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Iowa State was one inch from cutting its deficit to four points shortly before halftime. Running back DeVondrick Nealy was hit before crossing the goal line, and Iowa cornerback Greg Mabin recovered into the end zone. Iowa still led 14-3 and the ghosts of past losses swirled around the Cyclones.
Only this time, ISU didn't cave in to doubt and insecurity. This time, the Cyclones rose up and won a trophy, 20-17 against Iowa.
'I'm a teacher and I love lessons and through two weeks we've had a lot of lessons to learn from, of adversity that we faced,” ISU Coach Paul Rhoads said. 'You fumble the ball going into your end zone, you can fold your tent up right then and there and you could say, ‘It's happening to us again. Woe is me.' But because of what we've been doing from Sunday to Saturday, they didn't say that. They moved past the play.”
ISU quarterback Sam Richardson. In a workmanlike performance, Richardson completed 25 of 37 passes for 255 yards and two scores. He wasn't sacked and he wasn't intercepted.
'Today he probably played his best game as an Iowa State Cyclone like I forecasted a week ago,” Rhoads said. 'That's just the mind-set that young man is. He's improving, he's taking the coaching, he's going out and working on the fundamentals and making good decisions. It's fun to see his growth.”
Richardson also rushed eight times for 29 yards.
BY THE NUMBERS
2.9 – Yards per carry for Iowa
11 – Combined total of points in Iowa's last four losses to Iowa State
6 – Fourth-quarter comebacks by ISU under Paul Rhoads
4 – ISU sacks, the most in nearly two years
3 – Fourth-down conversions by Iowa
D – It's like Iowa's offense is learning how to juggle . . . with chainsaws . . . flaming chainsaws.
- Marc Morehouse
D – After dodging raindrops this season, Hawkeyes got a tub of ice water dumped on their heads. And it wasn't for charity.
- Mike Hlas
D – Iowa's Corvette offense is driving 45 miles per hour in the left lane on I-80. With its blinker on and new tires.
- Scott Dochterman
B-plus (ISU) -It might not have been perfect, but the Cyclones get the goose egg out of their win column heading into the bye week.
- Dylan Montz
GOING FOR IT
Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz went against tendency late in the second quarter when he decided against kicking a field goal and went for a first down on fourth-and-8 at the Iowa State 16.
'That was something we just decided during the week,” Ferentz said. 'We talked about it and how we wanted to handle different situations, and that is one we discussed. We had already made that decision we were going to go ahead and play in that way.”
Quarterback Jake Rudock rolled to the left, got into trouble but then tossed to wide receiver Jacob Hillyer at the 6-yard line. Hillyer went up for the catch and pulled it down for a first down.
'My read told me to sit down jut pass the first-down mark and I sat down and I saw Rudock scrambling,” Hillyer said. 'Me and Rudock made eye contact, and I knew he was going to throw it up to me. He threw it up and we had to do what we had to do, and I came down with the catch.”
Iowa State sacked Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock four times on Saturday, the most sacks given up by the Hawkeyes since a 38-14 loss to Penn State on 2012.
ISU rarely blitzed and still were able to pressure Rudock. He was sacked twice in each half.
'We didn't bring five rushers one time today,” Rhoads said. 'We brought a fourth (rusher) and dropped a guy out. We never brought five or more one time today.”
Rudock said there wasn't nothing he could do to change protection.
'If they're not blitzing, if we've got hats on them, yeah, we can always check to block up a blitz,” Rudock said. 'If we got hats on them, maybe their guy outworked us and made a good move. Not much you can do about that. Just man-on-man football.”
Just four days after a medical procedure on his right knee, Iowa tackle Brandon Scherff started and played the whole game for Iowa.
Scherff was told by doctors he'd be out at least a week, if not two. But he participated in Thursday's practice and he was ready to play on Saturday.
'I felt good, just fatigued coming off a surgery like that or a scope like that,” Scherff said. 'I was just trying to be a player for my team.”
Iowa (2-1) plays at Pittsburgh in its first road game this season at 11 a.m. Saturday. Iowa State (1-2) is idle, then faces No. 7 Baylor at home on Sept. 27.
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