In another Iowa defensive showcase, the Hawkeyes leave Ames with their sixth-straight Cy-Hawk victory after dominating Iowa State. The Hawks recorded four turnovers including a scoop-and-score touchdown in their 27-17 rout of the number nine ranked Cyclones. With this win in Ames, Iowa has the best resume in college football, and for the sixth-straight season, it’s a Hawkeye State.
Hawkeye State for the Sixth-Straight Season
The first quarter started out slow for both teams, the only points on the board came from a late-quarter Iowa State field goal. Iowa did not convert a first down until early in the second, and the game was a battle of field position. The middle quarters were where the Hawkeyes turned things around and scored 24 of their 27 points. Iowa had two possessions in the second quarter, both of which ended in touchdowns. Quarterback Spencer Petras put together a 49-yard touchdown drive after an interception at mid-field. He followed that possession with a 71-yard drive capped off with a beautiful 26-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Jones in double coverage.
In the third quarter, the defense came away with three consecutive turnovers to ultimately deflate the Cyclone offense. With the defense coming up big in key spots, Iowa was able to capitalize on their field position all day. Offensively, Iowa was clicking and the defense got the stops and turnovers they needed all game. Down 27 to 10, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell pulled both Brock Purdy and Breece Hall and the Hawks cruised to another ranked victory.
Tory Taylor Dominates Field Position
The story of this game was field position. In the first quarter, the Hawkeyes punted on three of their four possessions. Iowa punter Tory Taylor pinned the Cyclones inside their 10-yard line on all three. None of those three punts produced more than 15 yards of Iowa State offense. Taylor had eight punts on the day totaling over 400 yards with a 51.1-yard average. Five of those punts landed inside the 20-yard line. Of the eight punts, Iowa State either punted or turned it over on seven of those respective possessions.
The production from Iowa’s punt team was exemplary this afternoon, and it was the main reason why Iowa was able to contain the Cyclones prolific offense. If there had to be a game MVP, Taylor deserves the vote. He consistently flipped the field giving Iowa a significant field position advantage. At the end of the day, Iowa State had an average starting field position of their own 20. It’s difficult to get anything going when constantly starting drives with your back against your own end zone.
Phil Parker Defense Shines Again
Entering Saturday, it was widely known that whichever team could get the turnover advantage would be in a great position to win this game. That team was Iowa. The Hawkeyes did not turn the ball over once against Iowa State. In fact, they haven’t done so against the Cyclones since the 2015 game. Iowa State on the other hand committed four turnovers; three interceptions and one fumble inside their own five-yard line. The fumble turned into a scoop-and-score touchdown for Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell. Two of the three interceptions landed in the hands of Matt Hankins, and all three resulted in points for the Hawks. Iowa ended up with 20 of their 27 points coming off of turnovers and an average starting field position at their own 42-yard line. The defense was able to create short fields all day. That kind of field position is a massive advantage, and Iowa capitalized on all accounts.
In the first half, Iowa’s secondary gave up a rare chunk-play to Iowa State receiver Darren Wilson for 49 yards. The reception set up the Cyclones inside Iowa territory, but the Hawks quickly regrouped and held them to a field goal. Other than that pass, Iowa gave up just 203 passing yards on the day and one late-game passing touchdown. That Cyclone touchdown was with under four minutes to go making the score look closer than the game played. It was another shut-down performance from the Hawkeye defense and Defensive Coordinator Phil Parker makes it 24 straight games holding opponents under 24 points.
Sixth-Straight, It’s a Hawkeye State
This 2021 Cy-Hawk game looked to be Iowa State’s year to finally win it. They had the returning starters, the coaching, and the preseason hype. However, this afternoon Iowa made it clear why they dominate this rivalry. The answer is coaching. Iowa treats this game as the next one on the schedule. They showed up for a business trip and played the game they know. It was a rock fight in the first quarter until Iowa managed to break through the Cyclone defense all while containing their offense. When they did, they exploited it for two straight quarters. The middle quarters of this year’s Cy-Hawk game were dominated by Iowa, outscoring the Cyclones 24-7. Campbell ended up pulling his starters and looked to slow down their attack late in the game down 17. The highly-regarded head coach was constantly out of answers for the Hawkeye defense.
With two Top 25 wins including this big Top 10 victory on the road, the Hawkeyes hold the best resume in college football through two weeks. Both Indiana and Iowa State are quarterbacked by dynamic guys with a lot of national attention. Brock Purdy and Michael Penix Jr. were both on the preseason Davey O’Brien award watch list, and both guys were benched during their games against Iowa’s defense. The group that Parker has put together this season is one of the best in the country, and they’ve shown it through two weeks. Something big is brewing in Iowa City this season.