SEVERE WX : Frost Advisory View Alerts

No. 21 Iowa State survives Northern Iowa in 3 OT, 29-26

Iowa State's Brock Purdy, right, chases down a fumble by running back Sheldon Croney, left, during the third overtime of an NCAA college football game against Northern Iowa, Saturday, Aug. 31, 2019, in Ames. AP photo

La'Michael Pettway had a pair of touchdown catches for the Cyclones (1-0), who barely survived a massive upset after entering the year ranked for the first time since 1978.

Posted: Sep 1, 2019 8:58 AM
Updated: Sep 1, 2019 9:00 AM

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy's eyes lit up when he saw a potential game-losing fumble floating aimlessly near the goal line.

The sophomore sprang into action, snapping up Sheldon Croney Jr.'s triple-overtime miscue and saving the Cyclones from a devastating defeat — even by their standards.

Croney Jr. scored from a yard out on the next play and 21st-ranked Iowa State rallied to edge past FCS school Northern Iowa 29-26 on Saturday.

La'Michael Pettway had a pair of touchdown catches for the Cyclones (1-0), who barely survived a massive upset after entering the year ranked for the first time since 1978.

Croney fumbled just shy of the end zone on the second-to-last play of the game. But Purdy saw the ball bounce out, and he sprinted from the backfield to recover it at the 1 in perhaps the biggest play of his impressive young career.

"I saw who was underneath the pile, so I knew who would come up with it. Doesn't that tell you what he is about?" Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said about Purdy's heads-up play. "When I saw him there I thought we were going to be in great shape."

For four quarters and nearly three extra sessions though, the last thing the Cyclones were in was great shape.

Iowa State had to settle for a 23-yard field goal from Connor Assalley with 59 seconds left in the fourth quarter simply to force overtime. Purdy had a touchdown run called back because of holding before that kick.

After the teams traded field goals in the first OT, Purdy found Pettway — a graduate transfer from Arkansas in his Iowa State debut — in the back of the end zone. But Northern Iowa pulled even at 23-all after freshman Will McElvain scrambled long enough to free up Trevor Allen for a 7-yard TD catch on a ball that travelled at least 40 yards.

Iowa State forced Northern Iowa into a field goal to start triple overtime, and Purdy completed three straight passes to set up a hectic finish.

"I don't know if the defense really saw it," Purdy said of his fumble recovery. "I had probably the best angle on it. It was pretty scary. I'm not going to lie."

The Cyclones were the second ranked team to win an overtime game against an FCS opponent. Auburn held off Jacksonville State 27-20 in 2015.

"That's why I love coaching in this game. It demands you being your best right out of the gate," Campbell said.

McElvain finished with 228 yards passing and a touchdown in his collegiate debut.

Purdy threw for 278 yards while completing 30 of 41 passes. Deshaunte Jones caught 14 balls, the second-most in school history, for 126 yards for Iowa State.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa State: Part of the Cyclones' struggles can be attributed to the fact that Northern Iowa isn't the least bit intimidated about driving about 100 miles southwest to play them. The Panthers even have three wins in Ames dating back to 2007. But Iowa State's offense, hurt by some questionable play calling, left a ton to be desired. The Cyclones also missed stars David Montgomery and Hakeem Butler perhaps more than anyone thought they would.

Northern Iowa: McElvain, a freshman from nearby Des Moines who was offered a walk-on spot by the Cyclones, looks like he's got a bright future. His scramble to find Allen in double OT was one of the best plays of the young season. "Really talented guys who can run and escape, that's a challenge," Campbell said. "As the game wore on, I thought you saw his athletic ability come forward."

CYHAWK COINCIDENCE?

The last time a ranked team lost to an FCS school? That was three years ago when Iowa, the team Iowa State hosts in two weeks, fell to North Dakota State. But there's another connection to the rival Hawkeyes that the Cyclones can take solace in. In 2009, Iowa needed back-to-back blocked field goals to hold off these very same Panthers. That Hawkeyes team rallied to win the Orange Bowl that season. Iowa State's defense looked like it belonged on New Year's Day, but its offense at times looked like the first day of spring ball.

