The Game Report from Iowa’s 13-3 victory over Iowa State in the 2018 Cy-Hawk game Saturday at Kinnick Stadium.
Play Of The Game
The setup — Iowa had Iowa State on the ropes. It was 6-3, but with the way Iowa’s defense built a fort around ISU, that was the ropes. The Hawkeyes offense, however, couldn’t get out of its way long enough to put away Iowa State. Then, when they needed it in the fourth quarter, all the Hawkeyes wanted the ball and seemingly got it.
What happened — Iowa QB Nate Stanley is still trying to pop the clutch on 2018. Going into the fourth quarter, he was just 11 of 20 for 94 yards. WR Brandon Smith’s 2018 also needed a running start. The 6-3, 219-pound sophomore had no catches this season and no catches in seven games before coming through with the play of his young career.
The result — Smith got behind corner D’Andre Payne for a 30-yard reception to Iowa State’s 2-yard line. Two plays later, running back Mekhi Sargent squeezed inside the pylon from 2 yards for a 13-3 lead with 4:47 left in the game. It was Iowa’s best drive of the season and it was fueled by a passing game that finally decided to drop by. Going into the game, Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said Smith might be playing ahead of his time. Saturday, against the Cyclones, he was right on time.
— Marc Morehouse
Marc Morehouse: B
The defense was an A+++++. The defense has an MIT ACT score. They are rocket scientists, football-wise.
Mike Hlas: B+
The ‘D’ gets an ‘A,’ which is why the team got the ‘W.’
Jeff Johnson: B
This kind of defense will win you a lot of games the rest of the way. The offense, passing game, in particular, not so much.
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By the numbers
71: Yards Iowa State had on its initial drive of the game.
117: Yards Iowa State had after its initial drive of the game.
66: The number of games in this series. Iowa leads it, 44-22.
69,250: Saturday’s attendance at Kinnick Stadium. That’s a sellout.
13, 14: Yardage on a pair of punts from Iowa State’s Corey Dunn. The Australian rebounded to kick a 58-yarder later in the game and averaged 36.6 on eight punts overall.
48: Distance of Iowa kicker Miguel Recinos’ field goal in the third quarter. That was a career high.
112: Number of yards Iowa State running back David Montgomery had in last season’s Cy-Hawk game.
44: Number of yards Iowa State running back David Montgomery had in Saturday’s game.
9: Number of catches Iowa wide receivers have in two games this season.
— With Ivory Kelly-Martin out with an ankle injury, Toren Young got his first start at tailback for Iowa. He rushed 21 times for 68 yards. Mekhi Sargent also saw plenty of running back time, finishing with 25 yards on 11 carries, including the game’s lone touchdown with 4:47 left: a 2-yard run.
— Alaric Jackson and Tristan Wirfs returned to the starting lineup at offensive tackle for Iowa: Jackson on the left side and Wirfs on the right.
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— Mike Rose is a true freshman in name only. The Ohio native led Iowa State with 11 tackles. That included seven solo and one for loss.
— Iowa State’s 188 yards was its lowest offensive output in 55 games.
Kelly-Martin did not play for Iowa because of an ankle injury. Coach Kirk Ferentz said the hope is he will return sooner than later.
Linebacker Kristian Welch (concussion) also did not play, though he was cleared to and warmed up with his teammates.
Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette left in the second half after landing on his shoulder during a play. Ferentz said X-rays on that shoulder came back negative.
It’s another in-state battle next week against Northern Iowa. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., and the game will be televised by Big Ten Network.
Iowa State hosts No. 5 Oklahoma at 11 a.m. next Saturday, with the game being televised either on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.
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