Tigers' Seth Henigan (2) warms up before the game between University of Memphis and Boise State University in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday, September 30, 2023.

Memphis takes on Iowa State in Liberty Bowl ‘home’ game

Iowa State’s solid defense will be challenged by the high-powered Memphis offense in the Liberty Bowl on Friday in Memphis, Tenn.

Memphis (9-3), making its ninth bowl appearance since 2014, won five of its last six games and scored at least 44 points in each victory over that span.

Iowa State (7-5) is making its sixth bowl appearance in seven seasons, including a 21-20 win over Memphis in the 2017 Liberty Bowl.

Memphis coach Ryan Silverfield was an assistant coach when the Tigers faced Iowa State in 2017. Silverfield also worked under Cyclones coach Matt Campbell as an offensive consultant at Toledo in 2014.

“Obviously it’s an honor and a privilege for us. Our football program and our university are so appreciative of the invite and to be able play in our home stadium,” Silverfield said. “We’re excited about the matchup. Obviously, we know what Iowa State brings to the table … Big 12 team that’s won a lot of football games.”

The Cyclones were second in the Big 12 in yards per game allowed with 349.3, behind only third-ranked Texas. Iowa State was third in points allowed at 21.7, trailing only Texas and Kansas State.

The opportunistic Cyclones have 16 interceptions and three fumble recoveries, tying for 18th nationally with a plus-8 turnover margin.

As of Tuesday, there was no word from Iowa State if defensive back T.J. Tampa, a third-team All-American, would play in the bowl game.

Iowa State, which won just one conference game last season and was 4-8 overall, has a much-improved offense. The Cyclones averaged 29.4 points per game in Big 12 play this season, compared with 16.3 a year ago.

Quarterback Rocco Becht, the 2023 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, completed 63.5 percent of his passes for 2,674 yards with 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Jaylin Noel is the fourth receiver in school history with back-to-back 60-catch seasons.

Two of the Cyclones’ top rushers, Eli Sanders and Cartevious Norton, entered the transfer portal and did not play in the season finale at Kansas State. But true freshman Abu Sama III rushed for 276 yards on 16 carries with touchdown runs of 77, 71, and 60 yards.

Memphis averages 39.7 points per game, seventh-best in the nation, while allowing 29.0 The Tigers have scored 20 or more points in 26 consecutive games — the longest active streak in the nation — dating back to the end of the 2021 season.

Seth Henigan has completed 66.4 percent of his passes for 3,519 yards with 28 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He had 15 touchdown passes to just two picks in the Tigers’ final six games.

“He’s got great confidence and they ask him to do a lot,” Campbell told the Des Moines Register about Henigan. “They ask him to put them in the right situation a lot. And he’s got such great playmakers on the outside that he’s able to find matchups and really deliver the football with great consistency.”

Roc Taylor has 61 catches for 981 yards and four touchdowns, and Dameer Blankumsee has 51 receptions for 825 yards and a team-high six scores.

Blake Watson leads the ground game with 1,045 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, along with 50 catches for 458 yards out of the backfield.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; Kansas State Wildcats safety Marques Sigle (21) celebrates with linebacker Desmond Purnell (32) and cornerback Keenan Garber (1) after an interception during the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

No. 19 Kansas State keeps high hopes in clash vs. Iowa State

No. 19 Kansas State enters the final week of the regular season with a chance to defend its Big 12 championship.

If certain results pan out in other games, the Wildcats just need to defeat visiting Iowa State on Saturday night in Manhattan to qualify for the conference championship game Dec. 2 in Arlington, Texas.

Kansas State (8-3, 6-2) is looking for a perfect 7-0 home record this season. The Wildcats are riding high after overcoming an 11-point deficit in the second half to post a 31-27 victory over Kansas last Saturday.

“There is no better feeling than beating little brother,” Kansas State quarterback Will Howard said after the game.

But now it’s on to the next game. How will the outside noise of postseason possibilities affect the Wildcats?

“We don’t pay any attention to it,” coach Chris Klieman said at his media gathering Tuesday. “We’ve navigated it really well the last two weeks when everybody was trying to stuff it down our throats. And all our kids did was go out and play and win games.

