Nearly two decades of Cy-Hawk frustration was released in Iowa City Saturday night, as a near-flawless first half staked the Iowa Hawkeyes to a 25-point lead en route to a 42-3 pummeling of the Iowa State Cyclones. The 42 points are the most that a Kirk Ferentz team has scored on its in-state rival, and the 39-point margin of victory is the highest of Ferentz's tenure against his most pesky repeat opponent.
Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard came out firing, throwing three first-half touchdown passes and completing 11 of his 14 attempts before intermission. Beathard finished 19/28 for 235 yards and three scores, matching his career high for touchdown passes, before sitting out most of the fourth quarter. Top target Matt VandeBerg caught a beautiful touchdown pass in the first half and finished with a game-high 129 yards on seven catches.
LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley combined for 187 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, with Daniels breaking a 43-yard touchdown run in the second half and Wadley recording scores through the air and on the ground.
Meanwhile, Iowa's defense shut down the wildly inaccurate Joel Lanning. Iowa State's sophomore signalcaller managed just eight completions on twenty attempts, racking up 86 passing yards and an interception before being benched. With the passing offense hampered, Iowa focused on shutting down the Iowa State running game. Five backs combined for 80 yards, and while Lanning and his replacement, Jacob Park, were occasionally effective when scrambling, the Cyclones never found a consistent running game.
It may be no coincidence that Iowa's biggest win over Iowa State came in Matt Campbell's first Cy-Hawk game. Ferentz has reserved many of his biggest wins for coaches who have directly challenged him, particularly blowhards like Tim Brewster. Campbell has exhibited many of the traits that Brewster used, right down to the ridiculous resume padding and social media hyping. Matt Campbell has vowed to compete with Iowa on all fronts. Saturday night might have been Ferentz showing his young counterpart just how far he has to go.
Iowa closes its non-conference slate next week when it hosts North Dakota State. If it can get past the Bison, hardly an easy task, a second consecutive undefeated September is within sight. In a September where Iowa is breaking its own records, getting past that particular hurdle (something Ferentz has never done) would truly be reason to get excited.