The Iowa Hawkeyes reverse their fortunes in the Battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy with a 31-17 victory over Iowa State yesterday evening. Iowa State had won three of the previous four contests, but couldn't continue that trend on Saturday. Iowa used another sterling performance from their defense, notching another half of shutout football, and they combined that with a gutty, timely, and clutch offensive output.
The players in the Iowa program, much like head coach Kirk Ferentz, said all week that they were preparing for this matchup just like another game. It was clear afterwards that this game had more meaning to them than the average win.
"I mean we want every game that we line up against," said wideout Matthew VandeBerg. "This week happened to be Iowa State. But winning that trophy is pretty nice."
"It was very emotional," VandeBerg added about the locker room afterwards. "We worked so hard for this. To come out and earn it is big time."
The fact that it was a victory over the Cyclones clearly meant a little extra for the Hawkeyes despite their insistence on it just being another game.
"We knew what was at stake," defensive tackle Jaleel Johnson noted. "It's a big game. It's a trophy game, a rivalry game. We wanted to be the team that came out on top."
Iowa re-claiming the Cy-Hawk Trophy inside Jack Trice Stadium was not lost on C.J. Beathard, who took notice of how it felt at the end and taking in all the sights and sounds.
"That was awesome," the Hawkeyes' starting quarterback shared. "Anytime you can go in there and beat Iowa State in front of their own crowd is. It's us against 60,000 or however many (fans) they have (inside the stadium). It's fun. There's no better feeling when you see the crowd leaving and panning out of the stadium because they know it's over. It's awesome."
The bragging rights in-state for the next 365 days rest in Iowa City.