Davis led Cyclones to win in ’95 against Ohio

Paul Kix

Dan McCarney was christened into the ISU Athletic Community on Aug. 31, 1995. That date marked McCarney’s debut as Iowa State’s head football coach. He did it against another first-timer. Jim Grobe patrolled the Ohio sidelines on this August night for the first time as head coach of his respective university. Making his first start at tailback was the former of the now infamous “Davis brothers.” Troy’s sophomore campaign couldn’t have started out better. The virtually unknown back became front-page news overnight. Davis shredded the Ohio defense for 291 yards on 40 carries and three touchdowns. Davis’s 40 carries were five more than he had the entire 1994 season. His 291 yards more than doubled his total output of the previous season. But the Cyclones would need more than Davis on this night. Trailing 21-12 in the fourth quarter, the Cyclones implemented a 24-point fourth quarter barrage that ended in a 36-21 Cyclone victory. The fourth quarter rally was initiated by a true freshmen, kicker Jamie Kohl. Kohl booted through his third field goal of the game, this one a 42-yarder to close the gap to 21-15. After strong safety Matt Straight recovered an Ohio fumble, Davis scored on an 8-yard run that gave Iowa State its first lead of the game, 22-21. After a Davis scamper of 42 yards and another score, the growing phenom added a 9-yard touchdown run with 2:54 remaining, to seal the Bobcats’ fate. The ISU defense allowed Ohio just 277 total yards, its best effort since 1993. Two defensive players had career days’. Nose guard Greg Schoon led the defense with 15 tackles, which included nine solo stops and a forced fumble. Defensive tackle Rudy Ruffolo also caused a fumble while tallying 14 tackles.