Rhoads looked exhausted. He, his staff and players expended a lot of energy rebounding from a whooping to North Dakota State in the season opener to a heartbreaking setback against Kansas State last week to Saturday's emotional, 20-17 comeback win here against rival Iowa at Kinnick Stadium.
"You've got a game today that came down to the very last play. It's great for the state, it's great for the rivalry, and this series is a rivalry. It's fun to coach in it, it's fun to play in it, and this was a great day for Iowa State and for the state of Iowa," Rhoads said.
A double-digit underdog on the road against the 2-0 Hawkeyes, ISU rebounded from a 1403 halftime deficit with grit and determination. The Cyclones defense held Iowa to 102 yards and three points in the second half and their offense scored 10 points in the game's final seven and half minutes.
"One of the themes this week was that we couldn't have any doubt that we were going to win the game. At halftime, down 1403 and beating ourselves in a lot of ways, there was no hesitation. It was an intent, focused group that was ready to go out and play the next 30 minutes of the football game. They believed that they could win the game and they went out and physically followed up with that," Rhoads said.
The Cyclones have win three of the last four meetings against Iowa and 10 of the last 17 contests in the series since ending a 15-game losing streak against their rival in 1998. Hawkeye Head Coach Kirk Ferentz has posted a 7-9 record against ISU.
Watch an emotional and drained Rhoads speak with the media after Saturday's win in this Scout.com video compilation of his top soundbites: