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Iowa State holds off Iowa 9-6

Associated Press Modified: September 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm •  Published: September 8, 2012
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The Hawkeyes didn't let Iowa State quarterback Steele Jantz beat them like he did a year ago.

The Cyclones instead turned to their defense to carry them to a second straight win over Iowa.

Jantz threw for 241 yards and the game's only touchdown on Saturday and Iowa State beat the Hawkeyes 9-6 for its first win in Iowa City in 10 years.

Jake Knott's interception with 1:11 left sealed the win for the Cyclones (2-0), whose defense held Iowa without a home touchdown for the first time in this rivalry game in 34 years.

"Two teams that just hung around, persevered, waited for the opportunity to win a football game," said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads, who is now 20-20 with the Cyclones. "(Knott) decided to go win the football game."

Iowa State was held scoreless in the second half and had three turnovers inside Iowa's 20-yard line. But the Hawkeyes (1-1) could only muster a pair of short field goals in the lowest-scoring matchup between these in-state rivals in 24 years.

James Vandenberg was 20 of 42 passing for 236 yards and two interceptions for Iowa.

"It's a collective thing, and we'll just have to keep working hard. But I'm not discouraged. I think our guys, they are playing hard, they are working hard. They never quit," Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said of the Hawkeyes' offense.

But after looking terrible all day, Iowa's offense sprung to life in the final two minutes.

Fittingly, the game turned on its final mistake.

Vandenberg drove Iowa to Iowa State's 32-yard line with three straight completions. But he floated one over the middle and Knott tipped the ball and brought it in to give the Cyclones their first win in Iowa City since they beat the Hawkeyes 36-31 in 2002.

"To do that after 59 minutes of football, with our backs against the ball, momentum clearly in their favor and then have the presence of mind of settle and find it and intercept it. You don't make better plays than that in this game," Rhoads said of Knott.

Vandenberg, who threw 25 TD passes in 2011, has none through two games this season. Iowa's only points Saturday came on field goals of 23 and 21 yards from Mike Meyer.

Iowa State looked as though it was set to put away one of the ugliest games in this rivalry's history late in the fourth quarter.

It would only get uglier from there.

Jantz drove the Cyclones to Iowa's 2-yard line by converting on a pair of key third downs. But on third-and-goal with 3:23 left and Iowa State leading 9-6, Jantz threw an interception to Hawkeyes linebacker James Morris, who returned it to midfield.

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