The Bears finally got on the board with 14:25 left, as Julian Burton beat freshman cornerback Desmond King on a 27-yard TD reception. Rudock opened Iowa’s next drive with a pass that was picked off by linebacker Rique Bentley, who took it back 28 yards for a TD.
Iowa answered with a 65-yard touchdown drive that consumed more than four minutes, and Miller’s interception preserved some much-needed breathing room for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa’s defense looked strong, holding the Bears to 197 yards. But Iowa still led just 7-0 at halftime over a Missouri Valley Football school with just five wins over the past two seasons.
Iowa was plagued by dropped passes, negative rushes and a 33-yard missed field goal from Mike Meyer, usually a reliable kicker. The Hawkeyes had just one drive of note in the first half, a 69-yarder that ended with a 6-yard TD run from Rudock.
“Coming in the locker room at halftime, it didn’t feel like we were even up. It felt like we were down,” Iowa wide receiver Kevonte Martin-Manley said. “But we kept our heads up and came out strong in that second half.”
The Hawkeyes then drove to the Missouri State 2-yard line to open the second half, only to watch Weisman get stuffed on fourth-down-and-1.
Weisman redeemed himself a few minutes later, scoring from 10 yards out to give Iowa a 14-0 lead. Rudock then threw a perfect ball to George Kittle for a 47-yard reception, helping set up Weisman’s second TD of the day.
Rudock threw for 193 yards in his second career start.
Though the Hawkeyes responded quickly to Missouri State’s brief threat, they still displayed some troubling signs — like committing 11 penalties for 100 yards — ahead of next week’s rivalry game at Iowa State.
“We learned from last week. We practiced hard; we had a good week of practice. We had a couple slipups in the game, and we’ll correct that too in film,” Iowa defensive lineman Carl Davis said. “As long as we get better every week and we win games, that’s all I care about.”