In the past, a call-gone-wrong or a turnover has spelled doom for the Cyclones. Saturday, cornerback Sam E. Richardson dropped an interception at the goal line late in the second quarter before Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock rushed in for a touchdown. The Cyclones responded by taking the ball to the two-yard-line on the ensuing drive, but running back DeVondrick Nealy fumbled.
"I’m a teacher and I love lessons," Rhoads said. "Through two weeks, we’ve had a lot of lessons to learn from of adversity that we’ve faced. You fumble the ball going into the end zone, you could fold your tent up right then and there. You can say, ‘It’s happening to us again, woe is me.’ They didn’t say that and they moved past the play."
And that was the message from Rhoads at halftime when he looked his team in the eyes and delivered it.
"Right before I pulled them up to tell them those things I looked around the locker room and every eye met me," Rhoads said. "Every set of eyes met me. Nobody was shying away. I didn’t need to say much to help them overcome."
Ultimately, Iowa State would outscore Iowa 17-3 in the second half, capping a 20-17 comeback victory with the right foot of Cole Netten, who hit a 42-yard field goal with two seconds remaining.
Here's video of an emotional Rhoads following the game.
Video by Rob Howe of HawkeyeInsider.