By Luke Meredith AP Sports Writer
The Clinton Herald
---- — AMES — Iowa is running the ball at will and daring opponents to stop them.
For the second week in a row, Mark Weisman powered the Hawkeyes to victory by leading a punishing ground game.
Jake Rudock threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score, Weisman added 145 yards rushing and Iowa hung on to beat rival Iowa State 27-21 to win the CyHawk football trophy Saturday night.
Kevonte Martin Manley had seven catches and a TD for the Hawkeyes (2-1). Iowa ran the ball 60 times for 218 yards and snapped a two-game losing streak against the Cyclones.
Weisman “has been a workhorse for us. He ran hard for us and did a lot of good things,” said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, who improved to 7-8 against the Cyclones.
Quenton Bundrage rallied the Cyclones with two touchdown receptions in the final 4:27. But Iowa recovered an onside kick and snuffed out a last-gasp try by Iowa State.
Bundrage had a career-high 146 yards receiving and all three TD grabs for Iowa State, which is 0-2 for the first time since 2007.
Iowa appeared to have the game in hand when it went up 27-7 with 7:05 left.
The Hawkeyes inexplicably let the Cyclones back in it — despite a spectacular one-handed interception by Iowa’s B.J. Lowery.
Sam Richardson found Bundrage for TD passes of 26 and 17 yards, pulling Iowa State within 27-21 with 2:26 to go as streams of Cyclones fans headed for the parking lot.
The Hawkeyes then recovered an onside kick, but they couldn’t get a first down. Iowa was forced to punt it back to the Cyclones, whose lateral-filled final play went nowhere.
“We would have liked to put them away a little sooner, so you have to give them credit for fighting,” Weisman said.
Richardson, clearly still hampered by the ankle he sprained in the opener two weeks ago, was 22-of-39 passing for 260 yards and two interceptions.
“Whenever you take off, unless there was an absolute necessity on a third down or a fourth down, he would take as few hits as could. He wasn’t feeling so hot. Another bye week is going to help with that,” Iowa State running back Jeff Woody said of Richardson.
Despite a terrible start on offense, Iowa State got back in the game with one throw.
The Hawkeyes answered by beating the Cyclones on a similar scoring play — and then ran right through the heart of Iowa State’s defense.
Bundrage caught a ball near the sidelines and got past Lowery and the rest of Iowa’s defense for a 67-yard touchdown, making it 13-7 Iowa with 5:28 left in the third quarter.
But Rudock found Jacob Hillyer near Iowa State’s 15-yard line, and he beat a pair of Cyclones defenders for a 26-yard TD reception and a 20-7 lead just before the start of the fourth quarter. The Hawkeyes then ran 14 times in 15 plays on the weary Cyclones, a drive that ended on a 1-yard TD plunge by Rudock.
Weisman has rushed for at least 100 yards in Iowa’s first three games. The last Hawkeye to do that was Shonn Greene five years ago, when he won the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back.
Weisman “is a hard-nosed runner with a hard-nosed style of offense. In case you didn’t recognize, that was two tight ends and two backs, old-fashioned football out there,” Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads said. “They ran it very effectively. They controlled the line of scrimmage.”