Saturday is approaching, and that can only mean one thing for college football fans,
But, for those of us who rep Iowa or Iowa State colors, this Saturday means more than a simple
tailgate and cheering. It’s the rivalry. Since 1894, with the exception of a few years down the line that the two teams didn’t meet, the in-state clash between Iowa and Iowa State has fueled years of trash-talk and bragging rights among fans and players alike.
The Cy-Hawk series has bounced back and forth for years now. Iowa State wins a few, the Hawkeyes come back. The Hawks go on a winning streak, the Cyclones find a way to break it. Just when you were confident enough to say that your team had the game in the bag, the other team caught everyone off guard. The rivalry was fairly balanced with Iowa up just a bit until 1982. The overall record for Iowa vs ISU was 18 and 12. Then the Hawkeyes started dominating.
The longest win streak to date for the Cy-Hawk series was led by Hayden Fry and his Hawkeyes who logged wins every year from 1983 until 1997. Under Fry, Iowa went undefeated against Iowa State with only a few games being remotely close in score. This streak takes credit for more than a third of the Hawkeyes overall wins against ISU. It was complete dominance, and an era that put the Hawkeyes above the Cyclones for years to come in terms of bragging rights.
In 2001, due to the tragic events of 9/11, the Cy-Hawk game had to be put on hold until the end
of the season. This allowed both teams to truly be prepared for one another. The game came down to a few crazy seconds at the end. QB Seneca Wallace was picked off by Iowa LB Grant Steene only for the ball to be immediately stripped away by Cyclone WR Craig Campbell. Who knows how the game would have turned out had Campbell’s hustle play not happened? Thanks to Campbell and the ISU recovery, the Cyclones went on to secure the victory.
The following year, Iowa had one of its best teams in history. The 2002 squad came in early and
tore apart ISU’s team piece by piece. They went into the locker rooms at halftime with a 24-7
lead, led by the Heisman runner-up Brad Banks. Everyone thought the game was won, but that was a mistake.
In the second half ISU came out swinging. Seneca Wallace led his team with 361 yards through the air. When the dust had settled the scoreboard read 36-31 in favor of ISU, and what would go down in the history books as Iowa’s only regular season loss in ‘02. A loss that Hawkeye fans, and players, will never forget. Check the highlights from this game out right here:
Kirk Ferentz and his Hawkeyes had great seasons for the next two years and beat the Cyclones
straight up, 40-21 and 17-10. Defense was the primary weapon of those Hawkeye teams.
Another weird instance was the #8 ranked Hawkeye’s failure in 2005. By the looks of video
coverage and play-by-play reports, Iowa com[pletely lost their mojo for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
Forced fumbles, dropped passes, bad passes, interceptions, fumbled snaps, etc. Basically they played an incredibly sloppy football game and got beat.
After 2005, however, the Hawks came back stronger than ever. They won 7 out of the next 11. In 2008, running back Shonn Greene made an amazing play, definitely worth a spot in the Cy-Hawk history books. Nearly sacked for a loss by 3 defenders near the 50, Greene broke all of them for a 25 yard gain. See the play here at about the 53 second mark:
Although Greene was nearly unstoppable for the Hawkeyes, the victory was still up for grabs. That is until returner Andy Brodell got the ball.
Iowa held a 10-3 lead with 6:41 left to play and forced ISU to punt. Play it safe? Apparently not
Brodell’s style. The kick from Michal Brenton is caught around the 18 yard line. What came next
ignited Kinnick Stadium.
Then of course there was the 3 overtime thriller that took place in Ames in 2011. Hawkeye fans and Cyclone fans alike will always remember the name Steele Jantz because of this game. Tons of highlights from this battle can be seen here:
Overall, if you exclude the Hawkeye dominance displayed during the Hayden Fry era (which Hawkeye fans will not allow to happen) the Cy-Hawk series has been a damn good match-up. Both teams and fan bases in the 2017 season have a lot of hope coming into this game. Both teams took care of business in their season openers.
The only lesson we can take from history here is that there is a damn good chance Saturday’s game is going be a fun one, and if you think you know what is going to happen you’re likely mistaken.