But KU scored two touchdowns and even placed the outcome in doubt, leaving Cowboys defensive coordinator Bill Young regretting some of his own calls.
On both of the touchdowns, Young called for blitzes, helping spring scoring plays of 21 and 30 yards.
“I blitzed twice late in the game and shouldn't have, in hindsight,” Young said. “If we'd have executed it would have been real good. But we didn't execute as we should have and it ended up being two touchdowns.
“We need to win the surest way, just line up and play our base (defense) and let them try to beat us making three and four yards a play.”
DEFENSE MAKES A STAND
OSU's late-game defense wasn't all bad.
After pulling closer at 20-14, the Jayhawks got the ball again and moved into Cowboys territory, where the OSU defense finally made a stand, eventually stopping KU on a fourth-and-5 play from the 41.
Linebacker Alex Elkins said he relished the opportunity.
“I was already on the field, jumping up and down, screaming and hollering,” Elkins said. “That's what I play for. I want that opportunity. It's not basketball, but if I played basketball, I would want the ball in my hands for the last shot.
“I was actually excited about it. And I knew that if we got out there and had the opportunity to stop them, we would do it.”
OPPONENT WATCH: ISU IN THE BCS
Iowa State has played a challenging early schedule, with games against Tulsa and Iowa in nonconference play and league games against Texas Tech, TCU and Kansas State.
So while 4-2 overall and 1-2 in the Big 12, the Cyclones still cracked the BCS Standings, opening at No. 24 in the initial rankings.
For ISU, it's the first BCS ranking in program history.
“I was kind of an about-time thing,” Cyclones running back Jeff Woody told reporters Monday. “We've played well all year, for the most part. We know we're a good team. It's kind of a validation of what we think we are.”
By John Helsley