Iowa let a 14-3 second-half lead slip away and Iowa State reclaimed the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the third time in four years as the Cyclones rallied for a 20-17 victory.
Iowa's 11-point halftime lead was tied for the largest it had held all year (24-13 in the third quarter of the season opener against UNI), but the offense stalled out and ISU QB Sam B. Richardson went to work in the second half, .
The Cyclone comeback was sparked by this remarkable catch by TE E.J. Bibbs on 4th and goal on a jump pass that quite nearly went horribly awry:
That's a catch, that's a score, and that's why Iowa State was even in the game to begin with as the clock ran down.
At the end it came down to ISU kicker Cole Netten—fittingly, a native Iowan from Ankeny, which is about 15 miles south of Ames on I-35—who buried a 42-yarder for the win. Worth mentioning: Netten originally missed the kick left, but the play had been blown dead by a Kirk Ferentz time out from the sidelines. That's good coachin'.
Iowa State, your plans for the night?
Ah yes, the frosty adult sodey pops. Enjoy 'em, Clones.
Three things we learned
1. The Iowa bandwagon has burst into flames. Remember when Iowa was a fringe Top 25 team based on its cake schedule? Funny thing—it turns out bad teams find ways to lose games, and this was a loss Iowa engineered with aplomb. The offense stalled out repeatedly while rarely challenging the ISU defense in the second half, and any sense that Iowa can hang with Nebraska or Wisconsin in the West is basically out the window. Heck, based on the lackluster performances in all three games, it's fair to wonder if Iowa's going bowling at all this year.
2. Paul Rhoads' career at Iowa State is just a little bit safer. This win pushes Rhoads to 3-3 in the Cy-Hawk rivalry, and while a bowl bid in the Big 12 is probably too much to ask, 1-2 feels a lot different from 0-3. Above all else Iowa State needs to feel like its program is on par with Iowa's, and with a hotly contested victory like this that case can be more easily made.
3. The Big Ten is even worse than we feared. The Iowa loss pushed the Big Ten to 1-7 against Power 5 conferences in non-conference games, and more losses (Minnesota vs. TCU, Illinois vs. Washington, Purdue vs. Notre Dame) are in the chute as we speak. There's virtually nothing going right for the conference at this point.