No. 7 Iowa State fends off heavy underdog UNI, 16-10
In a game much closer than most anticipated, No. 7 Iowa State used its defense to subdue Northern Iowa 16-10 in each team’s season opener in Ames.
The Cyclones allowed only 275 total yards and 14 first downs to the Panthers, clinching victory when Mike Rose tackled Sam Schnee after a 25-yard completion at the Iowa State 33-yard line as time expired.
Quarterback Brock Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 197 yards for the Cyclones, who managed just 333 yards. Purdy also ran for 58 yards on nine attempts.
Northern Iowa quarterback Will McElvain hit on 21 of 34 passes for 230 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. McElvain was picked off by Datrone Young at the Iowa State 40 with 2:05 remaining in the game.
Iowa State entered the game as a 28 1/2-point favorite against its in-state opponent, which plays in the FCS’ Missouri Valley Football Conference. But Northern Iowa’s defense matched the Cyclones’ play-for-play all day long.
Northern Iowa initiated scoring with 4:09 left in the first quarter when McElvain, who beat out Michigan State transfer Theo Day for the starting job, connected with Quan Hampton on a 52-yard touchdown pass. Hampton caught a short pass over the middle, broke a weak attempt at tackling and was off to the races.
Hampton caught eight passes for 99 yards.
Iowa State responded with a 35-yard field goal by Connor Assalley at the 1:06 mark after going 3-and-out on its first two possessions. On their next drive, the Cyclones grabbed a 10-7 lead on a 2-yard scoring run by Breece Hall that polished off a 14-play, 59-yard march that lasted nearly 7 1/2 minutes.
Matthew Cook connected on a 41-yard field goal with 2:35 left in the half to pull the Panthers even, but Andrew Mevis hit from 40 as time expired to give Iowa State a 13-10 edge at halftime.
The only score of the second half came with 6:18 remaining in the game when Assalley converted a 21-yard field goal that finished off a drive of nearly 5 1/2 minutes.
–Field Level Media