AMES, Iowa (AP) — David Johnson ran for a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns and caught passes for two more scores to lead Northern Iowa past Iowa State 28-20 on Saturday night.
Northern Iowa, seeking a return to the FCS playoffs after a rare losing record in 2012, jumped to a 21-7 lead on a steamy Midwest evening and handed Iowa State its first season-opening loss in five seasons under coach Paul Rhoads. It was just the fifth victory for the Panthers in 28 games with the Cyclones, who are coming off two straight bowl appearances.
Iowa State drew to 21-20 on Cole Netten's third-quarter field goals of 23 and 38 yards, the first of his career. But Johnson caught a short pass from Kollmorgen, slipped through three defenders and went 29 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for an eight-point lead that held up.
Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 214-pound junior who showed both power and speed, piled up 125 yards on his first six carries, including scoring runs of 37 and 27 yards. He carried 23 times in all in topping his previous best of 149 yards last year.
Kollmorgen, who was thrust into the starting job as a freshman last year, completed 14 of his first 15 passes and finished 21 of 28 for 218 yards, no interceptions and the two touchdowns to Johnson, whose four TDs tied the school's single-game record.
Tormenting Iowa State with passes on short underneath routes, Kollmorgen was so effective in the early going that the Cyclones did not break up a pass until freshman linebacker Luke Knott knocked one away with 1:32 left in the first half.
Iowa State's Sam Richardson, making his third career start, completed 22 of 32 passes for 242 yards and two TDs and added 74 yards rushing on 21 attempts.
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