AMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa State insisted on playing 12 games, cycling through a pair of FCS opponents before settling on tiny Drake.
That decision nearly resulted in the most embarrassing loss in school history.
David Montgomery ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns as No. 24 Iowa State survived a near-upset by the non-scholarship Bulldogs on Saturday, winning 27-24.
Brock Purdy had 153 yards passing and a TD and ran for another score for the Cyclones (8-4), who fought through persistent rain and a muddy, torn-up field for their seventh win in eight games.
It hardly felt like a victory, though, against a team that agreed to play this make-up game only two weeks ago, and Iowa State coach Matt Campbell blamed the close call on execution.
“I don’t know that we played with great detail on a surface like that, where every inch matters,” Campbell said.
Iowa State’s opener against South Dakota State was canceled and the Jackrabbits’ replacement, Incarnate Word, backed out after reaching the FCS playoffs.
The Bulldogs, buoyed by conditions that made footing more important than formations, forced turnovers on back-to-back possessions to open the second half. They turned the second one, a pick of Kyle Kempt, into a 19-yard TD pass from Grant Kraemer to Devin Cates and a stunning 24-20 lead with 3:37 left in the third quarter.
That woke the Cyclones up.
They responded with a 7-yard touchdown reception by Deshaunte Jones to jump back on top.
“Sometimes people outside of our program define us because we’re non-scholarship,” Drake coach Rick Fox said. “I think you saw the kind of guys, the kind of athletes, the kind of competitors we have.”
Drake……………..7 7 10 0—24
At Iowa St……….7 13 7 0—27
DU: DeLeon 7 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 9:23
ISU: Montgomery 7 run (Assalley kick), 6:38
ISU: Montgomery 1 run (Assalley kick), 14:55
DU: Pugh 2 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 9:42
ISU: Purdy 11 run (kick failed), 2:13
DU: FG Donley 26, 11:02
DU: Cates 19 pass from Kraemer (Donley kick), 3:37
ISU: D.Jones 7 pass from Purdy (Assalley kick), :26
First downs 14 17
Rushes-yards 30-58 42-114
Passing 221 159
Comp-Att-Int 20-29-1 17-25-1
Return Yards 66 92
Punts-Avg. 5-34.4 2-38.5
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 5-50 2-15
Time of Possession 29:36 30:24
Rushing: DU, Hartwig 13-48, Kraemer 7-12, Gossling 1-0, Robinson 2-0, Lauer 6-0, (Team) 1-(minus 2). ISU, Montgomery 33-145, Milton 1-3, Croney 1-(minus 1), Purdy 4-(minus 16), (Team) 3-(minus 17).
Passing: DU, Kraemer 20-29-1-221. ISU, Kempt 2-3-1-6, Purdy 15-22-0-153.
Receiving: DU, DeLeon 4-68, Cates 4-53, Lauer 4-30, Doran 3-31, Purdom 2-34, Skinner 1-4, Pugh 1-2, Feller 1-(minus 1). ISU., H.Butler 4-67, D.Jones 4-37, Milton 3-14, Eaton 2-32, Montgomery 2-6, Kolar 1-3, Nwangwu 1-0.