Iowa State 20, Iowa 17: Unfortunate timeout costs Hawkeyes in loss to in-state rivals

By Luke Meredith
Associated Press

Iowa City, Iowa — It’s a timeout that will the haunt the Hawkeyes forever.

Cole Netten hit a 42-yard field goal with two seconds left — and mere moments after coach Kirk Ferentz called timeout ahead of a Netten miss — and Iowa State rallied to beat Iowa 20-17 on Saturday.

Sam Richardson had 255 yards passing and two TDs for the Cyclones (1-2), who beat the rival Hawkeyes (2-1) for the third time in four tries.

“It’s a 50/50 shot. You either call a timeout or you don’t. We called a timeout. We had one left and that’s the reason I called it,” said Ferentz, who fell to 7-9 against Iowa State.

Still, Iowa had plenty of chances to avoid such bad luck.

Jake Rudock’s first interception of the season gave Iowa State the spark it needed to begin a comeback that ended with the Cy-Hawk trophy on a bus back to Ames.

T.J. Mutcherson gave the Cyclones life with their first takeaway of the season, intercepting Rudock and returning it to the Iowa 32. Richardson then found E.J. Bibbs with a jump pass on 4th and inches to pull Iowa State to 14-10 with 6:50 left in the third quarter.

Iowa State took a 17-14 lead with 7:33 left on Richardson’s 27-yard TD pass to DeVondrick Nealy. Iowa answered with Marshall Koehn’s 44-yard field goal with 4:08 to go, but those were Iowa’s only points of the second half.

Jake Rudock threw for 146 yards and an interception for Iowa.

“They gave us some different looks on certain packages we had. But it’s just one of those things where they clearly played harder than we did,” Rudock said.

The Cyclones went 92 yards on their initial go-ahead drive — which was aided by a targeting call that got Iowa safety Jordan Lomax ejected and Iowa State’s Jarvis West knocked out of the game.

Koehn’s tying kick came after he missed two field goals last week in a narrow win over Ball State.

But the Cyclones, who were held scoreless in the second half of their first two games, drove 51 yards to set up Netten’s winning kick.

Iowa State outgained Iowa 337-275 and held the Hawkeyes to 129 yards rushing on 36 carries.

“To me that seemed to be the story of the game. We did a decent job in the first half. Second half we just never got in the traction. Part of that is self-inflicted and part of that is just good play on their part, so credit goes to them,” Ferentz said.

Iowa lineman Brandon Scherff started, even though coach Kirk Ferentz said on Tuesday he was “day-to-day” after hurting his right knee in last week’s win over Ball State.

The Hawkeyes were determined to get their surprisingly sluggish running game going behind their star left tackle.

The effort produced just 25 yards rushing in the first quarter. But the Hawkeyes went ahead 7-0 anyway on Mark Weisman’s 1-yard TD leap.

Iowa was then faced with a 4th-down-and-8 at the Cyclones 16-yard line late in in the first half. But after missing three field goals from inside 40 yards last week, Iowa went for it. Rudock scrambled for space and found Jacob Hillyer for a first down, and then ran 5 yards for a touchdown and a 14-3 Iowa lead.

Quinton Alston then drilled Nealy at the goal line and Greg Mabin recovered the fumble in the end zone.

That turnover, along with an interception that cornerback Sam E. Richardson dropped on the previous drive, sapped the Cyclones of any momentum heading into halftime.

But Rudock’s pick was the start of a collapse by the Hawkeyes, who wrap up non-conference play with a trip to Pittsburgh next week.

“There’s nothing fun about losing. Never fun to lose an intrastate game, obviously, but we’ve been here before. I’d rather not be here right now, needless to say, but you only have one choice. You go back to work and you’ve got to work to improve,” Ferentz said.