Iowa, Iowa State to continue series through 2027

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Iowa and Iowa State will continue their annual showdowns through at least 2027.

Athletic directors Gary Barta of Iowa and Jamie Pollard of Iowa State announced the extension of the CyHawk Series contract.

Iowa and Iowa State have played annually since resuming the series in 1977, excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. The teams first met in 1894, with Iowa holding a 46-23 advantage in the series. Iowa State won 10-7 in Iowa City in September.

The extension calls for the teams to meet in Iowa City on Sept. 12, 2026, and in Ames on Sept. 11, 2027.

No. 22 Texas rallies in 4th quarter to beat Iowa State 24-21

Aaron E. Martinez / American-Statesman/USA TODAY NETWORK
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AUSTIN, Texas — Texas believes it’s a tougher, more resilient team that last season – and the Longhorns are showing it so far this fall.

The latest evidence came as No. 22 Texas, trailing struggling Iowa State in the fourth quarter, rallied to win 24-21.

Quinn Ewers threw for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead, 3-yard pass to Xavier Worthy with 4:43 remaining. Linebacker Jaylan Ford produced two turnovers, including a fumble recovery with 2:28 to play.

Bijan Robinson rushed for 135 yards, his fifth straight game exceeding 100, against the Big 12’s top defense.

The Longhorns (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) snapped a three-game losing streak against Iowa State and handed the Cyclones (3-4, 0-4) their fourth straight defeat.

Texas went 5-7 a year ago, Steve Sarkisian‘s first as coach. The Longhorns have worked to make wouldn’t happen this fall.

“This is completely different than last year,” Robinson said. “We would have lost the game last year, in my opinion.”

There were indications that Texas might lose this one, too. Iowa State moved to the Texas 32 with two receptions by its spectacular receiver, Xavier Hutchinson. But Hutchinson also dropped a long one at the Texas 9,

“I came up short,” Hutchinson said. “How I look at it, is if I make that catch we probably win the game.”

The Cyclones were still in position to pull off a surprise win, but quarterback Hunter Dekkers fumbled at the 32. Anthony Cook forced the fumble, Ford recovered, and the officials conducted a video review to determine if Dekkers’ knee was down or if there was targeting by Texas.

Both reviews went the Longhorns’ way.

“When I saw the ball out, like, I gotta go get it,” Ford said. “Shout out to Cook. He came down with a big hit on the ball.”

Iowa State, whose offense has struggled to score this season, had an opportunity to go up 14-0 six minutes into the second quarter. But Dekkers’ pass was intercepted in the end zone by Ford.

The Longhorns then moved 80 yards to tie the game on a 15-yard pass from Ewers to Worthy. Less than six minutes later, Ewers connected with Jordan Whittington for a 5-yard touchdown.

Texas added a field goal in the third quarter but could not put Iowa State away. First, Dekkers found sophomore Jaylin Noel over the middle for a 54-yard touchdown, his second of the game. Dekkers, a sophomore first-year starter, completed 25 of 36 for a career-best 329 yards.

The Cyclones took their last lead, 21-17, on Dekkers’ 11-yard run up the middle with 10:58 remaining.

“I’m so proud of him,” coach Matt Campbell said. “It’s hard to battle through the growth process when the ball is in your hands every play.”

Texas responded to Dekkers’ run by moving 75 yards on 11 plays for the go-ahead score. Ewers connected with Robinson for 13 yards on third and six along the way.

“We didn’t play very good,” Sarkisian said. “But we played hard, and we played tough. Generally that’s the sign of a pretty good team when you can not play your best football, but find a way to win.”

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa State: The Cyclones, who rank 104th in scoring offense, failed to get a on 18 straight possessions in their past three games. The streak stopped on their third series against the Longhorns with a 5-yard pass from Dekkers to Noel in the first quarter.

Texas: The Longhorns were outgained in the passing game. Ewers threw for just 172 after passing for 294 and four touchdowns against Oklahoma last week. Ewers lost what could have been a 58-yard touchdown in the third quarter when a wide open Casey Cain dropped a pass down field. But Texas showed the resiliency to come back and win.

