Cyclones Dominate in Season Opening Victory Over UNI

All the concerns about who would be the starting quarterback and would the Jon Heacock-led defense be able to stop Northern Iowa star quarterback Theo Day were quickly silenced as the Iowa State Cyclones defeated their in-state rivals 30-9. With redshirt freshman Rocco Becht starting under center the Cyclones jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back. 

“We took care of the football and we were efficient in the red zone,” Campbell said. “That is one of the things when we (win) we do a great job in those."

Iowa State came out of the gates with fire. During the off-season, the two factors most fans and experts were excited to see were Jon Heacock’s secondary and how the offense would look with healthy tight ends. Both showed up in the opening 30 minutes. Northern Iowa’s Day was given a cold welcome to Jack Trice Stadium as sophomore defensive back Jeremiah Cooper read Day’s short pass with perfection and returned it 58 yards for the game's first points. UNI was forced to punt out of their endzone leaving Jaylin Noel the opportunity to return the kick 39 yards. After early unforced errors made the Cyclones punt on their first drive, the offense settled down. On 4th and goal Becht punched in Iowa State's second score of the afternoon, capping off a seven-play 21-yard touchdown drive. Making it the first time since September of 2022 that Iowa State scored twice in the first 15 minutes. Much of the second quarter would be quiet for the Clone punting on 3 of their 5 drives. Then with under one minute to go Becht went to his healthy tight ends and marched up the field in six plays before connecting with Tyler Moore on a drag route scoring their third touchdown before halftime. Up 20-0 with less than 30 seconds remaining before halftime, the secondary turned things around with another Cooper interception (the first Cyclone to have two interceptions in one game since 2018). This would set up Chase Contreraz with a 56-yard field goal. Making it barely through the uprights Contreraz put his name in Iowa State history as it was the fourth longest field goal. 

It did not take long for the Cyclones to get back onto the scoreboard (took one minute and 48 seconds to be exact) with Brecht coming out of halftime dialed in. Finding tight end Benjamin Brahmer wide open for a 36-yard touchdown reception. UNI would score a field goal and Day would throw his first touchdown of the season but it would ultimately be too little too late for the Panthers. 

“I had some butterflies coming into the stadium, but I had this team and they had my back,” Becht said. “We were prepared for this game.”

This is Iowa State’s fourth consecutive win over UNI and fourth straight season-opening victory. The Cyclones will improve to 1-0 and prepare to return home against the Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) in the battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy next Saturday at 2 p.m. 


  • Rocco Becht ( 10-13, 113 yards, two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown) JJ Kohl finished with (4-5 for three yards including three rushes for 22 yards)
  • The defense held Theo Day to just (16-34, 164 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions)
  • Tight ends were accountable for both passing touchdown receptions and 81of the 116 total passing yards. Brahmer led the way with one catch for 36 yards. 

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