AMES, Iowa – ESPN College Game Day’s Lee Corso was prophetic, it certainly is the Hawkeye State.
The 10th-ranked University of Iowa football team turned four Cyclone turnovers into 20 points in a 27-17 victory over No. 9 Iowa State on Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd at Jack Trice Stadium.
“The best we could be is 2-0,” said junior Spencer Petras. “I am proud of this team so far. We’re 2-0 with two wins against two good football teams and that’s exciting and something to be proud of today.”
The Hawkeyes have won six straight games in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup, including the last five games in Ames. Iowa has won five straight games against ranked foes – the longest streak since 1960 — and eight consecutive games overall.
“This is something you can’t describe,” said redshirt freshman Jestin Jacobs of the feeling when the clock hits zeros. “It’s a big day, ESPN College Game Day, a lot of hype… just to get that win in hostile territory fills you with emotion. You’re excited to see your teammates, coaches, staff happy. The emotion comes out and six comes up. It was a great day for the Hawks!”
After giving up 182 yards in the first half – with 75-yards coming on a touchdown drive in the final minute of the first half — Iowa’s defense was stout. The Hawkeyes forced three second-half turnovers and limited Iowa State to 157 yards (with 135 coming on the final two series of the game).
Sophomore Jack Campbell had a team-high eight tackles (six solo stops), including 1/2 a sack and 1/2 a tackle for loss and he had a scoop and score touchdown on a fumble recovery in the third quarter. Senior Matt Hankins had two of Iowa’s three interceptions and he finished with four solo tackles in the game.
Offensively, the Hawkeyes finished with just 173 yards of total offense, but it proved to be enough as the Hawkeyes didn’t commit a turnover. Junior Spencer Petras finished 11-of-21 for 106 yards and one touchdown with senior Charlie Jones leading the way with two receptions for 36 yards and one score.
Iowa’s rushing attack finished with 67 yards on 39 attempts. Junior Tyler Goodson had 55 yards on 21 carries with one touchdown, while senior Ivory Kelly-Martin had 28 yards on eight attempts.
Iowa State’s Brock Purdy completed 13-of-27 passes for 138 yard, but was intercepted three times, while backup quarterback Hunter Dekkers was 11-of-16 for 114 yards and one score. The Hawkeyes limited All-America running back Breece Hall to 69 yards on 16 attempts.
QUOTING COACH FERENTZ
“Our guys did a great job, they played tough, clean football. It was opportunistic football against an opponent we knew was extremely tough. I am pleased. Everything out there was fought for; it was a toughly contested game. The biggest product was our ability to pay clean against a good team and not turning the ball over. It was a full team performance.
On the moment the game opened up:
“It was during the third quarter. There’s no secret formula, we play defense the way we play it. You’re talking about two really good defenses out there; every year was hard. It was a tough game, they’re a tough team. To me, turnovers are usually the result of someone being where they’re supposed to be but then sometimes you make an extra effort.”
HOW IT HAPPENED
- After Iowa’s Caleb Shudak missed a 50-yard field goal attempt, the Cyclones took over at their own 32 and went 63 yards over 11 plays to get on the scoreboard. Iowa State moved 26 yards on two plays — a direct snap to Jirehl Brock to gain 14 yards and 12 on a Purdy-to-Xavier Hutchinson pass for 12 to the Iowa 23.
- The Cyclones picked up another first down at the 11, but Iowa’s defense held, forcing the Cyclones to settle on a 23-yard field goal from Connor Assalley to make the score 3-0 with 39 seconds left in the first quarter.
- Iowa took advantage of the game’s first turnover – an interception at midfield by Hankins – to set up the game’s first touchdown. Starting at the Iowa State 49, the Hawkeyes droved 49 yards over eight plays to take a 7-3 lead. Petras hit redshirt freshman Luke Lachey for 17 yards to the 22. Five rushes later, Goodson scored from 4-yards out for his second rushing touchdown of the season.
- The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 14-3 with a 10-play, 71-yard scoring drive. Petras connected with Sam LaPorta for a 21-yard reception on third-and-15 and Iowa converted a second third down with a Petras 2-yard rush to the ISU 44. Petras completed two of his next three passes to Charlie Jones, including a 26-yard touchdown on a perfectly thrown ball with 1:01 left in the half.
- Iowa State gained momentum heading into the locker room, covering 75 yards on just five plays. After Purdue hit Hall to move to the Iowa State 45, he found Darren Wilson on a crossing route over the outstretched arm of Campbell. Riley Moss knocked Wilson out at the 4, but Hall scored on the next play, cutting the deficit to 14-10 with seven seconds left in the half.
