Northern Iowa rallies to beat Iowa State 25-20
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Aaron Bailey threw for 135 yards, ran for 114 more and had two touchdowns as Northern Iowa rallied to beat Iowa State 25-20 Saturday and spoil coach Matt Campbell's debut with the Cyclones.
UNI's J'Veyon Browning scored from 1 yard out with 2:49 left after a Joel Lanning interception, putting the Panthers ahead by five.
Cyclones running back Mike Warren fumbled it right back to Northern Iowa, and Lanning's final pick with 1:10 left sealed what could hardly be considered an upset for Northern Iowa.
Lanning finished with 256 yards passing, three touchdowns and those two costly interceptions.
The Panthers scored touchdowns after an Iowa State safety, fumble and interception in beating the Cyclones for the second time since 2013.
Iowa State: The Cyclones reworked and inexperienced offensive line, down a starter to suspension, looked shaky at best in its first performance. Iowa State couldn't get their ground game going, as Warren had just 30 yards on 12 carries. That left the Cyclones unable to sustain drives, which kept its defense on the field longer than it needed to be. Iowa State was also killed by penalties, nine for 89 yards, which wiped out big gains by its offense. Lanning made three big throws for TDs, but his inexplicable fourth-quarter interceptions cost the Cyclones dearly.
Northern Iowa: The Panthers entered play ranked fifth in the FCS - and they showed why they'll likely be a national title contender. Northern Iowa made the Cyclones pay for their mistakes and made the plays down the stretch that their FBS rivals couldn't.
Iowa State: The Cyclones will travel to Iowa City to face rival Iowa, ranked 17th. The Hawkeyes had some issues defensively, but their offense averaged eight yards a play as they rolled 45-21 over Miami (Ohio) on Saturday. Iowa State has beaten Iowa more than once after looking sluggish in its opener, but it'll likely be a big underdog against the defending Big Ten West champion.
Northern Iowa: The Panthers host Montana, ranked No. 13 in the FCS, in a key non-conference showdown in Cedar Falls.