Just a friendly reminder, I write all of this in real time and I don’t edit before posting because editing is for Monday’s and there’s beers to drink. Basically, I want you to read this as a running diary of the game. All (over) reactions must be accepted and forgiven as I am just a optimistic fan boy that gets to write for a blog. Thank you.
Just a reminder that Iowa State is 1-11 when the Hawkeyes are ranked. I know with #AmesDay and all that jazz that Cyclone fans are on cloud nine right now, but facts are facts. This is also a big opportunity for Iowa who will have a chance to win their fifth straight game (which will tie the Cyclones run from 1998-2002) and leave Matt Campbell 0-4 during his tenure. Will he finish 0-4? Hmmmmm....
Brian Custer and Robert Smith are in the booth and they’re already tripping over themselves. In fact, Robert Smith hasn’t even said a word yet. Just noises. It’s going to be a long and wild ride with these two Gus Johnson wannabes.
By the way, Kirk Ferentz has been coaching for a long, long time. It’s more than time for the media to get his name correct.
Cyclones win the toss and defer to the second half. Let’s Hawk baby!
Facing a third and long early, Nate delivers a ball that only Ihmir Smith-Marsette can get his paws on to convert. Good zip on the throw, better catch by ISM and it takes a littleeeee air out of the arena. After a Sargent run for five and an incompletion, Iowa is facing another 3rd-and-5 and the rain looks like it’s picking up in Ames. Stanley sticks in the pocket, goes through his reads and delivers a dime to Ragaini to move the sticks again. Stanley really hung in there on that one and is rewarded. It’s a small thing that will surely get overlooked by the time this game is over, but that’s the type of composure we haven’t seen from him the last two seasons when things break down around him.
After a missed/overthrow to Tyrone Tracy, Nate Stanley scrambles for another first down and Iowa is in the redzone as the time just slowly ticks away. On third and five, Sargent is stopped JUST short of the first and KF elects to kick the field goal.
3-0, and Iowa milked more than seven minutes off the clock. I’m happy with that. Time for the D to make the Cyclones go three and out and get these guys back on the field ASAP.
After a beautiful short kick that Iowa State has to run under, Brock Purdy and the offense have to start on the 14-yard line for their first drive of the game...
After nearly a full hour we’re back to do that football. First down for the Cyclones on their own 25. It’s as if that kickoff never even happened. Under immense pressure, Purdy completes two quick passes for back-to-back first downs that leads to Campbell showing some early cahonas by calling a double pass that goes for a long touchdown on the young secondary for Iowa.
7-3, and the energy is back in Ames.
Facing an early 3rd-and-4 and Stanley’s bullet pass gets batted down at the line. The Cyclone horns are blaring and I hate this so, so much. Without this weather delay, none of this happens... try and convince me otherwise. Bottom line, Iowa cannot afford three and outs today.
On the first play of the drive, Purdy runs for a first down then takes another shot on a long throw to DJ Johnson’s side that falls to the turf. They are going to keep picking on the freshman corner. After a quick pick up of four yards, Purdy gets pressured by AJE and he scrambles for a yard or two. Matt Campbell elects to go for it on 4th and 3, but the Iowa State offense commits a false start and forces the ‘Clones to punt. On the third down play, AJE was held so egregiously and it wasn’t called. If he’s not able to get that call, I’m not sure he’s going to get any this season. It’s like the Khalil Mack effect.
Starting on their own 20 after a pretty horrid punt, BF elects to get Toren Young some tick and he rolls for nine yards, is stuffed on second down, and Brady Ross picks up the first on the dive to end the quarter. Guess Kirk Ferentz regained his trust in the FB position over the past two weeks.
On the first play of the quarter, Stanley hits Ragaini for 18-yards to get the ball to midfield. Stanley misses Tracy on a deep ball (he was double covered but the WR had a step), Iowa has a false start, Sargent picks up the penalty yardage on a RB screen and Stanley overthrows on a wild sequence in which he was scrambling for his life. Not much help down field but a better pass probably gets the first down. Four overthrows for those counting at home... and that hurts me so much to write. Punt.
LIGHTNING DELAY #2. If Iowa State comes back out of the locker room and hits a long play I’m going to throw my computer at a wall.
After a 2 hour delay in which we all got the exclusive opportunity to watch Minnesota figure out a way to win their third game, Michigan State figure out a way to lose their third game that they thought they won we are finally ready to football... again. Just a reminder, Purdy and the Cyclone offense are starting on their own 20.
After a couple quick hitters and a Purdy scramble, Iowa State tried to hit the Iowa D with the same double pass that ends up losing yardage. Two plays later the Cyclones were forced to punt. Matt Campbell really thought that was going to work twice? Come on man. Luckily for him, Iowa gets pinned deep in their own territory again. Ragaini the punter returner has been...interesting?
