116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
AMES — Iowa State still hasn’t completely rid itself of early-season slow starts.
The seventh-ranked Cyclones beat Northern Iowa 16-10 on Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium.
Datrone Young got an interception with 2:05 left in the game and the Cyclones prevented any big plays during the Panthers’ last-minute drive. It tied a neat bow on an excellent overall defensive performance from the Cyclones.
Iowa State (1-0) allowed just 218 total yards, including only 45 on the ground.
The Cyclones were led by linebackers Jake Hummel and Mike Rose. Hummel had 10 tackles and Rose had nine, including 1.5 for loss.
Isheem Young also had a steller game, recording six tackles and an earlier interception in the third quarter.
For as good as Iowa State’s defense was, the offense had a tough time.
There was one stretch in the first half where it looked like it had a rhythm when Iowa State got a field goal and followed it up with a a 14-play, 7:19 drive that featured plenty of All-America running back Breece Hall and All-Big 12 receiver Xavier Hutchinson. Hall capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run in a jumbo formation with seven offensive linemen.
It was the second half where the offense really sputtered.
Iowa State had a tough time running the ball and had a tough time getting chunk plays throughout.
Mistakes were what cost the Cyclones. Receiver Joe Scates fumbled on Iowa State’s first drive. The Cyclones recovered but it led to an 8-yard loss.
In the third quarter, receiver Jaylin Noel also fumbled on a catch that would have resulted in a first down, but the ball popped backward and went out of bounds, resulting in a fourth-and-1.
Late in the third quarter, after one of the few big plays (a Tarique Milton 34-yard catch), Iowa State was flagged for holding and a false start, which made it first-and-25. The Cyclones were forced to punt from their own 39 on that drive because it was fourth-and-12 due to the penalties.
UNI played stout throughout with its ball-possession offense, running the ball steadily and taking what was given to it in the pass game.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy put up decent numbers despite the lack of scoring production. He completed 21 of 26 passes for 197 yards. He also rushed nine times for 58 yards.
Hall, who had a good first half with 51 rushing yards, had a hard time finding daylight in the second half. He finished the game with 23 carries, 69 yards and a touchdown. He was also Iowa State’s second-leading receiver with four catches and 31 yards.
Iowa State’s leading receiver was Hutchinson, who caught seven passes for 88 yards. But he was also shut down in the second half. Six of his seven catches came in the first half.
UNI played with Iowa State throughout the game, and actually opened up the scoring in the season’s first contest.
Will McElvain’s pass to Quan Hampton for a 52-yard touchdown was what got things going after the teams traded two three-and-outs each.
McElvain finished the game completing 21 of 34 passes for 230 yards and a touchdown.
Hampton led the Panthers’ receiving corps with eight catches and 99 yards.
UNI’s stout defense, which caused all sorts of problems for the Cyclones, was led by Austin Evans and Alfonzo Lambert, who both had nine tackles. Omar Brown was right behind them with eight tackles.
Iowa State’s offense will have plenty to go over during the week as it prepares to host Iowa next Saturday at 3:30 p.m.