We’re in Ames for the Cy-Hawk game and hoping for Kirk Ferentz’s 200th career win. Iowa has won the toss and elected to defer. Presidential candidates are in Jack Trice, but who cares about them. Let’s get right in on three hours of anxiety, misery, and hopefully elation.
Iowa State’s first drive gets off to a great start and the Clones march down into Iowa territory on the back of quick boundary passes and a solid running game. After getting stopped on fourth down ISU lines up for a field goal attempt that gets blocked! Logan Lee gets his mitts on it and a promising drive goes for naught. Those are the kinds of things we can expect in El Assico!
Iowa’s first drive starts with a bang, as Jaziun Patterson breaks a tremendous 59 yard run on a 3rd and 1 and is unfortunately pulled down at the ISU 12. That’ll help the yard per carry average.
This 59-yard run by Jaziun Patterson set it up. pic.twitter.com/AGTREQ8DFe— Ryan M. Jaster (@Hawkologist) September 9, 2023
It’s just too bad he was run down as Iowa can’t put the ball in the end zone and has to settle for a field goal of their own. The difference: This one actually ends with points on the board as Drew Stevens drills a 28 yard score. Are you prepared for a 16-13 all field goal bonanza? I don’t think I am and I don’t believe my heart could handle it.
The Cyclones next drive starts poorly...for Iowa, as running back Cartevious Norton runs for 11 yards. Thankfully that’s as good as the drive gets. On 3rd and 1 Norton is swarmed by Hawkeyes for a loss of 4 and the good guys get the ball back. What do they do with it, you might ask? Only go 80 yards in 8 plays for a touchdown. The running game continues its strong start with solid runs by both Patterson and Kaleb Johnson, capped by a 4-yard dive for the goal line by Jaz for his first collegiate touchdown! Everyone knew the run was coming but he squirmed through the line and just got the ball over for the score. 10-0 and we’re having a good time now.
Both defenses rule the second quarter, along with questionable no calls and poorly (or perfectly depending on your rooting interest) drops by Cyclone receivers. Six straight drives of punts by both teams combined leads to a Cade McNamara’s first interception of the season. Ugh!
Thankfully, the Clones don’t keep the ball for long as we finally get the defensive score we were all waiting for. Sebastian Castro baits Rocco Becht into a bad decision and returns it all the way for the touchdown! We all knew it was just a matter of time before the Doughboys got their score and it couldn’t have come at a better time, and there’s the mistake many of us expected the young ISU quarterback to make. Thanks Rocco!
Sebastian Castro sees ball, takes ball. A Hawkeye tradition. pic.twitter.com/9QN3kXn3xe— Mitch Fick (@MCFick) September 9, 2023
A forgettable quarter comes to a close with a solid 11-play 51 yard Iowa State drive that leads to their first points of the day. Thankfully, it’s only 3 as Contreraz connects from 42 yards with only four seconds left. Iowa fields the subsequent kickoff and we head into halftime with a 17-3 lead. I think we’re all happy with the score but just like last week I’m wondering where that first quarter offense went. The defense has settled in since the opening Cyclone drive and has performed really well aided by that pick-six and steady pressure on Becht. Let’s take a 15 minute break and I’ll join you in the second half.
Iowa gets the ball to start the second half and I’m sure I speak for everyone I’d like to see the first quarter version out there again. A first down run gets stuffed and a short third down completion puts us in 3rd and 9. Mac’s first completion to a wide receiver goes absolutely nowhere as Ragaini is tackled for no gain. Guess that first quarter offense is still in the locker.
Iowa State picks up on their first drive of the second half where their last one left off, with a third down conversion. The defense has been solid so far today but I’m all in favor of stopping those post haste. After picking up a new set of downs the defense settles in and stops a QB scramble by Becht and forces a punt which DeJean fair catches at the Iowa 15. With a two touchdown lead I’ll be happy just with a long drive, preferably ending in points.
An incredible catch by Seth Anderson gets the offense off on the right foot. The throw was high but Anderson stretched his entire body to get the grab and pull it down. Great to see involvement from the receivers. Not to be outdone by the receivers, Erick All grabs 23 yard catch of his own. The Hawks are moving well into Iowa State territory and another bruising run by Patterson gets Iowa into the red zone. Jaz has been fantastic this game, plowing through holes and over defenders to fall forward more often than not. The drive stalls, however, after two Hawks collide in the end zone and the pass falls incomplete. Hayden Large was open for an easy first down completion, but McNamara wanted the points. Field goal, Hawks lead 20-3 and perhaps just as importantly, took 5:48 off the clock and reset field position.