“I know the way Matt (Campbell) coaches. I know the way Matt develops guys. They never beat themselves. They’re sound in what they do. They’re really good on special teams. They don’t give the ball away (but) they take it away. They make you earn everything.

“This is gonna be a physical game. These two teams are two of the more physical teams in the league.”

The Cyclones have won three of the past five games against the Wildcats, including 33-20 the last time the game was played in Manhattan.

Howard is playing well in recent games. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another in the fourth quarter that put his team in the lead for good. Howard sprinted 15 yards to his left for the go-ahead touchdown with 10:22 remaining.

Iowa State (6-5, 5-3) likely lost its chance to play in the title game with a 26-16 defeat to Texas on Saturday.

The good news for the Cyclones was that Rocco Becht passed for 323 yards and two touchdowns to break two of Brock Purdy’s freshman school records. Becht raised his season totals to 2,444 yards, surpassing the 2,250 yards by Purdy, now the starter for the San Francisco 49ers. Becht also now has 17 touchdowns, one more than Purdy in 2018. Becht was 24-of-32 with one interception against the Longhorns.

“For the first 3 1/2 quarters, I thought Rocco played a really good football game,” Campbell said after the game. “At the end of the game we got ourselves in some two-minute situations and (Texas) could kind of tee off on us, and they did. They’ve got some elite players who got some good pressure.”

The Cyclones are in a three-way tie for fifth place. They are among eight conference teams already qualified for the postseason. Three other teams are one win away from qualifying.

–Field Level Media

Nov 18, 2023; Ames, Iowa, USA; Texas Longhorns running back CJ Baxter (4) catches a pass against the Iowa State Cyclones at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

No. 7 Texas overcomes mistakes to hold off Iowa State

Quinn Ewers passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and CJ Baxter ran for 117 yards as No. 7 Texas overcame a slew of mistakes to beat Iowa State 26-16 on Saturday in a key Big 12 Conference game in Ames, Iowa.

The Longhorns (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) remain alone atop the league standings and all but clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 2 in Arlington, Texas.

Ewers completed 23 of 33 passes and Xavier Worthy caught four of his throws for 77 yards. Baxter, playing in place of the injured Jonathon Brooks, had his first collegiate 100-yard rushing game. Texas outgained Iowa State 411-332 and held the Cyclones to just 9 yards rushing on 21 carries.

Iowa State (6-5, 5-3 Big 12) got 323 yards passing and two TDs from Rocco Becht in the loss. Jayden Higgins hauled in seven passes for 104 yards.

Iowa State got the game’s first points on a 45-yard field goal by Chase Contreraz at the 3:27 mark of the first quarter. Bert Auburn answered for Texas with a 39-yard FG with 11:17 left in the second quarter that tied the score at 3-3.

Auburn booted a 50-yarder on the final play of the quarter to give the Longhorns a 6-3 lead at halftime.

The Longhorns finally found the end zone on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ewers to Jordan Whittington with 5:53 to play in the third quarter to put Texas up 13-3.

The Cyclones responded as Becht hit Eli Sanders from 14 yards to cut the Texas lead to 13-9. But the Longhorns’ T’Vondre Sweat blocked Contreraz’s PAT kick and Austin Jordan scooped it up and returned it 82 yards for two points for Texas.

Texas added to the lead on a 31-yard TD pass from Ewers to Gunnar Helm on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Longhorns then added a two-point pass to Whittington to push their advantage to 23-9.

The Cyclones were far from done, scoring on a 66-yard pass from Becht to Easton Dean on fourth-and-1 with 12:44 to play as the Texas defense sold out to stop the run.

Auburn’s third field goal of the game, this one from 42 yards, put Texas up 26-16 with 6:14 remaining.

–Field Level Media

Oct 14, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;  Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Rocco Becht (3) carries the ball for a touchdown against the Cincinnati Bearcats in the first half at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State, BYU chasing critical sixth victory

Bowl eligibility will be the prize for the winning team Saturday night as BYU hosts Iowa State in Big 12 Conference action in Provo, Utah.

The Cougars (5-4, 2-4) and the visiting Cyclones (5-4, 4-2) face tough remaining schedules, and this game could determine which program joins the postseason party.

