Cyclones falter in second half, fall to Iowa Hawkeyes


Iowa State fans pack the stands at Jack Trice Stadium for the Cyclones’ 2021 season opener against Northern Iowa on Sept. 4.

James Powell

Iowa State came into this game looking to make a statement against their highly ranked in-state foe. It was the first time both teams were ranked going into a CyHawk matchup. 

Iowa’s defense held the Cyclones in check for most of the first half, and proceeded to be absolutely dominant in the last 30 minutes.

The two teams traded punts the first four drives, until Iowa missed a 50-yard field goal after a Will McDonald sack on third down. McDonald’s sack gave him two on the year. 

The field position game was one that was lost early by Iowa State, with their first two drives starting around their own 10-yard line.

The Hawkeye missed field goal gave the Cyclones their best field position of the day, and they took advantage with a 23-yard field goal make by Connor Assalley late in the first quarter.

The turning point of the first half was an interception by Iowa defensive back Matt Hankins, which gave the Hawkeyes the opportunity to score from two yards out thanks to Tyler Goodson.

Iowa State got a desperately needed throw from Brock Purdy, a catch-and-run to the tune of 49 yards to Darren Wilson Jr., and they finished the drive with a Breece Hall touchdown run to pull within four just before halftime, 14-10.

The third quarter was about as disastrous as Iowa State could’ve possibly imagined. 

A Breece Hall fumble resulted in an easy scoop-and-score for the Hawkeyes. Two Purdy interceptions followed, and six more Iowa points put them up 27-10 early in the fourth quarter.

Iowa only had eight net yards of offense in the third quarter, but Iowa State gave them chance after chance to put the game out of reach.

After Purdy threw his third interception of the day, he was benched in favor of Hunter Dekkers, the redshirt freshman. 

The fourth quarter did not yield much scoring other than the field goal early, and it was the Cyclones who saw defeat at the hands of the 10th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, 27-17.

Iowa State falls to 1-1, and will travel to face UNLV next week. Iowa moves to 2-0 and welcomes Kent State to Kinnick Stadium in their next game.