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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 8, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Kinnick Stadium (70,585) -- Iowa City, Iowa. Television: Big Ten Network. Home Record: Iowa State 1-0, Iowa 1-0. Away Record: Iowa State 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Neutral Record: Iowa STate 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Conference Record: Iowa State 0-0, Iowa 0-0. Series Record: Iowa leads 39-20.
GAME NOTES: An instate rivalry will be renewed in the second week of the season, as the Iowa State Cyclones make the short trip across the Hawkeye State to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Cy-Hawk Trophy at Kinnick Stadium.
This is a rivalry that dates all the way back to 1894 and one that Iowa leads by a fairly commanding 39-20 margin. However last season it was the Cyclones that took home the coveted trophy awarded to the winner of the annual showdown with a 44-41 shootout victory at Jack Trice Stadium. The series has been a bit more even of late with the Cyclones holding an 8-6 mark against the Hawkeyes since snapping a 15-year losing streak in 1998.
Iowa State has been a team that has hovered around .500 in the three seasons since Paul Rhoads took over head coaching duties. The Cyclones got off to a solid start this season after a 38-23 victory over Tulsa in the season-opener. The Cyclones went 6-7 last season and won their first three games including the triple-overtime thriller against Iowa.
Iowa also opened the season with a win, although in much more dramatic fashion, as the Hawkeyes downed Northern Illinois by just a single point, 18-17. Damon Bullock's 23-yard touchdown run with 2:15 remaining in the game proved to be the difference, as the Hawkeyes avoided a loss and extended their winning streak in season-openers to 12 games. Iowa is coming off a similarly mediocre season, as the Hawkeyes finished 7-6 in 2011.
Despite the 15-point margin of victory in its opener, Iowa State struggled in the first quarter and trailed 16-7 headed into the second period. However a 17-0 eruption before the half allowed the Cyclones to coast to the win. In all the Cyclones racked up 441 total yards with a balanced attack that included 281 yards through the air and 160 on the ground. The Cyclones also went 5-for-6 in the red zone.
Shontrelle Johnson was the workhorse for the offense in the game carrying the ball 18 times for 120 yards and a score. The total was a career-high and was only his third career 100-yard rushing game. James White also contributed with 62 yards on 10 carries and a touchdown of his own.
Dual-threat quarterback Steele Jantz was limited in terms of running the ball (28 yards), but completed 32-of-45 passes for 281 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The completions and yards were career-highs for Jantz. Josh Lenz was open quite a bit throughout the game and led the team with eight receptions, for 96 yards and a score.
Rhoads' defensive unit showed some marked improvement from last season when the Cyclones ranked 95th nationally, allowing 427.5 yards per game. In the win over Tulsa, Iowa State surrendered 358 total yards which while not dominating, certainly improved on last season's efforts. The defense also held up well on third down, holding the Golden Hurricane to an 8-for-22 conversion rate. The unit was more effective in the final three quarters after allowing 16 points in the first.
All-Big 12 linebacker Jake Knott was at the center of the squad's defensive effort recording 11 total tackles and a quarterback hit, forcing a fumble and breaking up two passes. Fellow All-Big 12 linebacker A.J Klein recorded seven total tackles.
Iowa trailed 17-9 going into the fourth quarter of last weekend's contest with Northern Illinois but the offense finally woke up in the fourth quarter to score its first touchdown of the season on Bullocks' run. In a game in which neither offense looked in top form, the Hawkeyes managed 268 total yards which did out-gain the Huskies, who had 201.
Iowa never wavered in its commitment to the run in the game. The Hawkeyes had 49 attempts, despite averaging only 2.8 yards per carry and totaling 139 yards. The Hawkeyes also gained 18 of their 23 first downs on the ground. Bullock took on the bulk of the work in the game carrying the ball 30 times for 151 yards and the much deserved game-winning score.
Quarterback James Vandenberg completed 21 passes in the game but had only 129 yards through the air and was harassed all afternoon, taking six sacks.
With the offense stalling throughout the game, Iowa relied heavily on place-kicker Mike Meyer, who knocked in four field goals in the game including a 50-yarder. For his efforts he was named Co-Special Teams Player of the Week in the Big Ten.
While the offense struggled, the defense came up big in the winning effort. The Hawkeyes were especially stingy against the pass, allowing just 45 yards on six completions.
Linebackers Anthony Hitchens and James Morris tied for the team lead with eight tackles and defensive end Joe Gaglione was a menace in the backfield, finishing with three TFLs.
This is Iowa's first game at Kinnick Stadium this season as the matchup with NIU was held at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Hawkeyes should be more effective, especially on offense, with a week under their belts and the home crowd behind them. Still, Iowa State has a strong defense and solid offense and the motivation of a rivalry game to ensure this one won't be a run away for either side.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Iowa 24, Iowa State 21
09/05 10:35:41 ET
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