Reversal of fortune
Same OT score, new outcome as Hawkeyes top Cyclones, 44-41
AMES — Saturday’s 65th playing of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series didn’t lack for offensive firepower, as the University of Iowa and Iowa State combined to light up the scoreboard at Jack Trice Stadium for 85 points and 964 yards.
In fact, when the final horn sounded at the end of regulation, the outcome had not been settled and the Hawkeyes and Cyclones headed into overtime to determine the 2017 victor.
Just like the last time these two teams played more than four quarters, the final score was 44-41. But this time the Hawkeyes came away as winners of the Cy-Hawk Trophy with a game-ending touchdown reception by true freshman Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, who improved his record in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series to 10-9 with the win, said both teams played their hearts out.
“Every year there is a lot of hype and a lot of talk about this game and I think that is good for our state, there’s no doubt about that,” Ferentz said. “Today certainly that game lived up to all that hype, it was a heck of a football game, both teams competed extremely hard and it was hard fought. Back and forth obviously, and both teams left everything they had out there. We are just really pleased to come out with a win.”
Though both teams have very different approaches to their offensive game plan — with the Hawkeyes’ ground-and-pound tactic and the Cyclones’ Air Raid style — each of them brought excitement with many big plays in the contest.
“It was a game of peaks and valleys on both sides, and I am sure they experienced some highs and lows on their side as well,” Ferentz said. “We have faith in our guys and they went out there and held them to a field goal and gave us a chance. The things we had to do today we were able to execute them, but boy nothing was uncontested. It was a really tough game.”
Two players that provided a huge spark for their squads were the starting running backs, Akrum Wadley for Iowa and David Montgomery for Iowa State.
Wadley led the Hawkeyes in rushing and receiving, going for 127 yards on the ground and 72 yards in the air, while Montgomery had 112 yards rushing and 53 yards receiving.
Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley said sometimes he has to stop himself from just watching Wadley run down the field.
“It’s just special, you can’t help but say wow sometimes,” Stanley said. “He’s just such a great athlete and a great person, when he does that stuff it makes you want to drop your jaw but then you realize he does this daily.”
Wadley scored twice in the game, once at the end of the first half to give the Hawkeyes a 14-10 lead and once at the end of regulation to tie the game at 38-all and send it into overtime. On his game-tying touchdown reception, Wadley said Stanley delivered him a good ball and he had some great blocking downfield.
“I got a step on the linebacker and I know Stanley dropped back, he was throwing good the whole game, but he looked down the field and dumped it down to me and I just ran after the catch,” he said. “Hats off to Nick (Easley), he was the guy that was blocking up field on the corners, and they have some big, meaty guys. I just had to finish it.”
Montgomery scored his only touchdown on a gutsy 7-yard run at the start of the fourth quarter in which he ran over almost half of the Iowa defense. Iowa State quarterback Jacob Park said at times Montgomery’s skills seem almost supernatural.
“David is just a monster,” Park said. “Man we don’t think he’s human.”
Both quarterbacks perfomed well on the day in their own right, as Stanley went 27-41 with 333 yards and five touchdowns while Park was 25-46 for 347 yards and four touchdowns.
Ferentz said Stanley showed a lot of improvement from the Hawkeyes’ first game against Wyoming last week, but he still has a ways to go to get where he wants the sophomore to be.
“His growth from last week to this week, not that we are done yet obviously, but he did a lot of good things and the biggest thing is he looked steady out there,” Ferentz said. “Even just sitting on the bench, he looked steady, he was right there with the game.”
Cyclones head coach Matt Campbell said Park had just as good of a game as Montgomery, and they both were huge parts of why ISU was so close to coming away with a victory.
“Jacob did some good things offensively,” Campbell said. “The ball went where it needed to go through the majority of the game and I thought he and David played a really remarkable game.”
Though his offense was effective throughout the game, ultimately they came up just short in the overtime when the Cyclones were held to just a field-goal try. Campbell said the differences in this game came down to who made the right plays at the right time.
“That’s really what it comes down to, some critical situation moments where they were able to make that play and we didn’t,” he said. “I’ll say this too, I really love our football team and our kids played as hard as they could play for as long as they could play and at the end it was just some details that we’ve got to be better than that.”
There was also one blemish Iowa State had that Iowa did not, a turnover on an interception thrown by Park to Parker Hesse to set the Hawkeyes up for a fourth-quarter field goal to tie the game at 31.
Cyclones linebacker Joel Lanning said it was on the ISU defense to cause a mistake by Iowa, but they couldn’t get it done.
“The biggest thing is we didn’t get any turnovers,” Lanning said. “If we turn the ball over, who knows what happens? When you turn the ball over your chances of winning are pretty high.”
While that sounds like a decently simple task, Park said causing the Hawkeyes to make a mistake is much easier said than done.
“They execute and they run what they run,” Park said. “While it’s not all that complicated they run it to perfection. A lot of people think you have to come out here and out physical these guys but you don’t, you have to come out and out execute them. Catch the ball and run the ball, and that was our downfall today.”
Iowa 44, Iowa St. 41
Iowa 7 7 7 17 6 — 44
Iowa St. 7 3 14 14 3 — 41
ISU–Lazard 5 pass from Park (Owens kick), 9:03
IOW–Easley 10 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), 4:23
ISU–FG Owens 24, 11:05
IOW–VandeBerg 17 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), :52
IOW–Wadley 1 run (Recinos kick), 7:21
ISU–Lazard 3 pass from Park (Owens kick), 4:37
ISU–H.Butler 30 pass from Park (Owens kick), :52
ISU–Montgomery 7 run (Owens kick), 11:46
IOW–Smith-Marsette 15 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), 6:25
IOW–FG Recinos 23, 5:16
ISU–H.Butler 74 pass from Park (Owens kick), 4:36
IOW–Wadley 46 pass from Stanley (Recinos kick), 1:09
ISU–FG Owens 30, :00
IOW–Smith-Marsette 5 pass from Stanley, :00
First downs 29 22
Rushes-yards 41-164 26-120
Passing 333 347
Comp-Att-Int 27-41-0 25-46-1
Return Yards 113 88
Punts-Avg. 7-39.71 5-46.4
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 0-0
Penalties-Yards 10-84 2-15
Time of Possession 37:07 22:53
RUSHING–Iowa, Wadley 28-118, J.Butler 10-37, Smith-Marsette 1-7, Stanley 2-2. Iowa St., Montgomery 20-112, Warren 4-15, Park 2-(minus 7).
PASSING–Iowa, Stanley 27-41-0-333. Iowa St., Park 25-46-1-347.
RECEIVING–Iowa, Easley 7-48, Wadley 4-72, Smith-Marsette 4-36, VandeBerg 3-42, Fant 3-30, Hockenson 2-41, Kulick 2-29, J.Butler 1-26, Pekar 1-9. Iowa St., Lazard 6-23, H.Butler 5-128, Montgomery 5-53, Murdock 4-68, Eaton 2-39, Ryen 1-19, Allen 1-9, D.Jones 1-8.
MISSED FIELD GOALS–None.