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Game Balls: Iowa State

Sebastian Castro’s touchdown proved to be the difference against the Cyclones

Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

Another game in Ames, Iowa, another coast-turned-white-knuckling victory for the Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0) over the Iowa State Cyclones (1-1). Felt like Iowa left a lot of points on the board but also,

The Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) coasted for the better part of a hot afternoon on their way to a 24-14 victory. They leave the day with plenty of questions but had quite a few answered too. Here were my top performers from today’s game.


Cooper DeJean had his fingerprints all over this game with a game high 10 tackles, including a key one on a first half Iowa punt. He added half a tackle for loss and knocked down a pass intended for slot receiver Benjamin Brahmer on Iowa State’s final drive. There was also a wonky play where he had a shot at an interception but the ball bounced off Xavier Nwankpa’s helmet for an incompletion.

He had just 5 yards on 2 punt returns. It feels simultaneously like he is due to break one for chunk yardage and also like Iowa really misses the veterans they had on the unit last year and that a huge return is unlikely (Jack Campbell, Riley Moss, etc).


Jaz Patterson had a huge game, with 89 yards on just 10 carries and the first touchdown of his Hawkeye career. The total surpassed all the yards he had last season. His first touch was on Iowa’s first 3rd down of the day and he was able to get past almost all Cyclone defenders to set up a Hawkeye field goal.

He also did the little things with a huge block in pass protection where he was able to keep two Clones from getting to Cade McNamara.

(Worth noting: this play came on Iowa’s only scoring drive in the second half)

Overall, Patterson looked like a guy running with a purpose. On his touchdown, it seemed like he fell forward three or four yards. Plus, his slighter build allows him to take advantage of any seam available. Seems like he has already usurped Leshon Williams as the #2 back which says more about Jaz than it does Williams.


Sebastian Castro continued his strong play through two games this season (4 tackles, 3 solo) but the interception he returned for a touchdown was the highlight of the game, which put the Hawkeyes up 17-0 and enabled the full-fledged riding time victory Iowa put on for 34 minutes.

As it so often matters, the Cy-Hawk game came down to the team who made the least mistakes. Castro made them pay big time with this one.

Also considered: Logan Lee (4 tackles, 1 blocked field goal); Luke Lachey (58 yards on 3 receptions, all in the first half); Deshaun Lee (9 tackles, 2 pass breakups, but one tough TD allowed)

Running total:

  1. Jay Higgins (3 balls, 1 game); Sebastian Castro (3 balls, 1 game)
  2. Cade McNamara (2 balls, 1 game); Jaz Patterson (2 balls, 1 game)
  3. Deshaun Lee (1 ball, 1 game); Cooper DeJean (1 ball, 1 game)

Sebastian Castro (3 balls, 1 game)