After Iowa State, BYU will wrap up its initial Big 12 season at home against Oklahoma (Nov. 18) and at Oklahoma State (Nov. 25).

The Cyclones will host Texas on Nov. 18 before traveling to Kansas State the following week.

Both teams enter Saturday’s game on a down note. BYU fell 37-7 at West Virginia last Saturday, while Kansas ended Iowa State’s three-game winning streak with a 28-21 victory in Ames, Iowa.

The Cyclones made things interesting, pulling within three after trailing 21-3 in the first half.

“We never put our head down,” Iowa State quarterback Rocco Becht said. “We kept fighting. That’s what I love about this team.”

Becht threw for 216 yards, rushed for a touchdown and engineered two long drives that helped the Cyclones make it 21-18 with eight minutes remaining. Kansas responded with a back-breaking 80-yard touchdown.

BYU had success the last time it hosted a Big 12 foe, beating Texas Tech 27-14 three weeks ago. That seems like an eternity ago, however, after consecutive blowout road losses to Texas and West Virginia.

“This conference isn’t going to make it easy for you. They are not just going to hand you wins — especially on the road. That just doesn’t happen,” BYU coach Kalani Sitake said. “So we need to find a way to protect home, like we have done all year, and then we can do that and figure out how to play better on the road when that time comes.”

BYU has a bit of a quarterback controversy. Jake Retzlaff threw for 210 yards against the Mountaineers after replacing Kedon Slovis, who was sidelined with shoulder and elbow injuries.

Sitake said the starting spot is up for grabs even if Slovis is cleared to play.

“Everybody that is coming off injury, they just don’t jump into a starting role (again),” Sitake said. “You have to earn the right to get that back. So competition still continues. … You don’t just become a starter by appointment only and then you are anointed the starter and then that is it for the rest of your life. That’s not how it works.”

This will be the first meeting between BYU and Iowa State in nearly 50 years. The Cyclones own a 4-0 series advantage, including a 34-7 win in 1974.

–Field Level Media

Oct 28, 2023; Waco, Texas, USA;  Iowa State Cyclones running back Cartevious Norton (5) runs past Baylor Bears safety Devyn Bobby (28) for a touchdown during the second half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

No. 21 Kansas battles Iowa State as Big 12 race heats up

There is a logjam at the top of the Big 12 standings, with five teams tied for first and two others just a game behind.

Six of those seven teams will have head-to-head battles this weekend, including No. 21 Kansas traveling to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State on Saturday evening.

The Jayhawks (6-2, 3-2 Big 12) jumped back into the rankings after knocking off previously unbeaten Oklahoma on Saturday, their first win over the Sooners since 1997. Iowa State (5-3, 4-1) returns home after a convincing win over Baylor in Waco, Texas.

The Cyclones have fully recovered from a sluggish 1-2 nonconference portion of the schedule. They have won three straight games, including a 30-18 defeat of the Bears.

Iowa State’s Cartevious Norton ran for two touchdowns against Baylor, while quarterback Rocco Becht threw for 238 yards and a score with one interception.

The Jayhawks are coming off the high of registering their first home win over a top-10 team since 1984. Kansas scored the first 14 points before giving up the next 21, the first of six lead changes.

Quarterback Jason Bean put the Jayhawks back in front with a 38-yard touchdown run late in the third quarter. The teams traded touchdowns — and failed two-point conversions — until Dillon Gabriel’s 1-yard run put the Sooners back up 33-32 with 5:22 left.

Bean threw his second straight interception with 2:29 left, but the Jayhawks forced a three-and-out. On fourth-and-6, Bean found Lawrence Arnold for a key conversion for 37 yards. Devin Neal punched it in from the 9-yard line, and Kansas deflected a desperation pass by Gabriel in the end zone on the game’s final play.

Bean was filling in for Jalon Daniels, who has missed four games due to a back ailment.

“When Jalon Daniels is healthy, Jalon is the starting quarterback, but we’re not at that point today,” Kansas coach Lance Leipold said early in the week. “We’re not at that point yet to decide that. He works out every day, some days are better than others.”

Regarding Bean, Leipold added, “He’s a pretty quiet guy, but he’s respected. His confidence as a leader has grown with his confidence in the offense and his personal play.”

