No. 24 Cyclones slip past upset-minded Drake
Makeup game against neighbors nearly backfires for Iowa State
AMES — It was weather conditions that made the in-state rivalry that never should have been possible. But Saturday’s crazy weather was hardly what made the Cyclones’ last regular season game interesting.
No. 24 Iowa State narrowly slipped past Drake, 27-24, Saturday in Ames in very cold, wet conditions.
The highly anticipated game was predicted to be all Cyclones. Some even thought it laughable to be playing a “bunch of nerds” from the non-scholarship private school down Interstate 35. But it was Drake that was on the board first and seemingly controlled the game all four quarters.
“What stood out to me earlier in the week was that they are really well disciplined and coached football team,” said Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell. “And quite honestly, their kids wanted this pretty badly and they’ve had a lot of success together and it showed today. So hats off to them.”
The Bulldogs had more yards per play and more yards of total offense. Both teams made mistakes — each team had an interception and special teams were tough for both sides the entire game.
But it was the slim margins that made the difference. Iowa State had two more third-down conversions than the Bulldogs and did far better in rushing yards (114 compared to 58) which was important with the wet playing conditions.
Despite it not being the best game for the Cyclones, it was still a record-breaking one.
Running back David Montgomery rushed for 145 yards and got into the 1,000-yard club for the second-straight season early in the first quarter. Receiver Hakeem Butler had four catches for 67 yards and broke Iowa State’s single-season receiving yards record.
Butler said he’s broken a lot of records in video games, but it was crazy to do it in real life.
While the fans may have counted Drake out before the game, Iowa State didn’t. They expected Drake to come to play.
“They’re a D-I football team, why wouldn’t they be competitive?” Butler said.
The in-state game was only recently put on the schedule after Iowa State’s opponent Incarnate Word, the team scheduled after Iowa State had to cancel its first game of the season due to inclement weather, made it to the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.
“It was a great opportunity and experience for our guys and they were incredible hosts all the way through,” said Drake head coach Rick Fox said. “I am just so thankful the game did work out.
“We said all week we were here to fight to win the next play. I told them this morning that no matter the outcome, I’d be proud if they did that from the first play to the last play and they did that today.”
The wind chill before the game was 24 degrees. Yet both teams brought a sizable crowd that stayed until the bitter end.
It was a crazy end to what’s been a crazy season for Iowa State. The season started with a game cancelled due to lightning, turned into a slow start for wins, saw the introduction of a true freshman quarterback, wins against ranked teams, a suspension due to a fight and two crazy wins to cap the regular season.
Two years ago eight wins seemed impossible for the Cyclones. Now they’ve done it two seasons in a row.
“You can just tell that this program is on the rise and doing great things,” Iowa State receiver Deshaunte Jones said.
As Iowa State is looked at for bowl selection, Campbell hopes selection teams will see one thing: adversity.
“All we can be is us and we were the best versions of us we could be in this situation that we were in today,” Campbell said. “Whatever happens, happens and I know we’ll be excited for a chance to go play for our ninth win.”
No. 24 Iowa St. 27, Drake 24
Drake 7 7 10 0 — 24
Iowa St. 7 13 7 0 — 27
DRA–DeLeon 7 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 9:23
ISU–Montgomery 7 run (Assalley kick), 6:38
ISU–Montgomery 1 run (Assalley kick), 14:55
DRA–Pugh 2 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 9:42
ISU–Purdy 11 run (kick failed), 2:13
DRA–FG Donley 26, 11:02
DRA–Cates 19 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 3:37
ISU–D.Jones 7 pass from Purdy (Assalley kick), :26
First downs 14 17
Rushes-yards 30-58 42-114
Passing 221 159
Comp-Att-Int 20-29-1 17-25-1
Return Yards 66 92
Punts-Avg. 5-34.4 2-38.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-50 2-15
Time of Possession 29:36 30:24
RUSHING–Drake, Hartwig 13-48, Kraemer 7-12, Gossling 1-0, Robinson 2-0, Lauer 6-0, (Team) 1-(minus 2). Iowa St., Montgomery 33-145, Milton 1-3, Croney 1-(minus 1), Purdy 4-(minus 16), (Team) 3-(minus 17).
PASSING–Drake, Kraemer 20-29-1-221. Iowa St., Kempt 2-3-1-6, Purdy 15-22-0-153.
RECEIVING–Drake, DeLeon 4-68, Cates 4-53, Lauer 4-30, Doran 3-31, Purdom 2-34, Skinner 1-4, Pugh 1-2, Feller 1-(minus 1). Iowa St., H.Butler 4-67, D.Jones 4-37, Milton 3-14, Eaton 2-32, Montgomery 2-6, Kolar 1-3, Nwangwu 1-0.