Coming off its first win over Oklahoma in Ames, Iowa, since 1960, No. 24 Iowa State is looking to keep its focus against a visiting Texas Tech team that is trying to find a way to win.
In the last two weeks, Texas Tech (1-2, 0-2 Big 12) dropped an overtime decision to then-No. 8 Texas and then squandered a fourth-quarter lead at Kansas State.
"Internally, there's a lot of belief here and I do believe we got to keep grinding," Texas Tech coach Matt Wells said of the narrow losses. "We've got to keep knocking on that door and at some point that door's going to open and hopefully we don't just stick our little toe in it and stop it."
The Cyclones (2-1, 2-0) are tied atop the conference standings with Kansas State and Oklahoma State after narrow wins the last two weeks at TCU and against the Sooners.
They are 2-0 in league play for the first time since 2002.
Despite the promising start of the Big 12 season, Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has harped on the Cyclones having to overcome falling behind by 11 points to Oklahoma.
"If we want to have the ability to become a team that's got the ability to have success down the run here and in the long haul, then we've got to really work on our precision in our detail," Campbell said.
The Cyclones have never lost to the Red Raiders in the Campbell era (4-0). Iowa State is also 11-1 in October since 2017, the most wins by a Power 5 school during that span -- ahead of Alabama (10-0), LSU (10-1), Clemson (9-1).
Iowa State's Big 12 rushing leader Breece Hall ranks third nationally in both rushing yards per game (132.0) and rushing touchdowns (six).
Brock Purdy is the winningest quarterback in Iowa State history against Big 12 opponents. He is 13-5 against conference teams with at least one victory over every member.
The Cyclones will be tested by a Texas Tech offense that is averaging 37.3 points per game, which ranks 21st nationally and third in the Big 12.
Texas Tech's KeSean Carter, a junior, has caught 21 passes for 215 yards and four touchdowns. He leads the Big 12 in receptions per game (7.0) and receiving touchdowns (four).
Xavier White, a sophomore, totaled for 113 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown. Texas Tech has now boasted a 100-yard rusher in each of its three games this season.
"This is a team that's gotten extremely better each week," Campbell said of Texas Tech. "I think it's a really talented football team. Really impressed with certainly everything that we've seen in all three phases -- offense, defense and special teams."
--Field Level Media