ISU football bulled over by Iowa in Cy-Hawk rivalry


Head coach Paul Rhoads reacts to an official review which stated that the Cyclones had not gained a first down during the previous play.

Dean Berhow-Goll

Mark Weisman ran through, around and over the ISU defense en route to a 27-21 Hawkeye win at Jack Trice Stadium Saturday night.

Weisman carried the ball a whopping 35 times, most coming when Iowa lined up two tight ends and two backs, an old-fashioned, downhill running approach. 

Rinse, repeat. 

Weisman grinded the Cyclones for 145 yards, none going for more than 13 yards. Pair that with Northern Iowa running back David Johnson’s performance from week one and Iowa State has allowed the pair to run for 344 yards through two games.

“[We] made way too many mistakes to win a football game like this,” said ISU coach Paul Rhoads. “The University of Iowa did an excellent job keeping the ball away from us, playing very sound football and earning the win tonight.”

On the offensive side of the ball, Sam Richardson played on a still-injured right ankle after rolling it in the fourth quarter of the UNI loss. Richardson finished the game completing 22-of-39 passing attempts for 260 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

It was through the air that Iowa State stayed in the game.

All of Iowa State’s three touchdowns came in the second half, and all three went to the emergent Quenton Bundrage, who finished the game with seven catches for 146 yards and three touchdowns, including a 67-yard scamper after a broken tackle on a curl route that sent a dormant Jack Trice Stadium into a frenzy.

“Everyone has to be ready at every point of the game,” Bundrage said. “It just so happened the ball came to me, and I made a play.”

Iowa State’s rushing game was just the opposite, trying a multitude of running backs against Iowa’s front seven, none having any success. 

First it was Shontrelle Johnson, then it was James White, then Aaron Wimberly, then DeVondrick Nealy and Jeff Woody. No rush broke double digits for Iowa State.

Through three quarters, the Cyclones only mustered 19 carries for 33 yards. The pistol offense was more of a malfunctioning pistol with one of it’s key cogs — Richardson — operating on an injured right ankle.

“When your offense is based off a read-attack where the quarterback has the ability to pull and run and your quarterback can’t pull and run, it really handcuffs the playbook,” said ISU running back Jeff Woody. “You saw it. Whenever he would take off, unless it was an absolute necessity on a third or fourth down, he would take as few hits as he could because he wasn’t feeling so hot.”

At halftime, Iowa State had more rushing attempts than yards with 11 rushes for 10 yards. That came as a result of major injuries up and down the offensive line.

Starting center Tom Farniok was still sidelined with an MCL sprain and then fill-in starter Jamison Lalk went down with the same injury. Along with that, starting guard Ethan Tuftee was taken out at one point for redshirt sophomore Oni Omoile.

Alongside that, Rhoads pointed to different play calling as something that could help set up the team for better success on offense.

“We’re not opening up the kinds of holes we need to run the ball effectively, and I think play calling has a little bit to do with that,” Rhoads said. “Effective play-callers are usually a play or two ahead — sometimes a series ahead.

“This is not meant to isolate anything on Courtney [Messingham]’s shoulders or specifically just directed at Courtney. It’s a matter of getting in a rhythm as a football team to help that play calling set things up.”

In week three, Iowa State heads into its second bye week of the season and for the first time is 0-2 under Rhoads. 

How will his team respond to this kind of adversity it has never faced?

“That’s what we’ll find out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday when we come back to practice. We’ll find out more about our leadership, we’ll find out more about the dedication and growth of those younger players,” Rhoads said. “We’ll come back to work tomorrow and learn off the film, and Tuesday, physically we’ll come out there and get after it.”