Iowa continues Cy-Hawk success for fifth-straight year

Things almost went downhill for Iowa early against Iowa State, but the Hawkeyes battled through the adversity to win their fifth game in a row against the Cyclones.


Shivansh Ahuja

Iowa players hoist the Cy-Hawk trophy during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames on Saturday, September 14, 2019. The Hawkeyes retained the Cy-Hawk Trophy for the fifth consecutive year, downing the Cyclones, 18-17. (Shivansh Ahuja/The Daily Iowan)

Pete Ruden, Pregame Editor

Iowa might’ve been one fielded punt away from losing to Iowa State on Sept. 14. But that didn’t matter in the end.

Instead, the Hawkeyes extended their winning streak over Iowa State to five games with an 18-17 win over the Cyclones.

The game proved to be a grind-it-out, come-from-behind victory that was led by special teams and featured two lightning delays. 

After recovering a muffed punt with 1:29 left in the game, Hawkeye players could be found on the sidelines using their hands to count to five, symbolizing Iowa’s winning streak over its in-state rival. 

“It’s very emotional,” Iowa wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette said. “You got Iowa State fans letting you have it, they’re up, they played a great game. Hats off to them. But once you come out on top, and all they’ve been doing is talking trash, you get to let them know that it’s still a Hawkeye state for another 365 days and that they’re going to hear about it afterwards.” 

After the first weather delay, the Cyclones looked like they might run away with the momentum when wide receiver Deshaunte Jones threw a perfect ball to fellow receiver La’Michael Pettway on a double pass to give Iowa State a 7-3 lead.

That didn’t happen. 

After another weather delay — the delays totaled just under three hours — Iowa State took a 14-6 lead over the Hawkeyes with a 73-yard bomb pass on the second play of the third quarter, but Iowa fought back with a Nate Stanley rushing touchdown and two more Keith Duncan field goals to take an 18-17 lead with 2:55 remaining in the fourth.

All that Iowa needed to preserve its lead was to get a stop on defense after the Cyclones force it to punt. 

The Hawkeyes never played defense, though.

After Iowa punter Michael Sleep-Dalton sent the ball deep, Iowa State’s Datrone Young ran into punt returner Jones, forcing a fumble. Iowa’s Devonte Young jumped on the free ball. That play ended the game and continued Iowa’s winning streak over Iowa State that has spanned the entire career of every player on the Hawkeyes.

“Seeing guys start to tear up, that’s what makes it special,” Stanley said. “That’s what makes it so awesome to be a part of this team.” 

Iowa’s last game in Ames featured a similar scenario. The game went into overtime and came down to the final play — a Stanley touchdown pass to Smith-Marsette.

RELATED: Iowa beats Iowa State for fifth-consecutive season

The Hawkeyes won, 44-41, to take their third in a row over the Cyclones. That was Stanley’s first season as a starter and Smith-Marsette’s true freshman campaign. 

Now, two years later, they’re still undefeated against Iowa State. 

The Cy-Hawk series tends to always come down to the wire. Each of the past four games have been won by 10 points or less, but the end result has been the same through them all. 

“One thing you can almost bet on in this series is it’s going to be a four-quarter game,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “[Sept. 14] was certainly obviously that. A lot of ups and downs … The bottom line is it was a real test of mental toughness, physical toughness. I thought our guys did a great job against a team that played extremely well.”

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