Cyclone Defense Blanks UNI, 27-0
AMES, Iowa- Iowa State's defense forced five turnovers, including two interceptions for touchdowns, in a 27-0 victory over intrastate rival UNI Saturday night at Jack Trice Stadium. The win improves Iowa State to 2-2 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 1-2.
The Cyclone defense, which held UNI to 320 yards of total offense, pitched their first shutout against an opponent since blanking UNI, 23-0 in the 2004 season opener. Iowa State also tacked on a blocked field goal attempt to go with its three interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
Iowa State held a 13-0 lead at the break. The Cyclones' first points came from the foot of junior placekicker Grant Mahoney, who booted a pair of field goals from 37 and 46 yards out, respectively, to give the home team a 6-0 lead. The two 3-pointers increased his consecutive field-goal made streak to six.
Mahoney figured prominently in a couple of big plays for the Cyclones in the first half. Iowa State was driving late in the second quarter and Mahoney was on the field for what appeared to be his third field goal attempt. However, holder Daniel Kuehl took the snap and dashed for the corner before pitching the ball to Mahoney, who rushed five yards to barely pick up the first down and keep the drive alive.
Iowa State scored four plays later on an Alexander Robinson six-yard rush to make it 13-0 Cyclones. It was Robinson's 21st touchdown run of his career.
On the ensuing kickoff, Mahoney stepped up with another big play. UNI's Carlos Anderson broke free on the return and was on his way to paydirt until Mahoney came up with a touchdown-saving tackle at the UNI 46-yard line.
UNI's only scoring threat in the first half was on its first drive, but Iowa State's Ter'Ran Benton blocked a Billy Hallgren 40-yard field goal attempt.
The third quarter belonged to the Iowa State defense. On UNI's opening drive of the second half, Iowa State's Jeremy Reeves picked off a Zach Davis pass and raced 94 yards for a touchdown to move ISU up 20-0. It was the longest interception return for a touchdown since Dustin Avey returned a pick-off 94 yards for a touchdown against Colorado in 1997.
Later in the third quarter, A.J. Klein returned an interception for a touchdown in his second consecutive game, this time stealing a Tirrell Rennie pass and running 25 yards for six points (27-0).
It marked the first time the Cyclones had two interception returns for touchdowns since achieving the feat against Northern Illinois in 2004. Klein's two interception returns for scores is the most in a single season since Dawan Anderson did it in 1996. Klein also had a fumble recovery in the contest.
Robinson ended the game with 74 yards rushing, surpassing Stevie Hicks to move to No. 7 on Iowa State's career rushing list with 2,664 yards.
Jake Knott led the Cyclones with 11 tackles. He also recorded his third interception of the season.
Iowa State is home next weekend to play host to Texas Tech (Oct. 2). Kickoff is set at 6 p.m.