AMES, Iowa - Steve Paris returned a fumble 66 yards for a touchdown and defensive tackle Brent Curvey rumbled 66 yards for a score with an interception to secure Iowa State's 30-16 victory over No. 22 Colorado on Saturday night.
Iowa State (7-3, 4-3 Big 12) stayed in the running for a share of the North division championship with its fourth straight victory on a blustery night and prevented Colorado (7-3, 5-2) from clinching the division.
With Iowa State leading 23-16, Colorado appeared on its way to the tying touchdown, moving from its own 11 to the Iowa State 27 in the final minutes. Seconds later, the Cyclones were in control.
On first down, Iowa State's Jason Berryman pressured Klatt, whose short pass went right to the 305-pound Curvey, who returned two fumbles for touchdowns last year.
Curvey had a clear path to the end zone and got a block from Paris to free him for the final 20 yards, scoring with 1:31 left. Berryman's sack of Klatt on fourth down with 58 seconds left ended Colorado's final hope on a night that began with tornado sirens sounding an hour before kickoff.
The field, stands and press box were cleared, but no damaging storms moved through the area, though the start of the game was delayed 30 minutes.
Once it was under way, Iowa State took advantage of a wind that gusted up to 45 mph to build a 13-0 lead, then pulled away again after Colorado tied it early in the third quarter to give Coach Dan McCarney just his third victory in 37 games against ranked opponents.
Colorado can still win the Big 12 North outright by beating Nebraska in its regular-season finale on Nov. 25. If Colorado loses that game, Iowa State could gain a share of the title by beating Kansas in its final league game the next day.
Iowa State was clinging to a 16-13 lead when Colorado's Lorenzo Sims recovered a Cyclones' fumble at the ISU 34 with 44 seconds left in the third quarter. On the next play, Iowa State's Tim Dobbins stripped the ball from Lawrence Vickers, Paris picked it up at the 34 and ran unimpeded to the end zone, putting the Cyclones up 23-13.
Mason Crosby's third field goal, a 57-yarder with the wind at his back, drew Colorado to 23-16 with 11:25 remaining. Then it was left to Iowa State's defense and that unit did its job.
The Cyclones first stopped Colorado on downs near midfield, then got the huge pick by Curvey on the Buffaloes' next possession.
Iowa State's Bret Culbertson kicked field goals of 23, 30 and a career-best 45 yards, the last one giving the Cyclones their 16-13 lead. Bret Meyer had pass completions of 29, 23 and 33 yards to Todd Blythe to set up each of those kicks.
Meyer also threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Ben Barkema to put Iowa State up 10-0 in the first quarter and finished 20-of-38 for 251 yards with no interceptions. Blythe had five catches for 108 yards.
Klatt had Colorado moving most of the night, but the Buffaloes got into the end zone only once, on Hugh Charles' 1-yard run early in the second quarter. Klatt went 25-for-42 for 284 yards with two interceptions.
The first interception also was costly. Trailing 16-13, Colorado had driven to the Iowa State 10 when Dobbins intercepted Klatt over the middle at the 4. The turnover didn't lead to any Iowa State points, but it kept the Buffaloes out of the end zone one more time.
Crosby also kicked field goals of 31 and 42 yards, but they weren't enough to keep Colorado from losing at Iowa State for the first time since 1983.