Iowa running back Akrum Wadley made a huge play when his team needed it.
The Hawkeyes were trailing in-state rival Iowa State 38-31 with just over a minute to go. On a first down play just past midfield, Iowa quarterback Nathan Stanley found the senior Wadley in the middle of the field on a shallow route. From there, Wadley made an incredible individual effort to send the game to overtime.
Wadley broke about five Iowa State tackles on his 46-yard trip to the end zone to tie things at 38-38. Iowa State’s offense couldn’t get anything going on the ensuing possession, so the game went to overtime.
The Cyclones had to settle for a field goal to open the extra frame, and the Hawkeyes made them pay. On the fifth play of its overtime possession, Iowa won the game on a five-yard touchdown pass from Nathan Stanley to Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
The touchdown pass was the fifth of the game for Stanley, who made just his second career start. Stanley finished the game 27-of-41 for 333 yards, out-dueling ISU’s Jacob Park, who threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns, but had a costly interception.
ISU led 31-28 with 6:09 to go when Park threw an interception right into the waiting hands of Iowa’s Parker Hesse, a defensive lineman who dropped into coverage.
Hesse returned the interception to the Iowa State five-yard line, but the Cyclones’ defense was able to limit the Hawkeyes to a field goal.
With the game tied, ISU quickly went back in front 38-31 on the second play of the ensuing drive when Park found Hakeem Butler behind the Iowa defense for a 74-yard touchdown. That score ultimately set the stage for Wadley’s awesome scoring play and an eventual Hawkeyes victory.
In addition to his four catches for 72 yards, Wadley also totaled 118 yards and touchdown on 28 rushing attempts.
The win kept Iowa undefeated at 2-0 while the Cyclones dropped to 1-1. Iowa hosts North Texas next weekend while Iowa State will head to Akron.
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