AMES, Iowa -- It looks like Iowa State has found a tailback. As for the rest of the team, it has a long way to go.
Julian Edelman threw for 161 yards and a touchdown to lead Kent State to a 23-14 victory over Iowa State on Thursday night, spoiling the debut of Cyclones coach Gene Chizik.
Eugene Jarvis added 113 yards rushing for Kent State (1-0), which beat a team from a BCS conference for the first time in 20 years.
The Golden Flashes, of the Mid-American Conference, did it despite committing three turnovers in the red zone. But the Cyclones had three turnovers of their own, including two interceptions by Bret Meyer.
Kent State last beat a BCS conference team in 1987, when it defeated Kansas, then of the Big Eight, 31-17.
"There were times when we showed some flashes and did what we hoped to do," Chizik said. "There were a lot of first-game blunders. In some sense it was a comedy of errors on everybody's part."
Kent State did everything it could to give the win to Iowa State (0-1). But the Cyclones couldn't capitalize on those mistakes, and Kent State seized control with two scores late in the third quarter.
Jarvis capped a 12-play, 56-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run to give the Golden Flashes a 16-14 lead. Meyer then made a critical error on the next series, forcing a throw into coverage. Brian Lainhart took an interception back to the Iowa State 8, and Edelman's 3-yard plunge put Kent State ahead by nine with 50 seconds left in the third quarter.
"I was terrible," Meyer said. "You can't make those same mistakes with as much experience as I have."
Edelman also rushed for 75 yards on 18 carries for Kent State, which improved from one win in 2005 to six wins last year. Beating a Big 12 team on the road, even one as inexperienced as Iowa State, is a major boost to the Golden Flashes' rebuilding efforts.
"This is a huge win for our program. We set a foundation last year," Edelman said. "This shows that Kent State will do some good things this year."
The news wasn't all bad for Iowa State, as junior college transfer J.J. Bass rushed for 133 yards on 22 carries and solidified his hold on the starting tailback job.
"I thought there were some things Bass did well, and at times we thought we could run the ball," Chizik said. "But we were inconsistent at it."
Kent State gave the Cyclones a sliver of hope late in the fourth, as Rico Murray drilled Zac Sandvig after he had called for a fair catch. The penalty put Iowa State at the Kent State 29, but Bret Culberson's 47-yard field goal try bounced off the uprights.
Kent State couldn't catch a break early, as it turned the ball over on three chances inside the Iowa State 20. Bryce Braaksma recovered a fumble at the 6, and Chris Singleton picked off Edelman at the 16. Iowa State's James Smith intercepted a tipped ball in the end zone on Kent State's first possession of the second half.
"I thought our red zone defense was outstanding most of the night," Chizik said.
The Cyclones took their first lead, 7-6, on a 13-yard TD run by Bass in the second quarter, and jumped ahead 14-9 on Todd Blythe's 16-yard TD catch in the third quarter.
Kent State opened the scoring with a 42-yard TD pass from Edelman to a wide-open Leneric Muldrow.
Meyer was 14-of-23 for 148 yards with one TD for Iowa State, which lost its first opener since 2002.
"This isn't the way I would have liked tonight to have turned out," Chizik said. "It hurts. I don't like it. I'm not used to it, and we've got to figure out a way to go and get better."
The Associated Press News Service
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