Going into Saturday's game against No. 3 Oklahoma, Iowa State's redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Kempt had thrown two passes in his career. Both were completions, so I guess we should have seen this 38-31 upset coming right?
Kempt went 18-for-24 for 343 yards, 3 TDs, and 0 INTs. He led the Iowa State offense to five straight scoring drives to close out the game and lead his team to their first win over a Top 5 team in nearly six full years. Not bad.
So who is Kyle Kempt? Why did he start for Iowa State? How did he lead the Cyclones to a win over a top five team? Let's talk about it.
Kempt was recruited by several FBS squads when he came out of high school in 2013, and held offers from Ole Miss, Tennessee, West Virginia, Cincinnati, Toledo, and several others, but ultimately committed to Oregon State where he stayed for two years. He then transferred to Hutchinson Community College for a semester before making a final move to Iowa State.
Kempt's decision had a lot to do with his respect for Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. Both grew up in Massillon, Ohio, and after he transferred, Kempt said about Campbell, "I knew at that point I was either going to Toledo or going wherever he was going. So I ended up coming here. It was a great decision."
Turns out it was a great call for both parties.
Saturday's Oklahoma upset was Kempt's first start at the FBS level, half way through his redshirt senior year. He got the opportunity because No. 1 starter Jacob Park took an open-ended personal leave for an unspecified medical issue.
This win didn't come easy either.
Oklahoma opened up a 14-0 lead to start the game, but Kempt led Iowa State on a 31-10 run in the middle of the game to go up 31-24. They traded scores until the very end until Iowa State scored their final TD on a beautiful back shoulder pass from Kempt to senior wide receiver Allen Lazard.
Iowa State came into this game on 0-17 skid against ranked opponents, dating back five years and a day since they visited No. 15 TCU and beat the Horned Frogs 37-23. The last time they beat a top five team was the year prior, when they beat No. 2 Oklahoma State 37-31 in November of 2011.
Oklahoma led the all-time series 74-5-2, and hadn't lost to Iowa State since 1990. Before that you'd have to go all the way back to 1961 to find an Iowa State win.