Weis admitted he didn't plan for Richardson.
"He wasn't even listed in the two-deep. So, no, I didn't give much thought to it and maybe I should have," he said. "But when the guy comes out there, regardless of who it is — 23 for 27? Four incompletions on the night? Four touchdown passes? Did the kid have a good day? Absolutely. You have to give the kid credit. But he wasn't somebody who was on the top of my head all day who would be playing on offense"
Richardson replaced starter Steele Jantz on Iowa State's third possession and immediately engineered a 10-play, 89-yard drive connecting, with Josh Lenz for 30 yards and setting up Jeff Woody's 11-yard touchdown run for a 10-7 lead. Lenz also had a 14-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter.
Tony Pierson rushed for 89 yards for Kansas, including a 55-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and caught a 37-yard scoring pass from Dayne Crist in the fourth. But after his 55-yard score, Iowa State answered immediately with Richardson's 11-yard scoring pass to Albert Gary.
Durrell Givens recovered James Sims' fumble on the Jayhawks' next possession, and five plays later Richardson connected with a wide-open Aaron Horne on a 30-yard scoring play, making it 24-14.
The lead went to 31-14 a few minutes later when Richardson, following Woody's 43-yard run, dived over from the 1.
A 20-yard pass to Ernst Brun, capping a six-play, 57-yard drive, completed the second-quarter blitz and put Iowa State on top 38-14. Edwin Arceo kicked three field goals for the Cyclones, including a 51-yarder in the third quarter.
"It's right up there on the best debuts I have seen," Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said of Richardson. "To be here two years and really only get a mop-up role, he probably felt like he was not part of true competition. But his performance was not a surprise coming from the young man."