The Iowa defense held Iowa State out of the end zone until late in the game while blocking a field goal and scoring on an interception to win 20-13 in Ames Saturday. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says they expected a hard-fought game.
“I’m really thrilled to get the win, really proud of our players and the coaching staff. We knew coming in here it’s gonna be really tough, I can’t remember a time when that hasn’t been the case, so we knew that. Certainly was, proved out to be that way.”
Linebacker Sebastian Castro picked off Cyclone quarterback Rocho Becht in the second quarter and returned it for a 30-yard touchdown. It’s the “What’s expected is good defense to our standard and with a good defense comes pick sixes,” he says. “So pick sixes are flashy, but I always expect the little things are what it takes like things that no one sees. Especially what happens in the trenches, the D lineman.” The Hawkeye defense ended the game by stopping Iowa State on downs as they were trying to get the tying score. “I couldn’t ask for a better ending, a better moment. For the defense to have the game, for us to be on the field in that moment, you couldn’t ask for a better story,” Castro says. Iowa’s offense got 17 of its 20 points in the first half and couldn’t complete drives in the second.
Quarterback Cade McNamara says he missed some throws, and there were some mistakes, but he says the offense is getting better. “You know there’s some things we’ve still got to get better at, but I think just overall just us continuing to grow together and really just how passionate they are about getting better, I think it’s shown on the field,” he says
The win gave Iowa the Cy-Hawk trophy back after a loss last year in Iowa City. Hawkeye lineman and Cedar Rapids native, Connor Colby says that’s a great feeling. “I mean there’s nothing better you know, you grow up watching this game every year and to be a part of it now it’s just a great feeling especially coming home with the trophy again,” Colby says.
Iowa State coach Matt Campbell says he thought this was the best game his team has played in the series since he took over. “Credit to them, they played a good football game, made a couple plays that beat us at the end, but man I don’t know if I could be prouder of what this team had the ability to grow forward this environment handle the game,” Campbell said.
He said he was proud of the way his team battled back after getting down early. “I think any good football team that’s hard to do. And we know they’re a good football team. You don’t want to get behind but what that’s football right like it’s going to happen,” Campbell said.” And to me, I was almost like waiting for it to happen at some point to our team and see how we responded.”
Campbell said it was good to see the response by quarterback Rocho Becht after the interception for a touchdown.”His response was we go down we get the field goal to put it back to a two score football game to start the second half. I thought that was huge and I think it showed a lot about who he is and his moxie,” Campbell said, “and I think a lot he will learn from this football game and have the ability to hopefully move himself forward. So we’re excited certainly about what he did.”
Iowa State falls to 1-1 and is at Ohio on Saturday. Iowa Moves to 2-0 and returns home to face Western Michigan Saturday.