The Cyclones are wary of both Bean and Daniels.

“No matter who it is, it’s elite speed at quarterback,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “They’ve got two elite quarterbacks and two guys that have the ability to really challenge you in the running game at the quarterback position.

“We’ve played some mobile quarterbacks already this year, and you’ve got to hang your hat on some of that and do your best to simulate that in practice.”

In terms of his offense, Campbell expressed pride in the work of his linemen.

“That group in general, that’s probably been the most impressive piece that’s accelerated faster than anything is the ability to protect the quarterback,” Campbell said. “Everybody has to be really good when you’re talking about protecting the quarterback, including the quarterback himself.”

Kansas owns a 51-45-6 record all time against the Cyclones. The Jayhawks snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 14-11 victory in Lawrence, Kan., last year.

–Field Level Media

Cincinnati Bearcats quarterback Emory Jones (5) Cincinnati Bearcats running back Corey Kiner (21) in the first quarter during a college football game between the Brigham Young Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats, Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah.

Cincinnati, Iowa State prepare for inaugural meeting

Football history will be made Saturday when Iowa State travels to Cincinnati for the first meeting between the two programs.

You can thank the Bearcats’ admittance into the Big 12 for the inaugural clash between teams that both have seen their ups and downs this season.

Iowa State (3-3, 2-1) enters with a little momentum following a 27-14 home victory over TCU last Saturday.

The Cyclones will attempt to win consecutive games for the first time this season.

Iowa State has struggled on offense, averaging just 323 yards and 21.8 points per game. Rocco Becht has thrown for 1,223 yards and 10 touchdowns, with five interceptions. He completed 16 of 28 passes for 138 yards and a score in the win against TCU.

The Cyclones rank fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense and are coming off a four-interception performance against the Horned Frogs.

“The fact of the matter is we still haven’t come anywhere close to what we’re capable of playing,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “That’s exciting.”

On the other side of the field, Cincinnati (2-3, 0-2) saw its losing streak reach three with a 35-27 setback at BYU in its most recent game on Sept. 29.

This is the second home game in the Big 12 for the Bearcats, who fell 20-6 to then-No. 16 Oklahoma on Sept. 23.

“Well-rested team,” Cincinnati coach Scott Satterfield said of coming off a bye week. “Last week, I thought our guys did a great job coming out and working. There were a few things we were trying to get better at. You go back in an off-week, you always look and see things you’re deficient at. We certainly worked on those things.”

Led by running back Corey Kiner (405 yards on 76 carries), quarterback Emory Jones (62.1 completion percentage, 1,226 yards) and wideout Xzavier Henderson (30 receptions, 414 yards), Cincinnati’s offense is averaging 30 points a game and will be a test for Iowa State’s defense.

–Field Level Media

Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel (8) scrambles away from Cincinnati Bearcats defensive end Jowon Briggs (0) in the fourth quarter of the NCAA Big 12 football game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the Oklahoma Sooners at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. The Bearcats lost their first Big 12 football game, 20-6, to the Sooners before a sellout crowd.

Iowa State prepares for No. 14 Oklahoma’s defensive ‘chaos’

Oklahoma coach Brent Venables isn’t ready to heap too much praise on his defense yet.

Instead, he is preaching attention to detail as the 14th-ranked Sooners prepare to host Iowa State in Big 12 action Saturday night in Norman, Okla.

“It’s tackling, it’s covering, it’s zone, it’s man, it’s precision and timing, it’s alignment, it’s eyes, it’s pad level, it’s physicality, it’s consistency,” Venables said. “You know, all of those things. It’s red zone, it’s third down, it’s fourth down.”

The Sooners (4-0, 1-0) are tied for second nationally in scoring defense, allowing just 8.5 points per game heading into the clash with the Cyclones (2-2, 1-0).

“We’ve got a long ways to go,” Venables said. “I have great appreciation and respect for the improvement our guys have made, which we have been talking about for some time now, that we have seen improvement. But they’ll be the first ones to tell you … there’s evidence that there’s been some improvement but nowhere close to a finished product.”

Iowa State coach Matt Campbell has noticed the difference in the Sooners, who were near the bottom of the Big 12 last season in several statistical categories defensively.

