AMES, Iowa – Sheldon Croney plunged in from a yard out to give No. 21 Iowa State the 29-26 win in triple OT against Northern Iowa Saturday afternoon at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium in front of a sellout crowd. The Cyclones improve to 1-0 this season and Northern Iowa starts the season 0-1.
The Cyclones and Panthers battled back and forth through a pair of overtimes before ISU eventually prevailed. The Iowa State defense held UNI to a 28-yard field goal in the third overtime to take over with a chance to win.
The Cyclones marched inside the five before nearly losing the game to a fumble. Croney had the ball knocked out of his arms on a third-down carry, but quarterback Brock Purdy saved the day by leaping on the ball and wrestling it away at the one-yard line, giving the Cyclones a fresh set of downs.
Croney, who saw the majority of the action in overtime, ended the game on the next play with a touchdown run just off center. Croney finished with 56 yards on 13 carries.
UNI took its first lead of the game on a 53-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Xavior Williams when Purdy was hit on a pass attempt late in the third quarter. The Cyclones tied the game with less than a minute remaining in regulation on a 23-yard field goal by kicker Connor Assalley.
The teams traded field goals in the first overtime before ISU grad transfer La’Michael Pettway put the Cyclones in front with a 9-yard touchdown reception. UNI would respond with a 7-yard reception by Trevor Allen from redshirt freshman Will McElvain to send it to the decisive third overtime.
The only scoring in the first half came via a 42-yard field goal from Assalley late in the opening quarter. The Cyclones outgained the Panthers, 174-92, in the first half, but costly mistakes kept the Cyclones from putting more points on the board.
Players of Note…
Deshaunte Jones finished the game with career highs of 14 catches and 126 yards. His 14 receptions were the second-most in school history.
Pettway made his impact felt in his first game as a Cyclone, finishing with a pair of touchdowns on three catches.
Purdy finished the game going 30-for-41 for 278 yards and two touchdowns.
Cyclone Quick Hits
*Today’s Attendance: 61,500…It was the sixth sellout with the new configuration.
*Deshaunte Jones has caught a pass in 37 of his 39 career games.
*Julian Good-Jones has now started 38-consecutive games for the Cyclones…he started at left tackle in today’s game.
*Iowa State improves to 5-9 in overtime games and 4-0 all-time in triple OT contests.
Iowa State has next weekend off before hosting Iowa in the annual Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series showdown at MidAmerican Energy Field at Jack Trice Stadium. Kickoff against Iowa will be at 3 p.m. with FS1 televising.