The Hawkeyes drew first blood on the opening series, and unlike last season in Iowa City, did it on the strength of a quarterback's arm instead of Fred Russell's legs. Nathan Chandler completed 2-of-3 passes for 31 yards, while the Iowa tailback was held to minus-one yard on three carries, and was stopped for a loss of six on 2nd-and-10. One play later, Nate Kaeding hit a 42-yard field goal to give his team a 3-0 lead.
Iowa lengthened its advantage courtesy of an Austin Flynn fumble that Grant Steen recovered at the ISU 40-yard line. Three plays later, Chandler beat a pass rush, finding Mo Brown in the left corner of the end zone from 17 yards out. The Hawks took a 10-0 lead with 6:16 remaining in the quarter.
Stagnant for much of the opening session, ISU's offense showed signs of life on the ensuing drive. Flynn completed passes on three of the first four plays for a combined 25 yards. He would later cap off the drive with a 25-yard scramble to the right corner of the end zone, cutting the Hawks' lead to 10-7 with 43 seconds remaining in the quarter.
Iowa went to the ground five consecutive plays in mounting its third scoring drive in 17 minutes. Fred Russell carried four of the plays for 24 yards, including the three-yard touchdown scamper, but it was a long run by Chandler that put the Hawks in position. Chandler ran right on a bootleg downfield for 42 yards. Russell's run put Iowa on top 17-7 with 13:16 left in the half.
ISU's offense went back in the tank after its score late in the opening quarter. Although Flynn completed all four passes on one drive, they only went a combined 18 yards. A false start penalty cost the same drive five yards, and Troy Blankenship came on to punt. After an Iowa three-and-out, the Cyclones were done in three plays and Blankenship punted again, this time from his own end zone.
Iowa took advantage of great field position – starting at the Cyclone 33-yard line – to take a 20-7 lead with 3:22 remaining in the half. This time it was a pass interference call on ISU that set the Hawks up for a 22-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding.
With time winding down in the first half, the Cyclones mounted a charge towards the end zone. Flynn completed his first five passes for 41 yards, and drew a personal foul penalty on Iowa to get his team into scoring territory. However, poor execution in the two-minute offense left ISU without a point as time expired for the second time in three weeks. Flynn's hit Lance Young for seven yards, but the offense was unable to get set before time expired.
The series of events to start the second half was exactly the opposite of what Cyclone fans wanted. First off, ISU was forced three-and-out by Iowa's defense. But on the ensuing punt, Sean Considine blocked Blankenship's attempt and the Hawkeyes recovered in the end zone for a touchdown, making it 27-7 just 41 seconds into action.
ISU's hopes continued to plummet after Flynn was picked off by Grant Steen, who returned it to the four-yard line. But thanks to a goal-line stand from the Cyclone defense, Iowa was held to a 20-yard field goal from Kaeding.
But Flynn and the offense did little favors on the ensuing drive, going three-and-out and bringing out Blankenship for another blocked punt. The special teams mishap cost the Cyclones another three points, as Kaeding booted a 20-yard field goal to make it 33-7 with 4:51 remaining in the quarter.
The final dagger in ISU's heart came early in the fourth quarter after a 39-yard completion from Flynn to Young to the Hawkeye one. On four straight plays, the Cyclones were unable to get into the end zone, and, in fact, went backwards.
Wagner lost a yard each on first and second down, before Flynn was sacked for a nine-yard loss to bring up 4th-and-10. The ISU quarterback's pass into the end zone sailed out of bounds and gave Iowa possession on downs.
A Marc Timmons fumble recovery put the Cyclone offense in Iowa territory, and this time they were able to capitalize. But it would take two fourth-down conversions, one on a penalty and the other on Lane Danielsen's nine-yard touchdown catch from Flynn with 6:10 to play. ISU's all-time leading receiving yards man made the score 33-14.