Win Over Hawks Shows Cyclones How Good They Can Be
By Rob Gray & Scott Saville, Reporters
AMES, Iowa — Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz’s status spiked.
The interim Cy-Hawk Series trophy, in turn, fell to pieces.
It was one of those rip-snorting afternoons in Ames on Saturday, when the Cyclones scored a pulse-pounding, three hour and 50 minute comeback 44-41 triple overtime win over Iowa.
“I’m really tired,” said Jantz, who threw for four touchdowns — two in overtime — as ISU snapped a three-game series skid before 56,085 fans at Jack Trice Stadium.
“You can’t really describe that feeling,” Jantz said of keying a second late-game resurgence in as many weeks. “You’re not only happy for yourself, but it’s the team and all the fans there. It’s really an indescribable feeling.”
One that warrants some general description.
ISU is 2-0 for the just the third time in the past eight seasons.
The Cyclones are 2-0 for the first time under Coach Paul Rhoads.
Rhoads’ previous two seasons netted seven (bowl in 2009) and five wins, respectively.
Neither included a triumph over Iowa.
Not even close — with 35-3 and 35-7 losses soiling the recent Cy-Hawk Series past.
“(The Hawkeyes) have so much prestige; they’re always good,” said ISU linebacker Jake Knott, who recovered a fumble and recorded seven tackles. “If you can beat a team like that, you can tell you’ve got a pretty good team.”
Never mind that Iowa is in a rebuilding year on defense.
For the highly-regarded Hawkeyes — with Ohio State and Wisconsin off the schedule — that means seven wins or more, potentially.
“This game means a bunch to everybody in Iowa,” Knott said.
So for Knott, the junior playmaker and tackling machine who has never enjoyed more than seven wins in a season dating back to his days at Waukee High School, clutching that fragile interim Cy-Hawk trophy loomed large.
“I think it fell apart a little bit,” Knott said of the temporary prize. “What are you going to do?”
Flash forward to Friday at Connecticut, that’s what.
The youth-driven Huskies (1-1) won the Big East Conference title last season and played Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, but fell 24-21 at Vanderbilt on Saturday.
Suddenly, they seem ripe for the plucking — and 3-0 doesn’t seem 1,250 miles away, like East Hartford and ISU’s first road game of the season is.
“This game was so important for the city of Ames and, I think, the student body here,” Cyclone linebacker Matt Tau’fo’ou said of Saturday’s spellbinding win. “It just gave us our pride back.”
And Jantz’s legendary cachet — just two games into its inception — grew, making anything seem possible.
“It was crazy,” Jantz said of the postgame, on-field rush by fans. “It was kind of hard to get off the field.”
David Irving, an athletic and 6-7 true freshman on the defensive line, happily burned his red-shirt Saturday. Coach Paul Rhoads struck the match as planned. “Full speed,” he said. “No going back.”
Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele may have nicked up his bum right ankle in Saturday’s win and worn himself out by game’s end, but lifting game winning touchdown-scorer James White proved easy. “He’s not heavy at all,” a smiling Osemele said of the speedy but diminutive White.
Rhoads said Sunday he must ascertain all the facts before taking disciplinary action against wide receiver Donnie Jennert, who according to online records, was arrested early Sunday for public intoxication. Jennert, a sophomore, is academically ineligible this season
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