A stout running game and defensive effort never allowed Iowa State to get on track. The Hawkeyes held a 285-88 advantage on the ground and a significant lead in time of possession as well.
"Against a defense like that and with an offense like ours, you have to find a rhythm and we couldn't find a rhythm," coach Paul Rhoads said. "You do that by having success on first downs and we couldn't find any first down success."
Austen Arnaud threw for 196 yards and had to put the ball in the air 44 times, especially after the Cyclones fell behind early. Adam Robinson had 156 yards on the ground on just 14 carries to lead Iowa and Ricky Stanzi threw for 204 yards and two scores.
"They're going to make you run it underneath and move the ball," Rhoads said. "With a front four and a pass rush like that, it's very hard to do."
Iowa opened the game on a 13-play, 71-yard march that lasted nearly seven minutes, which was capped by a Stanzi touchdown toss to Marvin McNutt from nine yards out.
After a quick three-and-out, Iowa held the ball for another eight minutes and went up 14-0 on a two-yard run by Jewel Hampton. The Cyclones once again had to punt the ball right back to the Hawkeyes and Stanzi hit McNutt for 69 yards and then Stanzi hit Allen Reisner from two yards out to make it 21-0.
"I didn't see this coming at all; a really great peformance by our guys," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. "We came out ready to go and executed well and that's always a positive."
Iowa State finally got a first down on its next possession and a stop on the next Iowa possession but had to punt the ball back to Iowa and Robinson went 75 yards to set up a Stanzi one-yard touchdown sneak.
Arnaud threw interceptions on Iowa State's first three drives of the second half, including one at the Iowa three-yard line. Iowa took three plays after that to go 97 yards, including a 55-yard pass to Reisner and a 39-yard Robinson touchdown run that made it 35-0.
Iowa State found a way to avoid a shutout with a 70-yard drive in the final two minutes. Arnaud hit Darius Darks for an eight-yard scoring toss to finish the drive.
"Top to bottom, there are no weaknesses. They can run it. They can throw it," Rhoads said. "People are not going to score very many points on them.
The Cyclones will have a chance to bounce back from the loss next week when they open Big 12 play with a game at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs, against Kansas State.