AMES, Iowa — In a game that lived up to its ESPN Game Day hype, the No. 18/19 University of Iowa football team outlasted host Iowa State to post an 18-17 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series victory on a wet, rainy Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium that included nearly a three-hour weather delay.
The Hawkeyes have won five straight games in the series and the one-point victory was the first in the all-time series in 67 meetings. Iowa is 3-0 for the third straight year and for the ninth time in the Kirk Ferentz era.
Senior Nate Stanley’s 1-yard touchdown run gave the Hawkeyes a 15-14 lead with 12:10 remaining, erasing a 14-6 Cyclone lead. After Iowa State answered with a 66-yard scoring drive that resulted in a 26-yard Connor Assalley field goal to give Iowa State a 17-15 advantage, the Hawkeyes followed with an eight-play, 55-yard drive, ending with a Keith Duncan’s 39-yard field goal that proved to be the difference.
Iowa State drove to the Iowa 39 yard-line on its ensuing drive before turning it over on downs, but the Cyclones’ defense forced a 3-and-out, setting up an Iowa punt with 1:37 to play.
Iowa punter Michael Sleep-Dalton’s line drive punt caromed off Datrone Young’s back as he collided with punt returner Deshaunte Jones. Iowa senior Devonte Young pounced on the fumble, and the Hawkeyes assumed victory formation.
Iowa State out-gained Iowa, 418-313, in the game with 327 yards coming through the air. Stanley finished 22-of-35 for 201 yards, completing passes to eight different players. Redshirt freshman Nico Ragaini led Iowa with five receptions for 43 yards; junior Brandon Smith had four grabs for 51 yards.
Junior Mekhi Sargent paced an Iowa rushing attack with 58 yards; Iowa gained 112 yards on 37 attempts.
Redshirt freshman D.J. Johnson led the Iowa defense with a career-high nine tackles (seven solo), while sophomore Jack Koerner, junior Geno Stone, and redshirt sophomore Djimon Colbert all had eight tackles.
The Hawkeyes forced the game’s only turnovers — Stone had a first-half forced fumble that led to a field goal — and Young pounced on Iowa State’s Young’s mistake to clinch the victory.
“It is always tough when we play each other, it’s a hard fought game (in Ames or Iowa City). I am proud of our players and the resiliency that they showed.
“There were a lot of peaks and valleys today, but that’s what typically happens. You have to play clean and hang in there and typically it’s going to be 60 minutes, and today it was more than that.
“That’s three good performances in a row (for Stanley). That ball after the intentional grounding was a heck of a throw, the best I have seen him throw. I am glad he’s our quarterback.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Hawkeyes chewed more than seven minutes off the clock on the game’s opening possession, as they moved 68 yards over 15 plays. Stanley converted three first downs — an 11-yard completion to Smith-Marsette, an 8-yarder to Ragaini, and an 11-yard Stanley run on a designed draw — moving Iowa to the ISU 26.
- Iowa came up a yard short on a third-and-4 from the 10, setting up Duncan’s 25-yard field goal that gave the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.
- The Cyclones used trickery to take the 7-3 lead on their first possession. Following a 49-minute rain delay, Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy threw a swing pass to Jones on the third play of the drive, who fired a 51-yard touchdown pass to La’Michael Pettway.
- Early in the second quarter, Mother Nature struck again, sending the game into a second weather delay, this time for 2:06.
- With Iowa State driving midway through the second quarter, Iowa forced the game’s first turnover with the Cyclones driving into Iowa territory. On second-and-7 from the 30, Stone forced a Purdy fumble on a rush and Koerner recovered, giving Iowa possession at its own 19.
- The Hawkeyes followed with a 12-play, 59-yard drive before Duncan connected on a 40-yard field goal, cutting the deficit to 7-6. Sargent had a 22-yard run to bring Iowa to midfield, and Stanley completed passes five passes to move Iowa to the ISU 22. Duncan’s field goal came with one second remaining before halftime.
- Iowa State grabbed the momentum with a big play on the second play of the third quarter. On second-and-7 from the 27, Purdy hit Tarique Milton for a 73-yard touchdown pass, giving the Cyclones the 14-6 lead less than a minute into the half.
- Iowa got three points back on its second drive of the half, going 56 yards over 12 plays. On third-and-22 from its own 19, Stanley connected with Ihmir Smith-Marsette on a 27-yard laser to give Iowa a first down. Freshman Tyler Goodson’s 14-yard run moved the Hawkeyes to the 26, but the drive stalled, forcing the Hawkeyes to settle on Duncan’s 42-yard field goal.
- Iowa State started its ensuing drive on its own 6 following a illegal block in the back on the kickoff, and the Hawkeyes force a key three-and-out. Following a 34-yard Joe Rivera punt and a 15-yard return from Ragaini, Iowa started the go-ahead drive on the ISU 25.
- Stanley scrambled for 14 yards on 3-for-11, giving Iowa a first-and-10 from the 12. Junior Ivory Kelly-Martin danced for a 3-yard gain on third-and-2 and Stanley pushed his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown to give the Hawkeyes a 15-14 lead with 12:10 to play. Iowa went for two, but the conversion failed.
- Iowa State answered with a 13-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Purdy completed three straight passes of 11, 13 , and 15 yards to move the Cyclones to midfield and Iowa State had a first-and-10 from the Iowa 11. The Hawkeyes held and Connor Assalley’s 26-yard field goal put Iowa State back up 17-15 with 7:46 to play.
- The Hawkeyes regained the lead with an eight-play 54-yard drive. Stanley hit Sargent for a 14 yard gain on third-and-4 before hooking up with Brandon Smith for 28 yards on the next play to the ISU 27. Duncan connected from 39-yards out to give Iowa the 18-17 lead.
- Iowa retains possession of the Cy-Hawk Trophy. Iowa is 14-3 in its last 17 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin).
- Iowa has won five straight in the series, its longest streak since winning 15 in a row from 1983-97. The Hawkeyes have won four straight in Ames. Iowa improved to 45-22 in the series.
- Saturday’s game is the second event in the 16th annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk series. Iowa leads the 2019-20 Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series, 5-0 with wins in soccer and football.
- Stanley totaled 222 yards of offense, raising his career total to 5,979, seventh most in school history. He passed James Vandenberg (5,853) and Matt Sherman (5,948) in today’s game.
- Duncan set a career high with four field goals (25, 40, 42, 39). His 39-yard field goal with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter proved to be the game winner. He is 8-for-8 on field goal attempts this season, and 4-for-4 on attempts 40 yards or longer.
- Sleep-Dalton averaged 47.2 yards on five punts. He had punts of 50 and 51 yards.
- Iowa held a 2-0 advantage in turnovers, including a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter to clinch the game. Iowa has not had a turnover against Iowa State since 2015.
- Iowa has won 10 straight non-conference games since the 2017 season opener.
- The Hawkeyes have scored in every quarter this season (12 quarters).
The Hawkeyes are idle Sept. 21. Iowa returns to action Sept. 28, hosting Middle Tennessee State at Kinnick Stadium. Game time will be announced Monday.
Iowa football hosts Minnesota in the battle for Floyd of Rosedale on Saturday, Nov. 16. Fans are encouraged to wear black for the Blackout game, and it is the annual military appreciation celebration. Active duty military and veterans are eligible for a military ticket discount. Click HERE for tickets and pre-paid parking and additional game information.