The Cyclones opened the season in winning style with a 54-10 victory over Northern Illinois in front of an Iowa State crowd of 35,706. ISU held the Huskies scoreless in the second half, while the Cyclones passed for 206 yards and ran for 337 yards by the end of the contest.

NIU was only able to amass 152 yards in the air and 108 yards rushing. ISU quarterback Bob Utter earned Big Eight Player of the Week honors, hitting on 7-of-9 passes for 206 yards and three TDs, while rushing for 70 yards. Utter hit on scoring passes to Mike Horacek (46 yards) and James Brooks (53 and 77 yards) as Iowa State outgained NIU 543-260.

Iowa State broke open the game in the third quarter, scoring 28-straight points. The Cyclones held the nation's leading rusher, LeShon Johnson, to 102 yards on 23 carries, 77 yards below his average. Northern Illinois converted only one third-down play in 10 tries. Linebacker Jeff Cole tallied 12 tackles under the lights.

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