For a week, Iowa Hawkeye fans kept telling Cyclone Nation that this was Iowa State’s Super Bowl and they didn’t care. They obviously don’t because they let “little brother” win in Kinnick Stadium for the second straight time, so let’s run with it.
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In a video that’s usually played for the cardinal and gold, Iowa is the team that makes the mistakes down the stretch and it costs them the game. The loss of Jordan Lomax at free safety unraveled the Hawkeye defense on an eventual Iowa State touchdown drive that gave them a 17-14 advantage in the middle of the fourth quarter. The pass was caught by DeVondrick Nealy on a wheel route where he broke wide open and sprinted to the end zone.
That same DeVondrick Nealy coughed up the ball twice. He first coughed it up right before half, when Iowa State had their first great chance to get a touchdown. Cyclone fans could flash back to the days that Ryan Kock coughed it up at the goal line when they saw the ball squirt out of Nealy’s hands and saw the Hawkeye defender recover it in the waning seconds of the half.
Once again, things got away from the team before intermission. Almost all of us wouldn’t be surprised if Iowa ended up taking over the game on the ground in the final 30 minutes.
Instead, Iowa went toward the pass more in the second half — an interesting decision, considering that really let the Cyclones back in it. T.J. Mutcherson started the fireworks for Iowa State after he was able to get a pick off of Jake Rudock on Iowa’s first drive of the 3rd quarter.
That led to a ballsy 4th down call by Iowa State at the goal line that tricked the Hawkeye defense, featuring quarterback Sam Richardson short arming it to E.J. Bibbs in the end zone. But the tight end used his entire 6-foot-3 frame to grab the ball and get the Cyclones’ first touchdown.
Push forward back to where Nealy caught a touchdown to take the lead. Iowa was able to march down the field and get a crazy field goal. They ended up going with Marshall Koehn after some confusion on the sideline. Instead of using a timeout, Iowa decides to quickly set their offense up and kick a 44-yarder. Obviously, it goes in.
Sep 13, 2014; Iowa City, IA, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Ferentz looks on as his offensive moves the football against the Iowa State Cyclones defense at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports
Here’s the funny thing. That timeout Iowa saved could have been what cost them at the end of the game.
Iowa State was able to march down the field in regulation’s final drive. They set themselves up inside Iowa’s 35-yard line and went conservative, opting to use Cole Netten — who made a 47-yarder earlier — to kick a game winning field goal.
That timeout that Iowa saved was used right before Netten booted his first kick, but he still kicked it as it faded to the left over the goal post. We don’t know if that field goal kick was missed or not as it went above the left post, but the refs signaled that it was no good. Maybe it was that the field goal was no good. Maybe it was because the kick was nullified due to the timeout and the refs wanted to signal that.
Either way, that timeout gave Netten another chance at giving the Cyclones their first victory of the season, and what did he do? He kicked it right down the middle.
The Iowa Hawkeyes sat and watched the opponent do what Iowa State has witnessed multiple times — go out and win the game. The Cyclones have all kinds of talent to be competitive in an extremely tough Big 12 slate that lays ahead of them, but they needed to find a way to close a game.
They couldn’t do it until the final game of the season last year when they beat West Virginia in multiple overtimes. Luckily, they were able to find a way in game number three this year.
Contrary to the average Hawkeye fan’s beliefs, this wasn’t the Cyclones’ Super Bowl. They’ll take that win into the bye week and prepare for the Big 12 (Baylor is next up, which….). As for Iowa, they can go into the fluffy, comfortable dream land that is the Big Ten and [maybe] beat up on creampuffs that make the MAC look legitimate.
Until next year, Hawkeyes — it’s a Cyclone State.