not have had. He caught a 3-yard touchdown from Mahomes and a 21-yarder from backup Davis Webb, who took over for Mahomes in the fourth quarter. Giles’ five catches and 59 yards receiving were career-highs.
Mahomes completed 33 of 46 passes with no interceptions. He was sacked for only the second time this season when he was called for intentional grounding.
The Red Raiders hadn’t won a game since finishing up their nonconference schedule with a win at Arkansas in September. They then dropped games to then-No. 3 TCU — on a deflected reception in the end zone with 23 seconds remaining — before falling to then-No. 5 Baylor last week.
Texas Tech scored on its first three possessions and led the whole way. The Red Raiders second touchdown came on the first play of a drive when Mahomes found Grant at the Texas Tech’s own 40. Grant cut back to the middle of the field and used at least two blockers to get into the end zone.
In the second quarter, Mahomes threw a screen pass on the far sideline to Washington, who cut back to the middle of the field and outran defenders to score.