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Iowa State Zips Up Akron

After a slow start, the Cyclones dominated the second half, beating Akron 41-14.

NCAA Football: Iowa State at Akron David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports

A strong second-half performance carried the Cyclones to a 41-14 victory over the Akron Zips.

The game started with a bang for the Cyclones, who after being forced to punt on their first drive, took command of the first quarter.

They got on the board via an incredible touchdown catch by Allen Lazard, which capped off an 8 play, 93 yard drive. The drive was keyed by a couple nice David Montgomery runs, and a 48 yard pass to Deshaunte Jones. Jones also fumbled on the play, but the ball was fortunately recovered by the Cyclones.

After forcing an Akron punt, Iowa State went on another long drive, thanks in part to a 24 yard run by Jacob Park and a 37 yard catch and run by Trever Ryen. Mike Warren would punch it in, making the score 14-0.

While the first quarter went very well for the Cyclones, the 2nd quarter did not.

A blown coverage, due to a missed chip on the wide receiver, led to a 45 yard touchdown catch for Kwadarrius Smith. Up to this drive, Iowa State had really pressured Thomas Woodson, racking up 5 sacks.

The Cyclones would counter with an 8 play, 57 yard drive that resulted in a Garret Owens field goal. Akron would then fumble on the first play of their next drive, but Iowa State was unable to turn the miscue into a touchdown. Owens nailed another field goal, putting Iowa State up 20-7.

Akron, in a fashion eerily to Iowa, ended the half with a 10 play, 75 yard touchdown scoring drive that was keyed by big 3rd down conversions and a pass interference penalty. It should be noted that Campbell and Co. elected to play primarily backups in the secondary for this entire drive.

While Iowa State held a 20-14 halftime lead, the stats going into the half were a bit concerning, as Akron converted on 3rd down more than the Cyclones, and had a narrow lead in the time of possession department.

After stopping Akron on their first drive, the Cyclones marched down the field on the back of David Mongtomery. The drive would still, however, and when Garret Owens missed a chip-shot field goal.

Akron would then march down the field on a 9 play, 39 yard drive, converting multiple 3rd and longs in the process. The Cyclones were bailed out, however, by a false start on Akron as they lined up to go for a 4th and 3 at the ISU 36 yard line.

For the first time in the ball game, the Cyclones took advantage of a lucky break, as park evaded pressure nicely and lobbed a 43 yard bomb to Marchie Murdock.

The defense would come up big once again, with Joel Lanning jumping a Thomas Woodson pass and returning it to the Akron 19. Three plays later, David Mongtomery would run into the end zone from 9 yards out to put the Cyclones up 34-14.

The 3rd quarter, much like the 1st quarter, was all Cyclones. Iowa State, however, would keep the pressure on Akron in the 4th quarter.

With the Akron offense going nowhere, Iowa State would tack on another touchdown late in the 4th quarter. Two personal fouls, and a beautiful 23 yard Park to Butler connection, got the Cyclones inside the Akron 20. Jacob Park would run into the end zone, hurdling the safety, for the score. Akron safety Zach Guiser would take a hard knee to the neck on the play, adding a scary moment into the game, but would eventually walk off under his own power.

The final Zip drive would end with Braxton Lewis intercepting a Kato Nelson pass, thus putting a bow on the game and giving Kyle Kempt and other backups a little 4th quarter run.

While the first half wasn’t an excellent performance, the Cyclones really poured it on Akron in the second half.

Jacob Park and David Montgomery were the stars of the game for the Cyclones. Park would go 24-33 for 317 yards and 2 touchdowns, with #32 carrying the ball 22 times for 127 yards and a score.

The defense really played well, giving up only 261 yards with only 21 rushing yards, despite Akron finishing 9-16 on first down. Iowa State picked up 5 more first downs than the Zips, led the time of possession, and was +2 in turnover margin.

In all, the Cyclones did exactly what a Big 12 team should to a team like Akron, and are now 2-1 heading into a big Thursday matchup with Texas in 2 weeks.