“They create chaos on defense,” Campbell said. “They’re so multiple, they’re really talented, and they are (a) high-pressure defense.”

The Sooners have forced 10 turnovers through four games, good for an eighth-place tie nationally.

Oklahoma is coming off a 20-6 victory at Cincinnati last Saturday. Sooners quarterback Dillon Gabriel completed 26 of 38 passes for 322 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions.

Iowa State, meanwhile, has protected freshman quarterback Rocco Becht well, allowing just one sack this season while the Cyclones have turned the ball over just three times — all on interceptions.

“Especially in a game like this, you’ve got to do a great job of protecting the football,” Campbell said. “You look at the games we’ve won this year, and we’ve won the turnover margin. The games we’ve lost, we’ve either tied or lost the turnover margin. It’s hard to win football games here if that part of the football game fails.”

Venables praised Becht’s development.

“He’s instinctive. He’s athletic. He’s confident,” Venables said. “Throws the ball well on the run. Seems to be a good leader. Likes to play; you can see the emotion without being overly dramatic, but you see a personality. Their team follows him.”

While Oklahoma has struggled defensively in recent years, Iowa State has been near the top in the Big 12 recently during Campbell’s tenure.

That hasn’t been any different this season, as the Cyclones enter Saturday’s game with the top defense in the conference, allowing an average of 292.5 yards per game.

Oklahoma’s offense is second in the league at 506.8 yards per game.

Last week, in a 34-27 Iowa State win, Oklahoma State posted 409 yards of total offense — the first time since November 2021 that a team had reached 400 yards against Iowa State.

“It’s a huge week for us to continue to move forward,” Campbell said. “How do you build on what you did well last week? How do you keep growing forward in some of the areas that we need to get better at?”

The Cyclones have lost their only road game thus far, 10-7 at Ohio on Sept. 16.

–Field Level Media

Sep 16, 2023; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys quarterback Gunnar Gundy (12) tries to get past South Alabama Jaguars linebacker James Miller (4) during an NCAA football game between Oklahoma State and South Alabama at Boone Pickens Stadium. South Alabama won 33-7. Mandatory Credit: Bryan Terry-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State, Iowa State limp into start of Big 12 play

Oklahoma State and Iowa State head into Saturday’s Big 12 opener for both teams at Ames, Iowa, coming off humbling nonconference losses last week.

Oklahoma State (2-1) lost to South Alabama 33-7 in Stillwater, Okla., and Iowa State (1-2) was upended 10-7 at Ohio.

Iowa State totaled 38 yards rushing on 23 attempts in its loss, with quarterback Rocco Becht accounting for 31 of those rushing yards. Cartevious Norton’s 15 yards were the most of any of the running backs, needing nine attempts to get to that mark.

“They were the more physical football team and deserved to win the football game,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said of Ohio, which is 3-1 after winning its last three games.

Becht completed 17 of 24 pass attempts for 233 yards but he had two interceptions to go with one touchdown.

“We thought we could go out there and do what we wanted,” Becht said. “I think it’s just a lack of preparation. The urgency, we’ve just got to have that throughout the whole week.”

Oklahoma State’s loss to South Alabama is its first nonconference defeat since falling at home against Central Michigan in 2016.

It was the third nonconference home loss under coach Mike Gundy, who took over as head coach at his alma mater in 2005. The 26-point margin was the worst loss against a nonconference opponent in the Gundy era.

“We got outcoached and outexecuted,” Gundy said. “Everybody has to own it. We’ve got to get through it. It’s extremely difficult when you don’t play well.”

The Cowboys’ three-quarterback system, that was efficient in wins over Central Arkansas and Arizona State, was ineffective this time.

Alan Bowman, Gunnar Gundy and Garret Rangel combined to complete 16 of 35 passes for 114 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.

“We’re 0-0 in conference, so let’s go in with a level head this week, put the loss behind us, learn from it, and ultimately go fix our mistakes,” senior offensive lineman Preston Wilson said.

– Field Level Media

Aug 26, 2023; San Diego, California, USA; Ohio Bobcats quarterback Kurtis Rourke (7) hands off to running back Sieh Bangura (5) during the first half against the San Diego State Aztecs at Snapdragon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa State prepares for ‘tough’ Ohio quarterback

Iowa State nearly overcame an early 17-0 deficit in last week’s eventual 20-13 home loss to in-state rival Iowa.

