There was no secret to what the Iowa football team wanted to do against Iowa State during their Cy-Hawk Series matchup against the Cyclones.
The Hawkeyes wanted to run, run, run and run some more.
After giving up more than 200 yards to Northern Iowa in its opener, Iowa State again struggled to stop the run as the Hawkeyes racked up 218 rushing yards in a 27-21 victory over their in-state rival.
“It is always a tough game here,” said Iowa running back Mark Weisman. “We have could have put them away earlier, but this is a stepping stone. We are not where we need to be yet though.”
Weisman carried it 35 times for 145 yards, and sophomore QB Jake Rudock threw for 160 yards and two scores as the Hawkeyes ended the Cyclones’ two-game win streak in the series. It was Iowa’s fourth win in the past six seasons against Iowa State.
“We knew this game was going to be tough,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “This game is always tough. It was a hard-fought victory. They just don’t give that trophy away.”
Iowa now leads the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series competition 5-0. The Hawkeyes earned two points for a win in soccer earlier this season. The football win Saturday was worth three points.
"We made way too many mistakes to win a football game like this," said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. "The University of Iowa did an excellent job of keeping the ball away from us and playing very sound football - and earning the victory tonight."
Iowa gained 378 yards and held possession for a little more than 16 minutes longer than Iowa State, but the Cyclones made things interesting late.
The Hawkeyes went up 27-7 after Rudock scored on a 1-yard plunge with just more than 7 minutes to play in the game.
Iowa State though cut into the lead when Sam Richardson hit Quenton Bundrage from 26 yards to make it 27-14. Then Richardson got the Cyclones within six when he hit Bundrage again for a 17-yard touchdown with 2:26 to play in the game.
The Hawkeyes recovered the ensuing onside kick but still needed to stop a late Cyclone “lateral” play after a punt by Connor Kornbrath.
That started the sprint to the Cy-Hawk Trophy across the field for the Hawkeyes.
“They made our jobs easier,” Iowa right tackle Brett Van Sloten said of the Iowa running backs. “It’s nice and fun to block for those guys. They had a great game for us.”
Iowa led 13-0 at halftime. Rudock connected with Kevonte Martin-Manley from 5 yards out to crack the scoreboard in the second quarter and Mike Meyer drilled field goals of 27 and 38 yards to put Iowa in front by 13. The second field was set up by a James Morris interception with less than 1 minute to play in the half.
“The trophy means that we beat Iowa State,” said Morris, an in-state athlete who enjoyed taking back the Cy-Hawk Trophy in his senior season. “It’s a signal of pride and toughness for me. It means we played good football against a good team. It’s a box of medal. Every week is important, but it is nice anytime you can beat Iowa State.”
Martin-Manley finished with 70 yards receiving on six catches.
Iowa State’s Sam Richardson threw two picks on the day and was 22-of-39 for 260 yards and three scores. But Iowa’s defensive line – led by Dominic Alvis – kept Richardson off balance most of the night with heavy pressure and a strong pass rush.
“We felt strong and fed off each other tonight,” said Alvis. “This effort will help build our confidence and maturity. We have a long ways to go, but if we can learn to finish games better and put teams away, we can be a strong team.”
Bundrage got Iowa State on the board with his first touchdown of the game. He snatched a deep out route from Richardson, broke B.J. Lowery’s tackle and sprinted to a 67-yard touchdown to make it 13-7. Bundrage finished with 146 yards on seven catches.
"Everyone has to be ready at every point of the game, it just happened the ball came to me and I made a play,” said Bundrage.
Unlike in previous weeks, the Hawkeyes offense responded. With a steady diet of Weisman, Iowa marched 60 yards on 9 plays to extend its lead. Rudock hit freshman Jacob Hillyer on a 26-yard touchdown to put the Hawkeyes up 20-7.
The lead grew to 20 when Rudock scored a 1-yard rushing TD with 7 minutes to play. That drive covered 73 yards in 15 plays. A run by Weisman originally called a touchdown was called back by replay. That made no difference to Weisman.
“I couldn’t care less,” Weisman said. “It doesn’t matter who scores as long as we win. That’s how the rest of the team feels, too.”
Iowa converted 11 of 20 on third down, while Iowa State was just 5-of-14. … The Hawkeyes also got 50 yards rushing from Damon Bullock. Iowa State rushed for just 59 yards on 24 carries in the loss. … The win was the 600th in Iowa’s football history. … Ferentz improves to 3-5 in games played in Ames since he became head coach in 1999. The last two wins at Jack Trice Stadium helped propel the Hawkeyes to eventual 10-plus win seasons. … Christian Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens had 11 and 10 tackles each for the Hawkeyes. The two seniors and Morris played a big role in shutting down the Iowa State running game. … Jacques Washington and Jeremiah George each had 13 tackles to lead the Cyclones defense. … Iowa State wore throwback uniforms from the 1920s, similar to what Jack Trice wore 90 years ago in his only season with the Cyclones in 1923. … Following a bye, Iowa State next plays at Tulsa, while the Hawkeyes will host Western Michigan next Saturday in Iowa City.