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Sweetest Wins, 2000-2009 (Part 3)

Double down on the sweetness today.

Fight the urge to go break some shit and yank out some parking meters. That only works in a mob. You’re going to get your ass kicked if you do it by yourself.

If you’d like to recap, you can find #25-#21 and #20-#16 in the archives. As always, if you think I’m whacked out of my mind, feel free to leave a comment and correct me. This is just some asshole’s opinion, and I’m already waffling on what I should have done different.

15.) "Winner at Waco" – ISU 26, Baylor 25 – October 23, 2004

ISU was 2-4 on the season, coming off a difficult loss in Boulder and in desperate need of a win to salvage the season. ISU was on a 13-game conference losing streak (dating back to the Missouri win at #16), Baylor was on a 10-game conference losing streak. Something had to give, but on this day, it was Baylor that dropped the ball.

Baylor struck first, scoring a touchdown on their first drive. However, their next 5 drives would all end in ISU territory without any points, fumbling on the ISU 46, turnover on downs on the ISU 29, punt on the ISU 42, fumble on the ISU 42, and a blocked 37-yard field goal with 0:02 left in the half. Meanwhile, Jason Scales punched one in during the 2nd quarter to tie it at 7. Meyer and Blythe broke the deadlock in the 3rd with a 22-yard connection between two defenders, but Baylor would score on the ensuing drive and miss the PAT to make it 14-13 ISU. A field goal would put Baylor up 16-14 by the end of the 3rd, but shortly into the 4th, Tyson Smith clocked Shaun Bell, knocking the ball loose, and Brent Curvey picked it up and rumbled 65 yards for a TD. ISU went for 2, but Meyer was picked off and Baylor returned it 100 yards to make the score 20-18. Baylor would drive down the field once more to take the lead 25-20, and ISU gained possession with 4:58 remaining.

ISU began by digging itself into a 3rd-and-14 hole to start the drive, but a pass interference by Baylor gave the Cyclones a fresh set of downs. 2 plays later, Meyer connected with Blythe for a 46-yard gain on a 2nd-and-19. ISU drove to the Baylor 13, where they faced a 4th-and-1, but Baylor jumped offsides to gift ISU another set of downs. 2 plays later, Stevie Hicks swept right and scored his first career touchdown to go up 26-25. Baylor couldn’t keep a lateral play alive, and ISU headed back to Ames with the first of a 4-game win streak.

14.) "Stunner in Stillwater" – ISU 33, Oklahoma State 26 – October 14, 2000

ISU was off to a blazing start, going 4-1 to start the 2000 campaign. Oklahoma State was headed the opposite direction, having won their first two but dropping three-in-a-row. Both teams were hampered by injuries, ISU down star running back Ennis Haywood due to bruised ribs, and Okie Lite without starting QB Tony Lindsay.

ISU started the fireworks, with freshman RB Michael Wagner punching in a 2-yard TD run on the opening possession. However, ISU kicker Mike McKnight’s PAT would be blocked to keep the lead at 6-0. From there, OSU freshman QB (what is it with ISU and freshmen quarterbacks? Seriously?) Aso Pogi threw two scores to bring the score to 13-6 (OSU also missed a PAT). Wagner found the endzone again in the 2nd quarter to tie it at 13, but OSU converted a field goal attempt to bring the score to 16-13 at the break.

ISU struck first again in the 2nd half, with Rosenfels hooking up with Wagner on a 13-yard dump pass for a TD. Since McKnight missed a field goal in the 2nd quarter, McCarney elected to bring in Carl Gomez, the punter, to take over kicking duties. His PAT rang true, and ISU took the lead, 20-16. Pogi found the endzone with his feet to make it 23-20, but he would fumble late in the 3rd and Gomez would drill a 20-yard field goal to tie it at 23-23. The Cowboys next possession ended with a fumble, which Gomez took advantage of to take the lead at 26-23. OSU would tie it up with 2:41 to go, and was driving when Pogi finally made a freshman mistake. His pass was picked off by Atif Austin at the ISU 39, and Sage went to work with 1:37 to go, getting a first down with his feet on 3rd-and-10, then hitting Craig Campbell for a 12-yard gain. ISU drove to the OSU 33 before putting in the dagger. Rosenfels hit Lane Danielson on a slant route on 3rd-and-4, and Lane ran untouched into the end zone with 18 seconds on the clock.

