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Bret Culbertson drills a 28-yarder to give ISU a 15-13 win over Iowa in the closing seconds.
Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Culbertson Kicks Iowa, 15-13

Release: 09/15/2007
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AMES, Iowa—Senior kicker Bret Culbertson tied a school-record with five field goals, including the game-winner on a 28-yarder with 0:01 left on the clock, as Iowa State defeated Iowa, 15-13, Saturday afternoon to claim state bragging rights and the Cy-Hawk Series Trophy. The win marked Gene Chizik’s first as the Cyclone head coach and the seventh victory over Iowa in the last 10 years.


“This win is for the Iowa State fans and our players," Chizik said. "I am real excited for all of the players on this team. This team took a lot of criticism the last couple of games and they believed in each other today.”

For Culbertson, it was a bittersweet moment. The Des Moines native entered the season as ISU’s most accurate field goal kicker, making over 92 percent of his kicks. However, Culbertson, who had missed all three of his field goal attempts in the first two games, had missed a kick to either win or tie for ISU in the closing seconds on two different occasions in his four-year career. He made it count this time, in front of one of his biggest stages.

“There was a little pressure, but I was calm," Culbertson said. "I went out there with my snapper and my holder and we just did what we do everyday. I was excited on the sideline. When I got out there they iced me and I just relaxed my nerves.”

Culbertson’s heroics were set up on a seven-play, 56-yard drive by ISU after Iowa took its first lead of the game at the 3:38 mark (13-12) when Austin Signor kicked a 41-yarder. The key play of ISU's drive was a 38-yard catch by true freshman Phillip Bates on a second-and-14 which gave ISU first-and-10 at the Iowa 16-yard line with just over a minute remaining. It was Bates’ first catch of his career.

“It was just amazing," Bates said. "Bret told me to make a play and that’s what I did. They called my number and I had to make a play.”

The first half was all Iowa State, as the Cyclones took a 12-0 lead at intermission behind 177 yards of total offense to Iowa’s 59. Culbertson kicked his first field goal, a 21-yarder, after the Cyclones held Iowa to a three-and-out in its first series. ISU added three more points to make it 6-0 when Culbertson chipped in a 33-yarder with 3:44 left in the first quarter.

A stiff wind from the south made it tough moving the ball north-to-south for both teams. The Cyclones faced the wind in the second quarter, but continued to win the battle of field position. Culbertson was solid going against the wind, drilling a pair of 40-yarders to tally all 12 points of the half. Senior QB Bret Meyer was impressive in the first half, going 11-of-14 through the air and rushing for 42 yards on the ground.

A Cyclone turnover on their first drive of the second half once again led to opponent points. Meyer fumbled on the third play of the drive, giving Iowa outstanding field position. The Hawkeyes scored seven plays later on a Jake Christensen bootleg from 11 yards to make it a 12-7 Cyclone advantage.

Iowa continued to gain momentum, cutting the score to 12-10 on Signor’s first attempt of the game, a 36-yarder with 2:41 left in the third period. ISU answered with a great drive on its next series, but fell short of adding points when Culbertson missed his only field goal attempt of the game when his 47-yarder hit the left upright and bounced out.

The Cyclone defense came up big throughout the afternoon, holding Iowa to just 233 yards of total offense. One of the biggest plays of the game for ISU occurred late in the fourth quarter. Iowa was looking to take its first lead of the game with Signor attempting a 33-yarder with 7:01 left in regulation. However, ISU sophomore Christopher Lyle got a piece of it to keep the Cyclones clinging to a 12-10 lead.

Meyer finished the game going 21-of-29 through the air for 157 yards. His primary target was R.J. Sumrall, who tied a career-high with seven catches for 62 yards. Junior running back J.J. Bass gained 80 rushing yards to lead the Cyclone ground attack, while Meyer churned out a respectable 52 yards, mainly on a series of quarterback draws.

Albert Young paced the Hawkeyes, who fall to 2-1 on the season, with 60 yards on the ground.

Culbertson’s five field goals ties the Iowa State record with Jeff Shudak, who drilled five 3-pointers on Nov. 10, 1990, vs. Missouri. The Cyclones, now 1-2 on the season, travel to Toledo next weekend in their first road game. ISU now leads 8-1 in the Hy-Vee Cy-Hawk Series.

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