The Cyclones go nowhere, thanks to a stout defensive effort and dropped pass on third down. A big punt puts Iowa in business at the 13 and they immediately go backwards with a Kaleb Johnson 4-yard loss on a toss. Every Cyclone player in the stadium converged on him on that tackle for loss. McNamara has Anderson all alone for a long pass but overshoots him and another incompletion and short run round out a disappointing series.
Norton picks up ten on first down and Abu Sama III gets seven yards of his own which brings the third quarter to a close. The defense will have some work to do with the Clones on our side of the field. But with one quarter left and a 17-point lead we’re in a good position. Let’s go clock!
ISU’s offense is gaining momentum in the fourth and moving deeper into Iowa territory. Becht’s pass deflects off a Hawkeye helmet, which is good for him because DeJean was in prime position to grab his first interception of the year. Patient, Coop, it’ll come. Schulte breaks up a pass on third down to stop the Cyclone threat. Quinn has been great today on top of his pick-6. Chase Contreraz makes a 46-yard field goal and here we are at 20-6. Still good, but the offense needs to put something together to start putting this one out of reach. I’m not going to be happy until the clock is at 00:00.
Patterson’s big day continues as he continues to pound the ball forward for a couple of good gains and a first down. The good times don’t last as a 3rd and 8 attempt falls incomplete after the ISU defender makes a great play, and maybe got a little handsy with Diante Vines. Tory Taylor’s punt goes 48 yards after a taking a Hawkeye roll to the Iowa State 20. It was another sketchy punt, coming off the side of Taylor’s foot, but I won’t argue with the result. Another result I won’t argue with: another turnover.
But as a wise old British singer once said, we don’t always get what we want. No turnover on Iowa State’s next drive and Becht is gladly taking the short passes to move the chains. We’re shortly within Iowa’s 30 yard line but the Clones are using up precious seconds. Phil looks to be letting Becht make those short passes knowing time isn’t on the youngster’s side. I’m fine with it too, so long as it doesn’t end in a touchdown. I’d rather not deal with any onside kick shenanigans right now. But this drive is taking a long time, and the fans in red and yellow know it as they rain boos down on the home team. Bah-da-bup-bah-bah, I’m lovin’ it.
4th and 9 and the Clones have no choice but to go for it with 2:58 left in the game, and wouldn’t you know it Becht throws a touchdown to Jayden Higgins over the head of Lee. Deshaun was falling backwards which gave Higgins a clear reception and now we’re sitting with a one score game. Ugh! Instead of boos the crowd is all cheers and it’s up to Ferentz the Younger to get us some first downs and the win.
Two straight runs result in a gain of 0 and then of 9 and we’re at 3rd and 1. Iowa State will use it’s second timeout and the offense needs just one more yard to put this one effectively out of reach. But of course we wouldn’t get it as Johnson is tackled for a big fat gain of nothing. Kaleb had a chance to bounce to the outside but a defender tripped him up just enough to end the opportunity. Tory Taylor has another poor punt that goes out of bounds at the 31.
Once again, it’s up to the defense to get the win. Time is a flat circle, and all that. DeJean breaks up a pass over the middle on first down and a pass for 9 leads us to third down. The clock is still running and Becht’s third down throw is incomplete. Fourth and one and one more stop will give the Hawks a win.
AND THEY GET IT!!!
Ethan Hurkett is a Hawkeye Hero today ‼️ The game-saver to secure career win No. 200 for Kirk Ferentz. pic.twitter.com/tnudmBUPvV— Hawkeyes Wire (@HawkeyesWire) September 9, 2023
Ethan Hurkett destroys his blocker and along with Sebastian Castro stuffs Cartevious Norton for a two yard loss! Norton had absolutely no chance and this cardiologist’s nightmare of a game is over. Iowa will move on to 2-0 on the year and Kirk Ferentz gets his sixth straight win in the city of Ames and more impressively his 200th career win. The Hawkeye offense did just enough, especially early on, the defense cleaned up the mess, and the Cy-Hawk trophy returns home to Iowa City.
Enjoy some world-famous tap water and appreciate a bridge because we don’t have to come back to this damn city for another two years.
It’s a good day in the Hawkeye state.