Cyclones snap conference skid vs. Tigers in ’99

Paul Kix

The road had been unkind to the ISU football team for nearly eight years.

Conference wins had been difficult to come by. Wins away from home in the Big 12, impossible to find.

Last season’s game against Missouri changed things.

Iowa State fended off a fourth-quarter rally by Missouri to gain their first conference road victory in eight years, 24-21.

It came during Missouri’s homecoming game.

The Tiger team of 1991 was the last group to give Iowa State a road victory.

The win last season would not come easily, as Iowa State had to first prove to be resilient and later, to hold their ground.

The Cyclones stared at a 14-point deficit as the second-quarter got under way.

It could have been worse for the Cyclones had it not been for Iowa State linebacker James Reed’s fumble recovery on the ISU three-yard line during Missouri’s initial drive of the game.

By halftime, the score knotted itself at 14, thanks to Darren Davis’s two touchdown runs on the last two drives before the half.

The Cyclones were also helped by an ill-timed broken leg endured by Missouri quarterback Kirk Farmer midway through the second quarter.

Farmer had thrown nine TD passes in Missouri’s first five games. Farmer was done for the year after the injury.

The Tigers began the second half much the same as they began the first: by losing a fumble to the ISU defense.

Iowa State wasted little time before making the Tigers pay. ISU quarterback Sage Rosenfels scampered into the endzone on the Cyclones ensuing drive.

The third quarter ended harmlessly with both teams exchanging punts.

On ISU’s first drive of the last quarter junior tight-end Andy Stensrud brought the Cyclones into Tigers territory when he hauled in a 25-yard pass from Rosenfels.

Mike McKnight then booted a 43-yard field goal to give Iowa State some much-needed insurance points, 24-14.

The field goal still stands as the longest McKnight has made in his career.

Missouri answered with a 13-play, 74-yard drive capped off by Zain Gilmore’s 2-yard scoring run.

The drive erased a mere three minutes off the clock and seven points off the Cyclones lead which brought the Tigers back into the game.

But a hail-mary pass as time expired landed Missouri at the ISU three-yard line without the win.

The ride home for Iowa State was smoother and quicker than it had been in years.