Iowa State Rallies For 20-19 Win Over UNI
AMES, Iowa - After struggling on offense for much of the second half, the Cyclone offense rose up when it counted. Iowa State tallied two touchdowns in the final 4:30 minutes of the game to come away with a thrilling come-from-behind 20-19 opening-game victory over UNI Saturday night in Jack Trice Stadium.
Iowa State was down 13-7 and had only registered one first down in the second half when it took over possession with 5:37 left in the game following a UNI punt. Facing a 4th-and-10 at the 26-yard line, quarterback Steele Jantz made the play of the game. After getting flushed out of the pocket and running out of room on the sideline, Jantz fired a scrambling toss to a sliding Josh Lenz in the corner of the end zone to make it 14-13 Iowa State.
The lead was short-lived. On the first play of UNI's next possession, quarterback Tirrell Rennie found running back David Johnson out of the backfield for an 80-yard touchdown pass to suck the life out of the frenzied Jack Trice crowd. UNI's two-point conversion was no good to make it 19-14 Panthers with 4:17 left in the game.
Iowa State bounced right back and drove right down the field. A 17-yard run by Jantz on a 3rd-and-11 kept the drive alive. Jantz later found Aaron Horne on a 32-yard pass to the UNI 2-yard line with 1:36 left in the game. Three plays later, Jantz dove over on a sneak to make it 20-19 Iowa State, as the two-point conversion was unsuccessful.
The game ended when Willie Scott broke up a UNI hook-and-ladder play, as the Cyclones persevered for a hard-fought 20-19 win in front of 54,672 people, the fourth-largest crowd in Jack Trice Stadium history.
"Our guys executed in the fourth quarter," Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads said. "I told our guys in the last two drives is that you have to go out and execute and do your jobs. Guys started doing their jobs. What a remarkable catch by Josh and what a job by Steele to keep that play going."
Jantz ended the game with 80 yards rushing and 187 yards through the air to lead the Cyclone attack. Horne grabbed seven passes for 69 yards receiving.
Iowa State registered four turnovers in the game to UNI's one, but the Panthers did not score a point on the Cyclones' miscues.
The Cyclones were fortunate to head into the break with a 7-6 lead. Iowa State had plenty of chances to score, but committed three turnovers in UNI's territory.
Two field goals by UNI's Tyler Sievertsen put the Panthers up 6-0 with just under nine minutes to play in the first half. Iowa State mounted a late second-quarter drive to go ahead 7-6 at the break. A touchdown pass from Steele Jantz to Reid Branderhorst was overturned, but the Cyclones capitalized on a pair of UNI pass interferences to set up a 1-yard dive from Jantz as the first-half clock expired.
After the Iowa State offense went three-and-out on its first series of the second half, UNI went on a 22-play, 90-yard drive to go up 13-7. The drive, which was capped off by a Johnson 1-yard touchdown dive, at up 10:43 minutes off the clock.
Jake Knott led Iowa State with 15 tackles, his ninth career game with double-digit stops.
Iowa State will play host to Iowa at 11 a.m. next Saturday.
Click the embedded media player below for highlights from tonights's win over UNI.
Football Highlights vs. Northern Iowa
Paul Rhoads Post-Game Media Conference