For Cyclones defensive coordinator Jon Heacock, holding the Hawkeyes to three points after halftime looms as a significant building block entering Saturday’s game against Ohio in Athens, Ohio.

“Overall, our fight to the end was important,” Heacock said. “We’re a young group. … You never know what young teams are really going to do. You just don’t, until they’re in the fire.”

Iowa State (1-1) hopes to kick-start its offense against the Bobcats (2-1). Rocco Becht, who remains the starting quarterback amid the gambling investigation involving projected starter Hunter Dekkers, completed slightly better than 50 percent of his passes for 203 yards against Iowa.

Becht threw a touchdown and also an interception that was returned for a score.

Ohio is coming off a 17-10 road victory at Florida Atlantic. Kurtis Rourke was 18-for-29 passing for 203 yards and a touchdown, while O’Shaan Allison rushed 22 times for 80 yards and a score.

“There were glimpses in that game at FAU that you saw (what) we’re capable on offense,” Bobcats coach Tim Albin said. “You’ve got to finish drives, but defense is really playing well, so it’s exciting, and we’re looking forward to the next challenge.”

The Cyclones can attest, as head coach Matt Campbell called Rourke “the toughest quarterback we’ve faced so far this season.”

Iowa State has won each of the previous six meetings between the schools, including last season’s 43-10 home romp that saw the Cyclones outgain the Bobcats 463-233. Ohio fumbled four times, losing two, while throwing two interceptions.

The only previous meeting in Athens — on Sept. 22, 2001 — also marked the closest margin of victory in the series. The Bobcats took an early 14-7 lead but were unable to hold on in a 31-28 defeat.

Ohio is hosting a Power 5 opponent for the first time since losing 29-9 to Syracuse in the 2021 season opener.

–Field Level Media

Iowa State Cyclones running back Abu Sama (24) breaks a tackle from Iowa Hawkeyes' defensive back Deshaun Lee (8) and Iowa Hawkeyes defensive line Yahya Black (94) during the second quarter of the Cy-Hawk football game at the Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, in Ames, Iowa.

Iowa continues road mastery over rival Iowa St., 20-13

Sebastian Castro had a pick-six to highlight a strong defensive performance that lifted visiting Iowa to a 20-13 victory over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday in the latest edition of the Cy-Hawk series.

With the Cyclones (1-1) down 10-0 and just under 5 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, Jeremiah Cooper appeared to shift momentum in Iowa State’s favor when he picked off Hawkeyes quarterback Cade McNamara.

But the Iowa defense answered. The Hawkeyes stuffed running back Abu Sama III 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage before Castro intercepted Rocco Becht and went 30 yards to the end zone for a 17-point advantage that stood through a late Iowa State rally.

The Cyclones were only able to muster a pair of Chase Contreraz field goals — from 42 and 46 yards — before Becht found Jayden Higgins for a 16-yard touchdown with 2:53 left in the game.

Iowa State forced a punt to get the ball back with 1:48 to go, but on a fourth-and-1, Ethan Hurkett tackled Cartevious Norton for a loss of 2 yards to snuff the comeback.

McNamara finished with 123 yards and an interception on 12-for-23 passing for Iowa (2-0), which has beaten the Cyclones in six consecutive meetings in Ames. Jaziun Patterson led the rushing attack with 86 yards and a TD on 10 carries.

With the victory, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz earned his 200th career win. He has picked up 188 of those wins at Iowa (1999-2023), with the other 12 coming at Maine (1990-92).

Becht completed 23 of 44 passes for 203 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Norton had 59 yards on 21 carries, and Higgins had eight catches for 95 yards and the score.

Iowa State opened the game with a 15-play, 57-yard drive that ate 6:20 of clock, but it was unable to put points on the board. Logan Lee blocked Contreraz’s 36-yard field-goal attempt, and Drew Stevens drilled a 28-yarder on the other end to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.

Iowa went up 10-0 thanks to Patterson’s 4-yard rushing touchdown, which was set up by a 35-yard completion to Luke Lachey four plays earlier.

–Field Level Media