13.) "Shaggy’s Redemption" – ISU 15, Iowa 13 – September 15, 2007.

This is the only time you will see Gene Chizik on this list in a positive light.

Following a HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE start to the season, the 2007 Cyclones welcomed the Hawkeyes into Ames and were massive underdogs (17.5 points, if I recall correctly). Well, I’ll let Youtube tell the story again:

After being dogged as the accurate kicker who couldn’t convert in the clutch, Culbertson hit the game-winner with 0:01 on the clock and fans stormed the field. After the fans were shooed off for the final play, Iowa got their hopes up as Derrell Johnson-Koulianos nearly made it the length of the field on the kick return, but it was for naught (and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway – there was an illegal block), and it was a "Cyclone State" once again.

12.) "Return to Shreveport" – ISU 17, Miami (OH) 13 – December 28, 2004

Thanks for the memories, Stevie. RIP

After a horrendous 2-10 season in 2003, ISU became one of the stories of the football season in 2004, earning a 6-5 mark and a berth to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, Louisiana, where the Big XII was 0-6 all-time. This year, however, the berth went to a MAC team since the SEC did not have enough bowl-eligible teams (South Carolina got into a huge fight with Clemson that disqualified both teams from the postseason). The 8-4 Miami (OH) Redhawks took the place, and were favored over the Cyclones by 11 points.

After the offense sputtered in the first couple drives, ISU decided to go back to its roots, which paid off as Stevie Hicks got into the endzone on a 4-yard score late in the 1st quarter. ISU opened up a 10-0 lead early in the 2nd quarter, which turned into a defensive struggle. Miami finally found their offense with 2:05 remaining in the half, driving 64 yards (with the assistance of a costly ISU penalty on 3rd-and-15) to score a TD with under 30 seconds to play in the half.

Sweet, sweet hardware

Miami kept the momentum rolling to start the 2nd half, taking half the 3rd quarter on an 80-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard touchdown plunge by Mike Smith. The PAT would be blocked to bring the score to 13-10 Miami (OH). The remainder of the 3rd quarter was filled with good defense and punts, but Meyer led the Cyclones to the Miami 1 early in the 4th quarter, and ISU put the Kock in the A-hole again to take a 17-13 lead. ISU would use heavy doses of Meyer and Hicks to grind out the 4th quarter in traditional Dan McCarney style, as they kept the ball deep in Miami territory for much of the rest of the game. Miami had one final chance when the Kock got blocked on 4th-and-1 with 1:23 to go, but on their third play, QB Josh Betts was picked off by Ellis Hobbs III to seal ISU’s 2nd ever bowl victory.

11.) "Miracle in Manhattan" – ISU 37, Kansas State 23 – October 20, 2004

In Part 2, I went on a rant about how K-State was the wimpy kid who bulked up on steroids. This one’s sweet for the exact same reason. Now, since there’s not going to be another opportunity, I think this is a perfect time to bring up this little gem, and no, I don’t give a shit that it’s from 2007. It cracks me up EVERY TIME:

KSU spent too much time with that dank-ass nub they've got in Boulder

Clearly, the problem with this game is that the KSU fans forgot to bring a towel. They were SUPPOSED to bring it to EVERY game.

ISU came into this game at 5-4 and on a 3-game tear through the Big XII North. A win meant a bowl berth and a shot at a Big XII North title. I’m going to defer to video on this one, as well:

3 plays into the 4th quarter, ISU was down 23-9. Then, ISU turned on the jets. Meyer snuck into the endzone with 10 minutes to go to bring the Cyclones back within 7, and ISU tied it up 1t 23-23 with 3:24 to play. The kickoff went out of bounds, but Tim Dobbins recovered KSU QB Allen Webb’s fumble on the KSU 35. Hicks took back-to-back runs to score and give ISU a 30-23 lead, and on KSU’s next offensive snap, LaMarcus Hicks scored on a 40-yard Pick-6 to put ISU up 37-23 to give ISU its first victory over KSU since 1993.