AMES, Iowa -- The University of Iowa football team jumped out to a 27-7 lead before holding off a fourth-quarter Iowa State rally to claim a 27-21 victory on Saturday night in the annual Cy-Hawk Series matchup inside Jack Trice Stadium.
Iowa limited to the Cyclones to 181 yards and seven points over the first three quarters before Iowa State found fourth-quarter life. The Cyclones piled up 138 yards in the fourth quarter alone en route to 14 points to stage a late-game comeback.
"We're thrilled to get the victory," said UI head coach Kirk Ferentz. "We knew it would be a battle, it's a battle every time we come to Ames. They don't give away victories here. We had to earn it."
The Hawkeyes finished the game with 378 yards of total offense, piling up 218 on the ground and 160 through the air. The Cyclones netted 319 yards -- 260 passing and 59 rushing.
Junior Mark Weisman had a career-high 35 carries for 145 yards, his third-straight game surpassing the 100-yard mark. Sophomore Jake Rudock completed 14-of-23 attempts for 160 yards with two touchdowns, and junior Kevonte Martin-Manley had seven catches for 60 yards with one score.
"Mark did a great job running hard," said Rudock. "You could see it in his eyes, like 'Keep giving it to me.' I kept telling him, 'Keep running well, if the offensive line keeps blocking the way they are, we are going to keep giving it to you and keep going.'"
Martin-Manley surpassed 100 career receptions and 1,000 career receiving yards, pushing him to 101 catches for 1,057 yards. He is the 20th Iowa player in program history with at least 100 receptions and the 36th to surpass 1,000 yards.
Iowa State's Sam B. Richardson completed 22-of-39 attempts for three touchdowns, while also tossing two interceptions. Wide receiver Quenton Bundrage had seven grabs for 146 yards with three scores, while James White finished with 26 yards on five carries.
A pair of Iowa defenders notched double-digit tackles. Senior Christian Kirksey finished with 11 stops (five solo), while senior Anthony Hitchens had 10 tackles with six solo.
After bottling up the Cyclones for the first two-plus quarters, a big-play attempted to flip the game's momentum. Iowa State's offense didn't go over the 100-yard mark for the game until the seven-minute mark of the third quarter, but despite that, a 67-yard touchdown pass cut the Hawkeyes' lead in half.
On third-and-4 from its own 33, Richardson connected with Bundrage for a 67-yard score when the receiver broke a B.J. Lowery arm tackle and out-ran the Iowa defense to make the score 13-7 with 5:28 remaining.
Iowa's offense had an answer, using a nine-play, 60-yard drive to put the Hawkeyes up 20-7.
Senior Jordan Cotton gave Iowa solid starting field position with a 28-yard yard kickoff return to the Iowa 40. After moving into Cyclone territory via the ground attack, Rudock converted a third-and-8, withstanding an Iowa State blitz before delivering an 18-yard strike to Martin-Manley on a crossing route to move the chains.
Three plays later, Rudock made the Cyclones pay for blitzing the house, when he connected with sophomore Jacob Hillyer for a 26-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. The reception was Hillyer's first career touchdown reception.
After Iowa's defense forced a three-and-out, the Hawkeyes followed with a 15-play, 73-yard drive to push its advantage to 27-7. Fourteen of the 15 plays came on the ground, with Iowa bull-dozing its way into the end zone for the score. Weisman and junior Damon Bullock combined for 65 yards on the drive before Rudock scored from 1-yard out.
It was Rudock's fourth rushing touchdown this season, and he is the first quarterback in the Ferentz era to rush for a score in three-straight games.
The Cyclones wouldn't go down quietly, as they kept their hope alive with a seven-play, 82-yard drive that eclipsed 2:32 on the clock. Richardson ended the series with consecutive completions of 32 yards (to Tad Ecby) and 26 yards, the latter of which was a touchdown toss to Bundrage, making the score 27-14.
Iowa State made things interesting when tight end Ben Boesen recovered an on-side kick at the Iowa 46. The Hawkeyes had the on-side return set up, but the ball jumped over the first line of Iowa blockers and junior tight end Ray Hamilton couldn't snag the ball in mid-air, allowing for the Cyclone recovery.
On the second play of the Iowa State series, the Hawkeye defense forced Richardson's second interception of the game. The Iowa State quarterback targeted Jarvis West on a go route along the Cyclone sideline, but Lowery made a leaping, one-handed interception to give Iowa possession at its own 14.
After getting a three-and-out, the Cyclones took over at their own 41 yard line. Richardson then used completions of 7, 13, and 11 yards to advance Iowa State to the 34. The Hawkeyes buckled down to force a fourth-and-4 from the 17, but Richardon connected with Bundrage for a 17-yard score on a blown coverage making the score 27-21.
Iowa recovered the Cyclones' second on-side kick and needed just one first down to seal the victory. Weisman ran for 5 yards on first down, 4 on second, but his third-and-1 attempt was bottled up leaving 12 seconds remaining.
After a Hawkeye punt, Iowa State took possession at its own 13, but the Cyclones' miracle comeback was shot down, as Iowa ended its two-game losing streak in the series and brought the Cy-Hawk Trophy back to Iowa City.
"This is a big team win," said Rudock. "We are all trying to get better, trying to get the win and trying to put ourselves in a good situation."
Iowa controlled the opening half of action, jumping out to a 13-0 lead. The Hawkeyes gained three times as many yards as the Cyclones, holding a 186-61 advantage in total offense and had a 10-minute advantage in time of possession.
Iowa used a 10-play, 71-yard drive to score the game's first points early in the second quarter. After taking over at the 29 yard line, the Hawkeyes moved to midfield behind three rushes and a 7-yard completion to Martin-Manley. On third-and-4, Rudock connected with Hamilton to move to the ISU-38, and two plays later, Rudock split a pair of Cyclone defenders, finding Tevaun Smith for a 25-yard gain to the 2.
Following a 5-yard illegal formation penalty, Weisman rushed 2 yards to the 5 before Rudock zipped a 5-yard touchdown pass to Martin-Manley to give Iowa a 7-0 advantage. Rudock was 4-of-4 for 52 yards on the drive.
After three consecutive three-and-outs, Iowa used a healthy dose of its ground game -- using 13 consecutive rushes to advance to the Iowa State 11. The Hawkeyes converted three third downs on the series, but the drive stalled at the 10 to set up a 27-yard Mike Meyer field goal that made the score 10-0 with 1:43 remaining in the half.
The Hawkeyes added a field goal before the half when senior linebacker James Morris forced Iowa State's first turnover. After moving to midfield courtesy of just its fourth first down of the half, Morris batted up a pass attempted for James White, picked it off and returned it 27-yards to the Iowa State 25 with 33 seconds left. Meyer made the score 13-0 with a 38-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.
Iowa (2-1) returns to action Sept. 21, hosting Western Michigan in its final nonconference game of the season. Game time is set for 11 a.m. (CT) inside Kinnick Stadium on the Big Ten Network. Western Michigan was at Northwestern on Saturday night.