Cyclones end Hawkeye hex
By JOHN BOHNENKAMP
The Associated Press
IOWA CITY — Xavier Hutchinson caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Hunter Dekkers in the fourth quarter, completing a 99-yard drive to lead Iowa State past Iowa, 10-7, on Saturday.
The 21-play possession that started in the third quarter took 11 minutes, 49 seconds off the clock, and helped the Cyclones (2-0) end a six-game losing streak to the Hawkeyes (1-1).
“Our whole mindset was, ‘One play at a time,'” Hutchinson said. “When the ball comes to you, just make a play.”
Iowa State survived three turnovers and two blocked punts to gain their first road win in the in-state rivalry since 2014, forcing three Iowa turnovers and holding the Hawkeyes to 150 yards of offense.
“It’s a game of imperfection,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “For our kids to have the character and resiliency to keep playing, those are traits that will continue to serve us well.”
Still, the Hawkeyes had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds. Two penalties on Iowa State after what appeared to be a game-ending turnover by the Hawkeyes gave Iowa the ball at the Cyclones’ 39-yard line with nine seconds left. Quarterback Spencer Petras threw a 9-yard pass to tight end Sam LaPorta to get Iowa into field-goal range, but Aaron Blom’s 48-yard field goal attempt was wide left as time expired.
The Cyclones’ winning drive came after Iowa fullback Monte Pottebaum fumbled inside the Iowa State 1-yard line. Iowa State converted six third downs on the drive, the last one coming on Dekkers’ pass to Hutchinson for the touchdown.
“It was simple — get the first first down and then it will come together,” Hutchinson said. “Boy, did it come together. It was pretty intense to have that happen in such a critical moment. It just showed how everyone was dialed in.”
“We knew we would probably be backed up at some point in the game like this,” Dekkers said. “We prepared for it.”
Dekkers was 25 of 38 passing for 184 yards. Running back Jirehl Brock rushed for 100 yards.
Iowa, which had two safeties and a field goal in last Saturday’s 7-3 win over South Dakota State, got its first touchdown of the season on its opening possession of the game. Leshon Williams had a 9-yard scoring run two plays after defensive end Lukas Van Ness blocked a punt — he would block another one in the third quarter — and the Hawkeyes recovered the ball at the Iowa State 16-yard line.
“I thought we got off to a good start, a really positive start,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “From there, things didn’t work so well, obviously. … We’re not going to win moving forward scoring points like that.”
The Cyclones got inside Iowa’s 15-yard line three times in the first half, but turned the ball over twice. Brock fumbled into the end zone for a touchback, and Dekkers threw an interception in the end zone.
CREDIT THE SOFTBALL TEAM
Campbell said he gave a “revolutionary” speech at halftime, when he referred to the sixth-grade girls softball team in Gilbert, Iowa that he coached over the summer because his daughter was on the team. Campbell told how his team won the championship game against a team from Roland-Story, which had its varsity high school team cheering in the dugout.
“We were down 4-2 after the third inning,” Campbell said, smiling. “We came up to bat, and we scored three runs. We got up 5-4, and then went on a run. I said to our team (in the locker room), ‘Listen, if our sixth-grade girls can do this against Roland-Story for a championship, you guys can get this thing figured out in the second half.”
Iowa State’s offense, which had 313 yards, moved the ball on the Hawkeyes all day, but the Cyclones were done in by their own mistakes until the second-half drive to win the game.
The Hawkeyes struggled again offensively. Petras completed just 12 of 26 passes for 92 yards, which led to questions to Ferentz again about his status as the starter. “It’s not going well for (Petras) right now,” Ferentz said. “It’s not going well for anybody in the offense, quite frankly. If making the change is the best thing, we’ll consider it. If not, we’ll keep pushing forward, see what we can do.”
Iowa State: Hosts Ohio on September 17.
Iowa: Hosts Nevada on September 17.