Cyclones Win Despite Red Zone Inefficiency Over Hawkeyes


Iowa State only capitalized on two of five trips to the red zone, but Iowa couldn’t rebound enough from mistakes and dropped passes to take advantage. The Cyclones win their second straight game against Iowa under head coach Paul Rhoads, and improve to 9-6 since 1998 in the series.

September 8, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones players lift the Cy-Hawk trophy after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium. Iowa State defeated Iowa 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESS WIRE

Adversely, no other team has been able to defeat Kirk Ferentz as much as Iowa State has. Fans that already were calling for his head after a very flawed one-point win over Northern Illinois a week ago will be furious this week.

Perhaps Paul Rhoads has something on the Hawkeyes’ new offensive coordinator, Greg Davis. Two years ago, the Cyclones won for the first time ever in Austin against the Texas Longhorns when Davis was coaching there.

What was easy to see was a first half that was dominated by ISU quarterback Steele Jantz running a high-tempo offense with little mistakes, and a defensive line that was overpowering and making all the Hawkeyes struggle on offense. The biggest shock was how Iowa State was getting the yards.

Anticipating a huge running attack, it was screens, short passes, and the occasional long ball that gave the Cyclones all that success. If it weren’t for a botched extra point after scoring the lone touchdown at the opening possession, settling for a field goal, and turning the ball over in the red zone, Iowa State should have been up even more.

Then the offense faded away in the second half. All those offensive totals of over 200 yards ended up finishing at just 342 yards for the day. Neither team was able to find rhythm, and an ugly slugfest resulted between the schools.

September 8, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Jarvis West (1) is tackled by Iowa Hawkeye safety Tanner Miller (5) in the fourth quarter at Kinnick Stadium. The Cyclones defeated the Hawkeyes 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE

Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg finally found momentum in the last hope for the Hawkeyes. The team stopped dropping all of his throws, and it looked as if Iowa would at least get the opportunity to get a field goal to tie the game.

Instead, Jake Knott tipped the ball to himself and fell on it, sealing the victory for the Cyclones. A hard fought, grind-it-out win, that potentially exposes more worries.

Of course, if you’re a fan of Iowa State you’ll take it. They’ve won ugly before (not forgetting 15-13) and considering the last win in Iowa City was in 2002, even an ugly 9-6 final is acceptable.

Perhaps the Hawkeyes won’t be wearing the 1921 throwbacks anytime soon. They move to 1-1 and will have to play another in-state opponent, Northern Iowa, next Saturday

The Cyclones are undefeated at 2-0 and look ahead to facing FCS opponent Western Illinois, who doesn’t fare much better than Savannah State on the defensive side, before opening Big 12 play against Texas Tech at the Jack.

Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.

Read his other work on the Oregon Ducks blog, Autzen Zoo, and Lacrosse the Web.