LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The first thing Sam Richardson did when he got into the joyous Iowa State locker room was grab his phone and text his parents.
No one could blame them if they didn't believe what they were reading.
Their son, who'd seen only mop-up duty in two years, replaced the starting quarterback after two possessions Saturday night and threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns, leading Iowa State past Kansas 51-23.
"I was just waiting for my opportunity," said the redshirt freshman. "I have been all year. It is a great feeling to know that I could go in and make plays for the offense and get us going."
Richardson also scored a touchdown for the Cyclones (6-5 overall, 3-5 Big 12) and was not far short of perfection. He led his team to touchdowns on four straight possessions while taking a 38-17 lead. Virtually overlooked all year in the Cyclones' jumbled quarterback picture, Richardson was 23 for 27 and spread his completions around to 12 different receivers. Six different Cyclones scored touchdowns and the Jayhawks (1-10, 0-8) lost their 20th consecutive Big 12 game.
"I knew he could do it," said center Tom Farniok. "It was just a matter of was he gonna, and he did."
The Cyclones' season high point total before Saturday was 38, which they scored by halftime, leading 38-17.
Kansas' final home game sent a bedraggled class of seniors out on the same sort of sour note which has characterized their entire collegiate careers.
The fourth- and fifth-year seniors came aboard just as the Mark Mangino-coached Jayhawks were winning two straight bowl games for the first time in school history. The long-struggling program seemed headed for the heights. But after starting the 2009 season 5-0, the Jayhawks lost their next seven and now, counting this lopsided loss to Iowa State, have dropped a stunning 36 of 42 games under three head coaches.
"Went through three head coaches," said wide receiver Kale Pick. "I went through five position coaches. Some other guys did, too. But I'm proud of the class I'm in. We worked hard to try to prove to each coaching staff what we could do."
Kansas will need to win at West Virginia in its season finale on Dec. 1 to avoid its worst season since the 1988 Jayhawks finished 1-10.