Iowa State mounted a huge second half comeback against Colorado, and then held on for dear life in a bizarre ending to get a 31-28 Saturday at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. The Buffaloes had raced down the field and hit a game tying field goal as the clock was running out, but it was disallowed because the officials had not yet spotted the ball for play. After a five-yard penalty mark off, one second was put on the clock and Keven Eberhart hit a second field goal, but the officials rule the snap came after the clock had expired.
Colorado had scored two touchdowns in the final three minutes of the first half to open a 21-0 lead and appeared to have the game in hand, but Iowa State went on their own scoring flurry to start the third quarter that included two touchdown passes between seniors Brett Meyer and Toddd Blythe. They put up 31 straight points before Colorado got on the board again.
Iowa State coach Gene Chizik seemed to have little emotion in his postgame meeting with the media. "I’m in shock," Chizik says, "I’m gonna tell ya, I couldn’t be more proud of our football team, I couldn’t be more proud of our fans. I mean to see our kids win two in a row, sometimes it’s not about winning, it’s how you win." Chizik says he doesn’t know how many times Iowa State has come back from 21 points down to win, but says he know "it happend today." ISU media relations says the last time it happened was in 1989, when the Cyclones fell behind Missouri 21-0 at the half and came back to win 35-21.
Chizik says it was pleasing to get the win on senior day for a group that’s been through some rough times this season. He says it could’t happen to a better group of young men, and it couldn’t happen at a better time to show the direction that Iowa State is going. Chizik says they didn’t play very well for a strectch, "But we played pretty dang good to come back from being down 21 nothing." The final few seconds were hectic and Chizik says he wasn’t really sure what would happen.
Chizik says he had one eye on one thing and one on another thing and didn’t know what would happen as Colorado rushed it’s kicking unit on the field. He says he was just watching and "saying a lot of prayers." While it look like the game might be over at halftime, Chizik says the home field crowd stayed and helped the team late in the game. Chizik says the first five games, other than the Iowa game, the team didn’t give the fans much to be happy about. Chizik says the Cyclone fans are the most loyal he’s ever been around and he was glad to end up with two wins and "Give our Iowa State people something to chew on down the road."
Cyclone quarterbck Bret Meyer says they got started slowly, but could feel the momentum change after Colorado went for it on fourth down at their own 43 early in the third quarter, and did not get the first down. He says they then got a couple of good runs from Alexander Robinson, and things started rolling on offense. Meyer finished with 149 yards passing and two touchdowns, while Robins rushed for 127 yards and two touchdowns.
The win denied Colorado the chance to become bowl eligible, dropping them to 5-6 and 3-4 in the conference. The win upped the Cyclone’s record to 3-8 and 2-5 in the conference. The Cyclones finish the season next Saturday at Kansas.