Best of College GameDay’s stop in Ames

ESPN's hit college football pregame show was on location in Ames for this year’s Iowa-Iowa State football game, providing plenty of highlights.

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Shivansh Ahuja

Rece Davis (left) and David Pollack host during ESPN College GameDay before the annual Cy-Hawk football game between Iowa and Iowa State in Ames on Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019. This was GameDay's first visit to Ames.

Robert Read, Assistant Sports Editor

AMES — At long last, ESPN’s College GameDay traveled to the state of Iowa to experience the Iowa-Iowa State football rivalry. The popular college football pregame show set up in Ames on Saturday to showcase Iowa State for the first time.

Rece Davis, Lee Corso, and the rest of the GameDay crew analyzed this year’s Cy-Hawk matchup and got to experience game day in the rivalry.

A national audience got a glimpse into the passionate rivalry between the Hawkeyes and Cyclones, and there were plenty of highlights along the way.

Best signs from GameDay 

Iowa State fans were not shy about slandering the way key Iowa football figures approach eating corn. Corn-related jabs are very on-brand for the state of Iowa.

“Kirk Ferentz cuts his corn off the cob.”

“Nate Stanley likes Nebraska corn.”

“Watching corn grow is more exciting than Hawkeye football.”

Other Cyclone fans took different approaches to going after the Hawkeyes on their signs, ranging from age jokes about Kirk Ferentz to an unflattering comparison for quarterback Nate Stanley.

“Hawkeye is the worst Avenger.”

“Ferentz uses a blackberry.”

Shivansh Ahuja
Signs are held by spectators during ESPN College GameDay before the annual Cy-Hawk football game between Iowa and Iowa State in Ames, IA on Saturday, September 14, 2019. This was GameDay’s first visit to Ames.

“Kobe Bryant passes better than Nate Stanley.”

Iowa fans got in on the sign-making fun as well.

“The only difference between a Cyclone fan and Ronald McDonald is one is a clown on purpose.”

“Ames is so lame, even the Mayor left.”

“Win or lose, at least we don’t live in Ames.”

Shivansh Ahuja
Signs are held by spectators during ESPN College GameDay before the annual Cy-Hawk football game between Iowa and Iowa State in Ames, IA on Saturday, September 14, 2019. This was GameDay’s first visit to Ames.

The two fan bases found a middle-ground on something at least.

“We can all agree that Nebraska sucks.”

ESPN’s analysis of Iowa-Iowa State matchup

Kirk Herbstreit put an emphasis on Iowa’s culture under Kirk Ferentz and the fact it constantly puts the Hawkeyes in a position to succeed. No matter which players graduate or who leave for the NFL Draft, Iowa develops players for future success, Herbstreit’s said.

As far as Iowa’s play on the field, Herbstreit pointed to Iowa’s balanced attack on offense as a strength for the Hawkeyes. Herbstreit said Stanley is a quarterback Iowa can trust to make big throws in tough environments, and the offensive line has the strength and mobility to succeed in the ground game.

David Pollock heaped praise A.J. Epenesa’s way while giving his Hawkeye analysis.

Pollock broke down tape of Epenesa and pointed out what Hawkeye fans are already very familiar with — the junior defensive end has elite power and hand-usage on his bull rush while also possessing quickness off the edge.

GameDay food selection

As is a tradition on College GameDay, the on-air crew was fed with food that is a specialty in the area.

For an Iowan dish, a variety of smoked barbeque was prepared, along with sweet corn on the cob and cornbread muffins. 

GameDay’s picks

David Pollack — Iowa State

“Iowa has the better O-line, the better D-line, they have the quarterback advantage with Nate Stanley, but I’m going with ISU.”

Chris Fallica — Iowa State

“The Bear”  picked the Cyclones to cover the 1.5-point spread and win the game.

Desmond Howard — Iowa State

“They had an extra week to prepare for this one. There’s no way ISU loses this game.”

Kirk Herbstreit — Iowa

“I’m going with the old veteran Kirk Ferentz. This Hawkeye team is for real.”

Celebrity guest picker Eric Church — Iowa

“My apologies, Cyclone fans.”

Lee Corso — Iowa State

“Iowa has won four-straight in this series. Iowa has won three-straight in Ames. Vegas says Iowa is a road favorite. Iowa is a lock to win this, right? Not so fast.”

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