IOWA CITY — Iowa might have looked worse in victory than it did in defeat.
But after nearly a year without a win, the Hawkeyes are simply happy to have to something to build on for the second straight week.
Jake Rudock and Mark Weisman each ran for a pair of touchdowns and Iowa beat Missouri State 28-14 on Saturday, snapping a seven-game losing streak dating back to 2012.
Weisman had 180 yards rushing for the Hawkeyes (1-1), who won for the first time since beating Michigan State last October.
But Iowa followed up an encouraging opener — albeit a 30-27 loss to Mid-American Conference favorite Northern Illinois — with a shaky performance against an FCS opponent.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do on our end,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “I thought we improved during the week, but there were some things (Saturday) that didn’t, in my opinion, necessarily reflect improvement.”
Weisman scored on runs of 10 and 3 yards to help the Hawkeyes take a 21-0 lead late in the third quarter. Missouri State answered with touchdowns on back-to-back plays from scrimmage early in the fourth quarter, pulling within 21-14 with 14:15 to go.
Rudock’s 2-yard TD run put Iowa back ahead 28-14, and Tanner Miller sealed it with an interception in the end zone with 6:50 left.
Kierra Harris threw for 127 yards and a TD for Missouri State (0-2), which fell to 1-29 against FBS teams.
“Our kids came to play,” Missouri State coach Terry Allen said. “‘They took it to us in the fourth quarter. They won the physical battle, but we didn’t sit down.”
Even though the Hawkeyes had some early issues on offense, they still looked as if they were in complete control at the outset of the fourth quarter.
Ten seconds and 14 points later, Iowa found itself in a game that was suddenly much closer than it should have been.