Iowa raved earlier in the week about expecting to be in a dogfight with the number one team in the FCS. Well, that is exactly what they got on Saturday afternoon.
Iowa elected to defer to the second half and the Bison would punt on their first drive. It was a defensive struggle as both teams kind of struggled to figure out the opposing defense.
The Bison struck first when C.J. Beathard was hit from behind and the ball went flying through the air and was picked off by a Bison defender. He would subsequently take it to the end zone to give NDSU the early 7-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes would answer on the next drive as they would go for it on 4th and 3 from around their 30 yard line. Beathard found Riley McCarron on a short slant and McCarron took it to the house to tie the game.
Iowa would score on their next drive after and NDSU punt on a pass from Beathard to Matt Vandeberg. The teams would trade punts a couple of times, but nothing noteworthy would take place and Iowa went into the locker room leading 14-7.
Iowa would receive the second half kickoff and during their first drive LeShun Daniels took off down inside the NDSU five yard line, but the run would be called back due to a hold from tight end George Kittle. Iowa would go on to punt.
The Bison would then go on a very convincing drive to even the score at 14-14.
On Iowa's next drive Beathard would have to leave the game for a couple plays as he took a big shot picking up a 3rd and 3. Freshman Nate Stanley came in and delivered a huge toss to Kittle to get Iowa going again.
Beathard would return later in the drive and toss a TD pass to Vandeberg to make it 21-14 Hawkeyes.
The Bison would go on to miss a field goal during the next drive, but Iowa was unable to take advantage and would be forced to punt. Beathard fell down on a 3rd and 3 and Ron Coluzzi would be on to punt.
North Dakota State went on a lengthy drive to pull the score to 21-20 and then they would ultimately fail during the two point conversion.
Iowa got the ball back and subsequently went three and out, which forced them to punt.
The Bison got the ball, promptly drove down the field, kicked a field goal and beat the nationally ranked Hawkeyes on their turf.
This continues to beg the question. Why are FBS team still scheduling North Dakota State?