- Iowa’s defense flexed its muscles in the third quarter, turning two turnovers into 10 points. After a Tory Taylor punt pinned the Cyclones at the 6, redshirt freshman Jestin Jacobs forced a Hall fumble on the first play of the drive and Campbell had the scoop and score to make the score 21-10.
- On the second play of the ensuing Iowa State possession, the turnover bug hit the Cyclones again as junior Seth Benson intercepted Purdy on a mis-thrown crossing route and he returned it 6 yards to the 25. Iowa got points when Shudak was good from a career-long 51 yards, extending the lead to 24-10.
- The Hawkeyes picked off Purdy a third time on the next ISU possession. On second-and-8 from the 46, defensive end Joe Evans got his hand on Purdy’s attempt at the line of scrimmage, forcing the pass to sail into Hankins’ arms for an interception and he returned it 41 yards to the Iowa 22. The Hawkeyes moved to the 4 before extending the lead to 27-10 on Shudak’s 22-yard field goal.
- The Cyclones kept from being shutout with a seven-play, 83-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter with Dekkers under center. Dekkers had five completions on the drive, including a 13-yard touchdown pass to Tarique Milton with 3:27 to play that cut the deficit to 27-17.
- Iowa has won its last eight games. The Hawkeyes have outscored their last eight opponents, 275-106, averaging 34.3 points per game offensively and allowing 13.3 ppg during the winning streak. Iowa has scored at least 25 points in each win.
- Petras has led Iowa to eight consecutive wins. Petras is 116-204 with 1,339 passing yards during Iowa’s eight-game winning streak. He has thrown nine touchdowns and two interceptions over the last seven games.
- Jones set career highs in receptions (2) and yards (36). His 26-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter was a career first.
- Hankins had two interceptions, the fourth and fifth of his career.
- Taylor’s 69-yard punt in the third quarter was a career long.
- Campbell returned a fumble six yards for his first career touchdown. The last time Iowa returned a fumble for a touchdown was 2018 (A.J. Epenesa at Illinois). The fumble was caused by Jestin Jacobs, the first of his career. Campbell matched his career high with eight touchdowns.
- Benson’s third-quarter interception was the first of his career.
- Shudak’s 51-yard field goal in the third quarter was a career long.
- Iowa had four takeaways today and zero turnovers. The last time Iowa turned the ball over against Iowa State was in 2015 (352 plays). Iowa has scored 37 points on seven turnovers this season.
- Iowa has won five straight games against ranked opponents dating back to 2019. The last time Iowa won five straight against ranked opponents was a six-game stretch in 1960.
- Today was Iowa’s highest ranked road win since defeating No. 5 Penn State, 21-10, in 2009.
- Iowa opened the season playing two AP Top 25 teams (No. 17 Indiana, No. 9 Iowa State). It marked the fourth time in program history the Hawkeyes opened a season against consecutive opponents ranked in the AP Top 25 (1960, 1973, 1974). The Hawkeyes started 2-0 in 1960, 1-1 in 1974 and 0-2 in 1973.
- Iowa has won 13 straight nonconference games, including 10 regular season nonconference victories and three bowl wins. Iowa’s last non-conference loss was at the 2017 Outback Bowl.
- The Hawkeyes are 23-4 in their last 27 trophy games (includes bowl games) and 20-4 in their last 23 rivalry trophy games (Iowa State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin). Iowa has won six straight against Iowa State, and five straight in Ames.
- Iowa has won six straight in the series. The last time Iowa won six straight in the series was when it won 15 in a row from 1983-97. The Hawkeyes have won five straight and are 21-8 all-time in games played in Ames.
- Iowa has played 24 straight games without surrendering 25 points, the longest streak in the nation among Power 5 teams.
- Iowa has scored at least 25 points in each of its wins during its winning streak. It is the first time in school history Iowa has scored 25 points or more in eight straight wins.
- Iowa had three interceptions today and has an NCAA-best 70 interceptions since 2017. The last time Iowa had consecutive games with at least three interceptions was 2017 (Ohio State, 4; Wisconsin 3).
- Iowa and Iowa State met as AP ranked opponents for the first time in series history.
The Hawkeyes host Kent State on Saturday, Sept. 18 at Kinnick Stadium. The game is televised on BTN beginning at 2:30 p.m. (CT).