EFFICIENCY IN CLUTCH

A reason Iowa State had a chance to win was that it made nine of 15 third-down plays, including a 20-yard pass from Dekkers to Hutchinson before the Dekkers fumble. The Cyclones also converted a fourth-down play, Dekkers to Hutchinson, on the drive.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Longhorns elevated from receiving no votes to a No. 22 ranking after their 49-0 win over Oklahoma last week. There’s a good chance they won’t lose ground.

UP NEXT

Iowa State hosts Oklahoma on Oct. 29.

Texas plays at No. 8 Oklahoma State on Oct. 22

Iowa State’s Xavier Hutchinson savors another college season

Zach Boyden-Holmes/The Register/USA TODAY NETWORK
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AMES, Iowa — A broken thumb suffered last season may prove to be a blessing for the Iowa State and wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native established himself as one of the Big 12’s premier pass catchers in 2020 and 2021, but his hopes of entering the NFL took a hit last December.

“I definitely explored it,” said Hutchinson, who has 147 career receptions for 1,758 yards and nine touchdowns. “There were just certain things I didn’t have in my control.”

Hutchinson underwent a surgical procedure after a piece of bone in his left thumb became detached, but he returned to play with a cast in the Cyclones’ 20-13 loss to Clemson in the Cheez-It Bowl.

His lone catch in that game was a diving, 34-yard grab – against Tigers’ cornerback Mario Goodrich, now a member of the Philadelphia Eagles – that brought Iowa State fans to their feet and set an example for Hutchinson’s younger teammates.

“I was actually kind of stunned a little bit,” Cyclone wideout Jaylin Noel said of Hutchinson’s catch, “but then again, it’s Xavier.”

This is not the first time Hutchinson’s dreams have been delayed or in doubt.

He enrolled at Blinn (Texas) College out of high school, but didn’t play in any of his first five games.

“I really didn’t think I was going to get any (scholarship) offers,” Hutchison said. “And I sure enough wasn’t going to get a Power Five school to look at me.

“But coach (Matt) Campbell said he saw something in me, just from practice.”

Campbell, entering his seventh season at Iowa State, took a chance of Hutchinson, who blossomed into a two-time, first-team, all-Big 12 selection.

This summer, he was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list, given annually to the nation’s top receiver.

“X is a unique player,” Campbell said. “He can do a lot of different things. The best thing is, getting the football in his hands. He is a dynamic playmaker.”

Hutchinson will be the most reliable playmaker for a Cyclone offense that is replacing quarterback Brock Purdy, who passed for 12,170 yards and 81 touchdowns the previous four years – helping Iowa State post a 31-20 record and appear in four bowl games.

Hunter Dekkers is the new starter, having completed 20 of 36 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns as a backup in 2021.

Hutchinson is already Dekkers’ favorite target.

“It’s the best feeling a quarterback could ask for,” Dekkers said. “He’s one of the best receivers in the country. He does everything really well.”

The Cyclones finished a disappointing 7-6 last season, after expectations for the program were elevated following a 9-3 record in 2020 and the school’s first-ever appearance in the Big 12 Championship game.

Hutchinson’s thumb is fully healed and he wants to help Iowa State make amends.

“I think Hunter is a good enough quarterback,” Hutchinson said. “I’m just there to make him look good, and him make me look good.”

Hutchinson’s former basketball-playing mother, Denise, and former track star father, Trent, both served in the Navy. The work ethic they instilled included regular 6 a.m. wakeup calls for Xavier.

“They knew what they wanted out of their son,” Hutchinson said.

Those expectations are being passed on to the rest of the Cyclones.

“He’s a guy who comes in and makes sure his leadership is felt,” Noel said of Hutchinson. “He makes sure the whole wide-receiver group is where they need to be and doing what they need to do.

“He as a teammate really elevates our whole team.”

Hutchinson, meanwhile, is embracing his role and his return to Iowa State.

“Most definitely it was a blessing in disguise,” he said of the injury. “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”