RUNNING BACK ROULETTE

Iowa State's muddled running back situation didn't get much closure in the opener. Johnnie Lang (14 carries for 60 yards) and freshman Breece Hall (11 for 47) shared the bulk of the carries until the fourth, when Croney was called upon. He found his stride, finishing with 56 yards on 13 attempts.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

It's very hard to imagine Iowa State maintaining its place in the Top 25 after that performance.

HE SAID IT

"All that work and all that time came to that ball laying on the ground and it was who came up out of that scrum," Northern Iowa coach Mark Farley said. "It actually stopped for a second, and we all watched it sit there."

UP NEXT

Iowa State has next week off. The Cyclones host No. 20 Iowa on September 14.

Northern Iowa: The Panthers host Southern Utah on September 7.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 584227

Reported Deaths: 7297
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1211481718
Ramsey50494868
Dakota45177443
Anoka40908433
Washington26429279
Stearns21950221
St. Louis17568302
Scott17036124
Wright15771136
Olmsted1312197
Sherburne1144384
Carver1035045
Clay809292
Rice7964106
Blue Earth740941
Crow Wing654188
Kandiyohi648282
Chisago584051
Otter Tail568978
Benton561497
Goodhue471972
Mower461432
Douglas460474
Winona448950
Itasca421153
McLeod417758
Morrison414560
Isanti410762
Nobles406748
Beltrami388558
Steele382015
Polk380368
Becker376450
Lyon357850
Carlton340953
Freeborn339929
Pine324121
Nicollet321443
Brown303540
Mille Lacs298252
Le Sueur286422
Todd278731
Cass266328
Meeker251340
Waseca235822
Martin228831
Roseau206119
Wabasha20383
Hubbard184241
Dodge18193
Renville178243
Redwood171536
Houston170215
Cottonwood163121
Fillmore154110
Wadena153621
Pennington153319
Chippewa151338
Faribault150319
Kanabec143024
Sibley141310
Aitkin133236
Watonwan13049
Rock127319
Jackson121411
Pipestone114226
Yellow Medicine113620
Pope10846
Murray10579
Swift104218
Stevens89211
Marshall87617
Clearwater85816
Koochiching81615
Lake80619
Wilkin79912
Lac qui Parle75022
Big Stone5934
Lincoln5733
Grant5648
Mahnomen5418
Norman5379
Unassigned49793
Kittson48222
Red Lake3957
Traverse3685
Lake of the Woods3193
Cook1560

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 364967

Reported Deaths: 5920
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57277621
Linn20729334
Scott19808240
Black Hawk15757308
Woodbury15091228
Johnson1441183
Dubuque13326209
Dallas1111198
Pottawattamie11043168
Story1054948
Warren573688
Clinton552092
Cerro Gordo536389
Sioux512874
Webster510993
Marshall481075
Muscatine474699
Des Moines451766
Wapello4284122
Buena Vista424040
Jasper413771
Plymouth400179
Lee373155
Marion360575
Jones296957
Henry290737
Carroll284752
Bremer282860
Crawford265840
Boone262734
Benton255055
Washington253350
Dickinson247543
Mahaska229351
Jackson220942
Kossuth215164
Clay214725
Tama208971
Delaware208240
Winneshiek196733
Page192222
Buchanan190431
Cedar188923
Fayette184741
Hardin184643
Wright183436
Hamilton179249
Harrison179273
Clayton169156
Butler164234
Mills161422
Madison160419
Floyd159642
Cherokee158538
Lyon157541
Poweshiek154733
Allamakee150351
Iowa148124
Hancock146834
Winnebago141231
Cass137554
Calhoun136613
Grundy136033
Emmet133940
Jefferson132135
Shelby130437
Sac130119
Appanoose128048
Louisa127849
Union127832
Mitchell125742
Chickasaw123815
Guthrie120829
Humboldt118826
Franklin117421
Palo Alto112223
Howard104122
Montgomery102838
Unassigned10080
Clarke99824
Keokuk95331
Monroe95129
Ida90234
Adair86232
Pocahontas85422
Monona82730
Davis81824
Osceola77916
Greene77610
Lucas76823
Worth7368
Taylor65612
Fremont6229
Decatur6069
Van Buren55718
Ringgold55524
Wayne53223
Audubon50610
Adams3384
Rochester
Clear
51° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 51°
Mason City
Clear
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 52°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 50°
Charles City
Clear
° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: °
Rain chances over the weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events