AMES, Iowa – Another week.
Another ranked opponent.
Just another day at the office for an opportunistic Iowa defense, which turned four turnovers by Iowa State into 20 points that led the 10tth-ranked Hawkeyes to a 27-17 victory over the ninth-ranked Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium.
The win was the sixth straight in the Cy-Hawk series for Iowa and it followed a familiar format.
The Hawkeyes played turnover-free football against their instate rival for the fifth straight game and made ISU pay for nearly every mistake it made in the first-ever match-up between the programs when both were ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Iowa broke open a 14-10 game in the second half, feasting on three turnovers in the quarter.
Reminiscent of a slow start in the opening quarter, the teams traded punts on the first four possessions before Jack Campbell took matters into his own hands.
The junior linebacker from Cedar Falls scooped up a fumble forced by Jestin Jacobs on the first play of an ISU drive and returned it six yards for a touchdown with 5 minutes, 8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Interceptions would position to Caleb Shudak to extend that 21-10 lead with a pair of field goals over the next seven minutes following the Hawkeyes’ second and third interceptions of the game.
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Two snaps after Campbell’s score, linebacker Seth Benson intercepted a Brock Purdy pass and returned it six yards to the Iowa State 25-yard line.
In a game which saw Iowa accumulate just 174 yards of offense, the Hawkeyes’ ensuing drive stalled and Shudak drilled a career-long 51-yard field goal.
Matt Hankins ended ISU’s next possession with his second interception of the game, returning it 41 yards to the 22-yard line.
The Hawkeyes marched to the ISU 3-yard line during the opening minutes of the fourth quarter before settling for a 22-yard field goal by Shudak.
The third-quarter turnovers by Iowa – following a three-interception game by Iowa in its season-opening win over 17th-ranked Indiana a week earlier – came as the Hawkeyes struggled to move the ball against the ISU defense.
But short fields created by mistakes that started in the second quarter facilitated the Hawkeyes’ second win of the young season although a drive over the final 1:01 of the opening half pulled Iowa State within 14-10 at the break.
After Charlie Jones wrapped his arms around a 26-yard touchdown pass to give the Hawkeyes a 14-3 advantage, Purdy connected on four straight passes including a 49-yard strike to Darren Wilson with :12 to play in the second quarter.
Following a timeout, Breece Hall plowed his way through the middle of the Iowa defense to collect a rushing a touchdown for the 14th straight game, one shy of a Big 12 record.
Hall’s four-yard carry came after Iowa had scored twice in the second quarter, overcoming a lethargic start.
The Hawkeyes accumulated just 14 yards of offense as the teams traded punts early and often in an opening quarter that ended with the Cyclones ahead 3-0 on the strength of a 23-yard field goal by Connor Assalley.
Iowa’s Shudak missed from 50 yards on the Hawkeyes’ only scoring opportunity in the first quarter following a low snap.
A Hankins interception set up the drive which moved Iowa in front.
Hankins’ pick at midfield preceded receptions by Jackson Ritter and Luke Lachey of nine and 17 yards that marched Iowa to the 20-yard line.
Four plays later, Tyler Goodson gave Iowa the lead with 8:13 remaining on a four-yard run.
A 26-yard punt by ISU’s Corey Dunn positioned Iowa for its second touchdown of the quarter, Jones’ first touchdown of the season with 1:01 left in the quarter.