Three and out...and Iowa State takes over on their own 48. Great punt by Sleepy. DEEP BREATH. WOOSAH. DEEP BREATH. PURDY FUMBLE! PURDY FUMBLE! IOWA FOOTBALL EVERYTHING IS GREAT AND GOOD AND RIGHT.
Now go get 7.
Facing yet another 3rd and short, BF marches out a 3-WR set and Stanley runs the Brady Sneak for the first. The very next play Sargent breaks off a 22-yard run. Iowa back in Cyclone territory. A few plays later, Stanley and Co. face yet another 3rd and 3 and Stanley hits Ragaini on a crosser for the first. Not sure why Kirk and Brian let the clock run down to :21 seconds there instead of calling one of there three timeouts... lets see if they’re rewarded with a walk-into-half tuddy here.
It’s a field goal.
Cyclones 7, Hawkeyes 6. Cyclones get the ball after the shortened half.
On the second play of the half, Purdy finds a wide open Tarique Milton in the middle of the field who goes for a 73-yard touchdown untouched. Purdy has one incompletion at this point in the game and the Iowa secondary is less than average. They were so mixed up on that play that this will probably go down as two of the easiest touchdowns the Cyclones will have all season. If Iowa isn’t going to get pressure and the secondary is going to give this much space because of the footing, well, it’s not a winning combination.
Cyclones 14, Iowa 6. Trouble.
Iowa with a three and out after yet ANOTHER EFFING JUMBO SET ON THIRD AND SHORT THAT GOES NOWHERE. Literally nowhere. How many more times do we have to watch Kirk and Brian try to squeeze a square peg into the round hole when literally 20 minutes ago Nate picked up a first down with a sneak in 11-personnel? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we make offense so hard when it can be so easy? Why is Iowa State slinging the ball all over the field and Nate is captain check down right now? With the field the way it is, Iowa and their receivers should be running train all over the field right now. CHRIST!
Purdy picks up right where he left off. He still only has one incompletion and he’s picking apart the Iowa zone like he’s at QB camp. . His guys are finding the space and just camping in it and he’s delivering gem after gem after gem. It’s almost as if Iowa’s feet are literally caught in the mud while Iowa State is running on top of it.
Of course, because that’s how these things go for me, Purdy throws an incompletion which is followed by a blitz that nearly hits home, followed by a delay of game and Iowa State is punting finally. We’re still in this, even though it doesn’t feel like we are. At least that’s what I’m going to keep telling myself because I can’t handle my own negative emotions.
After a questionable intentional grounding in which Nate’s arm was hit outside of the tackle box, Nate finds ISM on an effing bullet to move the chains on third and forever. Put that on his NFL tape and send it to all the GM’s. Iowa back in business and in Iowa State territory. A few plays later, Tyler Goodson shakes and bakes his way to another first down. Explosive and slippery and leaving Cyclones falling all over themselves. Nate has Brandon Smith in single coverage and throws up a beautiful ball that only he can catch with his giant hands and it’s dropped. Hawkeyes field goal unit marches out and Duncan hits from 42.
Cyclones 14, Iowa 9. I can hardly breath and Brandon Smith is going to the locker room...
With an illegal block on the kickoff, Iowa State is slated to start off this drive at their own 6-yard line. Whatcha got Philsy? Iowa is coming with pressure and Iowa State losses a yard on first down. Geno Stone goes all Honeybadger and lays the wood on second. Nearly picked off on third. First three and out of the season for the Cyclones and Iowa is in business on the Cyclones 25 after a really horrid punt.
On third and long, Stanley tucks it and runs for 14-yards to pick up the first on the 12-yard line. Another Stanley scamper and an IKM first down pick up, Iowa goes jumbo and punches it in for a touchdown on a keeper!!!!!
The go for two and come up empty.
Iowa Hawkeyes 15, Cyclones 14 with 12 minutes left.
Just like that, Iowa State hits soft throw after soft throw and moves the ball all the way down the field with relative ease (AJE missed a sack that would’ve absolutely changed this drive). But when it matters most, the Iowa defense comes together and pinches Purdy in the redzone and hold them to a field goal which is an amazing victory, IMO.
Cyclones 17, Iowa 15. 7:56 remaining.
I’m going to go away for a bit and just enjoy this.
Nate is unable to hit Ragaini in the endzone, almost gets picked off and the surest thing in the Iowa offense comes out and hits 39-yard field goal.
Hawkeyes 18, Cyclones 17. 4:51 remaining. All on the D.
Fourth down happens. There’s offsetting penalties thankfully. There is finally nothing out there for Purdy and Iowa knocks down an overthrow. They take over at their own 40-something and Iowa State only has two timeouts. HOLY SHIT. HOLY SHIT.
Iowa goes conservative and runs clock. Nate Stanley throws to the short side to Beyer who goes out of bounds and costs us 25ish seconds. UGH.
MUFFED PUNT MUFFED PUNT MUFFED PUNT!
PLAY THE DAMN POLKA.
WHERE’S THE TYLENOL?