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Iowa Football: The Cy-Hawk Trophy in Ames Thanks to Poor Offensive Output

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Iowa Football: The Cy-Hawk Trophy in Ames Thanks to Poor Offensive Output
Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE

For the second year in a row, the Iowa State Cyclones defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes for the coveted Cy-Hawk Trophy.

The loss, in front of a packed Kinnick Stadium was, if possible, was more frustrating for the Hawkeyes than last year's overtime loss in Ames.

The final score, 9-6, is indicative of the poor offensive showing by both teams.

Iowa State racked up 342 total yards, compared to the Hawks 304. Iowa State broke the 100-yard rushing mark with 101 yards, while Iowa only managed 68 yards on the ground. 

Perhaps the most telling stat of the day was turnovers: Iowa State had four, compared to Iowa's two.

The problem was that Iowa was unable to do anything with the four forced turnovers.

Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz did not carve up the Hawkeyes' defense like he did last year.  Jantz was 24-for-36 for 241 yards, a touchdown and two picks.

James Vandenberg, for the Hawkeyes was even worse, going 20-for-42 for 236 yards and two interceptions.

Vandenberg wasn't helped much by his receivers. On a pivotal forth quarter drive, there were crucial drops by Iowa receivers, including a drop by Don Shumpert on what would have been a big pick up on fourth down. 

But it was Vandenberg who tried to force a pass to the middle of the field as the Hawkeyes were driving for a potential game-winning TD in the final minutes Saturday that was picked off by Iowa State's Jake Knott.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The interception sealed the victory as Iowa State got the ball back with only 1:11 left, with Iowa out of timeouts.

This turn of events came after James Morris picked off Jantz deep in Iowa territory with 3:23 left on the clock and returned the interception close to midfield.

As bad as the Hawkeyes offense played all day, the defense kept them in it until the very end. Two interceptions and two forced fumbles gave the offense chances to take the lead.

But alas, the offense couldn't convert.

This loss leaves a lot of questions lingering in Iowa City. 

They now have scored only one touchdown in two games against Northern Illinois and Iowa State.  James Vandenberg has yet to throw a touchdown pass in 2012.  Kirk Ferentz's career record against Iowa State is now 6-8. 

This was the first loss of the Ferentz era in which the defense held the opponent under 10 points.  Previously, Ferentz-coached teams were 33-0 in such games.

Long story short, this was a very painful loss for the Hawkeyes.

There is some good news, however.

Despite his late drop, Don Shumpert looked like a legitimate third or fourth target with four catches for 29 yards.  C.J. Fiedorowicz continues to show that he needs to be utilized more in the passing game as he had four catches for 61 yards.  The defense has been very good so far, only allowing 26 points in two games.  Lastly, Kicker Mike Meyer has been impressive.

Yet, the Hawkeyes are a lucky 1-1 against two teams that they were favored against.

A tough UNI team comes to Iowa City next week.  A win could right the ship, while a loss could doom the season only three games in.

I guess the optimist would say that the last time the Hawkeyes lost to Iowa State in Iowa City, they rattled off 10 straight wins and an Orange Bowl appearance.  Let's hope lightning strikes twice.

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