Halftime reactions | Iowa leads Iowa State, 7-3, at halftime of 2022 Cy-Hawk game

The Hawkeyes scored their first touchdown of the season during opening quarter of the contest and surrendered a field goal to the Cyclones in the second.


Grace Smith

Iowa running back Kaleb Johnson carries the ball during a football game between Iowa and Iowa State at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.

Austin Hanson and Chloe Peterson

The Iowa football team is ahead of Iowa State, 7-3 at halftime of the 2022 Cy-Hawk game. The Hawkeyes scored their first touchdown of the season at the 12:21 mark of the first quarter. Running back Leshon Williams scored on a nine-yard run.

Iowa’s score was set up by a blocked Cyclone punt. Sophomore defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness blocked a punt of the foot of Iowa State’s Tyler Perkins. The kick was recovered by Iowa defensive back Reggie Bracy at the Cyclone 16-yard line.

Iowa State’s lone score of the half came via a 22-yard field goal from placekicker Jace Gilbert.

The Cyclones did threaten to score two other times during the half. The first instance came around three minutes into the second quarter, as Iowa State drove the ball down to the Iowa 1-yard line.

The Hawkeyes forced a turnover on the drive as safety Kaevon Merriweather jarred the ball free Iowa State running back Jirehl Brock’s grasp. Brock’s fumble was recovered in the end zone by linebacker Logan Klemp for a touchback.

The second time the Cyclones turned the ball over in the red zone, sophomore starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers threw an interception. Iowa’s Cooper DeJean picked Dekkers off in the end zone for a touchback.

The Cyclone turnover came just two plays after Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras was picked off inside his own 20-yard line.

Turnovers playing a big role early

Iowa State and Iowa are averaging a turnover a quarter through one half of the 2022 Cy-Hawk game —that’s two turnovers apiece for those keeping score at home.

Both of the Hawkeyes’ turnovers are charged to quarterback Spencer Petras. He fumbled once at Iowa State 46-yard line during the first quarter and threw an interception inside his own 20-yard line at the end of the second.

Iowa State has turned the ball over twice in the red zone. Running back Jirehl Brock fumbled the ball once at the 1-yard line, and quarterback Hunter Dekkers was picked off by Iowa’s Cooper DeJean in the end zone.

We’ve seen turnovers play a big role in Cy-Hawk games before. The Cyclones’ now-infamous muffed punt at the end of the 2019 contest comes to mind.

But at this pace, we might see eight turnovers before the end of the game. Had Iowa State scored touchdowns on the two occasions they turned the ball over in the red zone, they’d be up 17-7 right now.

There’s rain in the forecast for the second half, and the clouds overhead are looking ominous. I suspect we’re in for another chaotic and incomparable ending to a Cy-Hawk game.

Hutchinson breaks down the Iowa defense

Is the Iowa defense crumbling? Under the weight of Cyclone wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson, it sure looks like it.

While the Hawkeyes haven’t fully broken down yet, but it’s coming — just like the imminent rain that will pour down on Kinnick Stadium.

The fifth-year senior has seven catches for 70 yards throughout the first half, including a 24-yard catch that put the Cyclones in the red zone late in the second quarter. 

While Iowa State couldn’t capitalize on the drive, Hutchinson nearly caught two passes in the end zone from left-handed quarterback Hunter Dekkers. 

Iowa’s defense is infamous for its inability to contain talented pass-catchers — it’s happened the past three years with Boilermaker wide receiver David Bell. 

But the Hawkeyes have gotten lucky with Hutchinson so far. Dekker’s passes have been slightly overthrown — though not as bad as Iowa’s Spencer Petras’ passes to his teammates. 

Knowing Iowa’s defense, it’s unlikely the Hawkeyes will score another touchdown unless another punt is blocked. So, if the Hawkeyes want to keep their lead, the Iowa defense will need to step up its coverage on Hutchinson. 

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