Although it wasn't a blocked punt this time, Iowa State's special teams put the defense in a hole on the opening kickoff. During a 35-yard return by Albert Young, the Cyclones committed a personal foul facemask penalty to give Iowa possession at the ISU 49. The Hawkeyes wasted no time marching downfield. Jermelle Lewis carried five times for 24 yards, including a one-yard scamper to put Iowa up 7-0 with 13:05 remaining in the quarter. Lewis also caught a 25-yard pass down the left sideline.
The next two possessions went three-and-out before the Cyclone offense got in gear. Bret Meyer hit Jon Davis for 12 yards on a 2nd-and-10 play, his first completion of the game. An aggressive Hawkeye defense helped ISU's march, as two personal foul penalties amounted to first downs. However, the drive would end on a missed 30-yard field goal by Brian Jansen.
A Drew Tate interception would set the Cyclone offense up again in Iowa territory. Tate's pass deflected off the hands of Lewis and into ISU linebacker Matt Robertson's, who returned it to the Iowa 46-yard line. Meyer immediately threw a 22-yard strike to Jon Davis. However, Iowa stuffed Hicks on consecutive run plays and Meyer fired an incomplete pass on third down. That brought out Jansen for a 41-yard field goal attempt. This time the freshman split the uprights to cut the deficit to 7-3 with 1:11 remaining in the quarter.
Iowa's offense put together a nice drive into Cyclone territory, getting big passes from Tate in the process. The sophomore hit Calvin Davis for 18 yards on 3rd-and-8, then connected with Scott Chandler for 17 more on a 2nd-and-7 play. But Albert Young was stood up on two straight runs, then Tate's pass to Aaron Mickens went for nothing. The drive stalled when Iowa kicker Kyle Schlicher's field goal was blocked by Nick Leaders.
After a three-and-out by the Cyclones later in the quarter, Iowa's offense got going with good field position. On the third play of the drive, Tate hooked up with Ed Hinkel for a 29-yard touchdown. Hinkel laid out in the end zone to haul in the pass, making it 14-3 with 2:49 remaining in the half.
ISU had the opportunity to tack on three more points a few minutes later, but Jansen missed a 46-yard field goal attempt, his second miss of the half.
After the Cyclones opened play with a three-and-out, Iowa gained favorable field position once again. Tate hit Warren Holloway for 23 yards and a first down. Four plays later, the Hawkeyes lengthened their lead to 17-3 on a 39-yard field goal from Schlicher.
ISU's defense came up with its best series of the game late in the quarter. Ellis Hobbs blitzed off the right side and sacked Tate for an 11-yard loss on first down. After Lewis was stopped for no gain, Tyson Smith hit Tate in the backfield for minus-seven yards.
A little momentum from the defense and Austin Flynn's emergence on offense put the Cyclones in the end zone for the first time. First, Flynn rushed twice for a total of nine yards. Then, after a false-start penalty made it 3rd-and-6, he hit Todd Blythe in the air for a 40-yard touchdown. Blythe caught the ball in traffic near the five, then fought off two defenders to score. The touchdown pass cut Iowa's lead to 17-10 with 36 seconds left in the quarter.
The Hawkeyes went three-and-out on the ensuing possession, and after the punt ISU took over great field position at its opponent's 33-yard line. Flynn remained in the game and hit Davis for eight yards on first down. The Cyclones later gained a fresh set of downs when Iowa jumped offsides on 4th-and-1. But three plays later, Jansen missed his third field goal of the afternoon. The 31-yard attempt would have cut the deficit to four points early in the quarter.
However, ISU's defense would come up with one more stop to give Flynn and the offense a chance to tie. Taking over possession with 5:34 left to play, Flynn fired two incomplete passes in a row before hitting Blythe for a miraculous catch on 3rd-and-10. However, Flynn was injured on the next play on a run. Meyer came on and fired a terrible pass on his initial play, then was stopped well short of the sticks on 3rd-and-7.
ISU got another shot after a Hawkeye punt with just under two minutes remaining. Meyer came back out to lead the offense. After he picked up a first down running on 2nd-and-3, Meyer was helped by a personal foul penalty against the defense. However, he fired incomplete passes on first and second down to bring up 3rd-and-10. Davis hauled in a seven-yard pass to bring up 4th-and-3. Meyer was stopped two yards short of a first down to effectively end the game.