Sebastian Castro had a pick-six to highlight a strong defensive performance that lifted visiting Iowa to a 20-13 victory over Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday in the latest edition of the Cy-Hawk series.
With the Cyclones (1-1) down 10-0 and just under 5 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter, Jeremiah Cooper appeared to shift momentum in Iowa State's favor when he picked off Hawkeyes quarterback Cade McNamara.
But the Iowa defense answered. The Hawkeyes stuffed running back Abu Sama III 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage before Castro intercepted Rocco Becht and went 30 yards to the end zone for a 17-point advantage that stood through a late Iowa State rally.
The Cyclones were only able to muster a pair of Chase Contreraz field goals — from 42 and 46 yards — before Becht found Jayden Higgins for a 16-yard touchdown with 2:53 left in the game.
Iowa State forced a punt to get the ball back with 1:48 to go, but on a fourth-and-1, Ethan Hurkett tackled Cartevious Norton for a loss of 2 yards to snuff the comeback.
McNamara finished with 123 yards and an interception on 12-for-23 passing for Iowa (2-0), which has beaten the Cyclones in six consecutive meetings in Ames. Jaziun Patterson led the rushing attack with 86 yards and a TD on 10 carries.
With the victory, Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz earned his 200th career win. He has picked up 188 of those wins at Iowa (1999-2023), with the other 12 coming at Maine (1990-92).
Becht completed 23 of 44 passes for 203 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. Norton had 59 yards on 21 carries, and Higgins had eight catches for 95 yards and the score.
Iowa State opened the game with a 15-play, 57-yard drive that ate 6:20 of clock, but it was unable to put points on the board. Logan Lee blocked Contreraz's 36-yard field-goal attempt, and Drew Stevens drilled a 28-yarder on the other end to give the Hawkeyes a 3-0 lead.
Iowa went up 10-0 thanks to Patterson's 4-yard rushing touchdown, which was set up by a 35-yard completion to Luke Lachey four plays earlier.
—Field Level Media