Redshirt senior quarterback Kyle Kempt was in the shotgun victory formation as the ball was hiked to him. He grabbed the ball and kneeled it on the Iowa State 34-yard line.

After kneeling, he threw the ball up with all his might. While the ball was in the air, Kempt turned around and looked at the scoreboard.

It read: Iowa State 14, TCU 7.

Final.

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Kyle Kempt and Trever Ryen walk off the field following Iowa State 14-7 win over No. 4 TCU. 

Kempt had done it again. Another win against a top five opponent. And a chance to play twice in the month of December.

Even though TCU was ranked one spot lower than when the Cyclones faced then-No. 3 Oklahoma on Oct. 7, this win was the biggest of the season.

Iowa State became bowl eligible and now controls its fate to an opportunity at the Big 12 Championship title game.

“Honestly I kind of forgot about becoming bowl eligible,” said redshirt-senior linebacker Joel Lanning. “That’s great to be at that point, but we’re not done yet. We still have four games left this season.”

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Joel Lanning reacts to a TCU fumble during the Cyclones' 14-7 win. 

Senior wide receiver Allen Lazard remembers the first day of fall practice during Matt Campbell’s first season. He told the team that it would be a process and that they needed to trust it for it to go in the right direction.

Lazard said he also remembers the last part of last season. Iowa State was 1-7 going into the month of November in 2016. It was cold and practices were at 5:30 a.m.

Lazard knew this was an opportunity to get ready for next season and prepare themselves to be a dominant team for 2017. Then the spring and summer went along and the team continued to work hard with each other.

“That’s what has led our team to success,” Lazard said. “We put in all that work in the off-season when no one was watching.

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Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard runs with the ball during the Cyclones' 45-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 14, 2017. Lazard has 200 career receptions. Lazard has 200 career receptions to his name after this game. 

“To be able to go out there and showcase it to the great fans we have, it was difficult at first, but it’s obviously paying off and very fulfilling.”

Campbell also spoke on the process this team has focused on the past couple of seasons.

“Boy oh boy it hasn’t been an easy road,” Campbell said. “And sometimes when you come up the rough side of the mountain, I think it allows you to learn valuable lessons.

“And when you do fall in love with the process, the process will love you back and I think that’s what’s happening to some of these guys.”

At the end of October, Iowa State is first in the Big 12 Conference. Up there in the standings with the Cyclones are TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.

Iowa State has already beaten TCU and Oklahoma this month and will be meeting up with Oklahoma State on Nov. 11 at Jack Trice Stadium.

The Cyclones have a larger chance to reach the Big 12 Championship title on Dec. 2 in Arlington, Texas because of the win today.

They’ve won the tiebreaker between both TCU and Oklahoma.

“October was the best month of my life,” said sophomore David Montgomery. “Now, we need to flip the calendar for November and perform at a higher level to really accomplish our goals.”

This is new territory for Iowa State football. The month of November, the past number of seasons, hasn’t been focused on bowl games and Big 12 Championships. It’s been on playing time and getting ready for the next season.

Now, the sights are on bigger accomplishments like a Big 12 Championship and winning a big bowl game.

Lazard isn’t worried about this new territory because he knows this team is prepared for anything thrown their way. Montgomery and Lazard agreed that they need to take it one game at a time and focus on the opponent ahead. They can’t look too far into the distance.

They also agreed that they have the entire city of Ames and many other fans across the state and country that will be there for support.

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Fans storm the field following Iowa State's 14-7 win over No. 4 TCU. 

After Kempt threw the ball in the air and looked at the scoreboard, he looked at all the fans running onto the field. After a couple of minutes, the field was filled with cardinal and gold and the song "Sweet Caroline" came on the speakers.

Every fan and player for Iowa State raised their hands in the air and waved them back and forth, shouting the words to the song.

Montgomery vividly remembers seeing those fans running onto the field because it brought a smile to his face. In his mind, that describes everything regarding Cyclone Nation.

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Fans wait to rush the field following Iowa State's 14-7 win over No. 4 TCU. 

“Probably five hours [it took to get off the field],” Montgomery said with a smile on his face. “I took probably 754 pictures, nine videos, and I might’ve touched about 64 kids’ heads.

“It’s a moment you can’t really explain.”

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