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100 Things Cyclone Fans Should Forget Before They Die: 1985 Loss to Drake in Football

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The last time we ever played Drake, we lost. (48-17-4 all time)

ISU Athletic Communications

Iowa State on their opening possession moved the ball to their own 36, before Alex Espinoza threw a pick 6 to Bulldog Jeff Long at 13:58 in the first quarter.

Iowa State would end the quarter as well as they started it. Brian Reffner, the Iowa State punter, had a punt go -1 yards to land on our 24. Thanks wind. Drake would capitalize 47 seconds and 4 plays later with a John Brda field goal from 39 yards out.

After a 10 play, 24 yard drive that lasted 4:04, Brda again connected, this time from 40.

Alex Espinoza and crew finally woke up and drove down the field, just so Rick Frank could hit a 29 yard field goal. Kirk Thomas would have his only receiving touchdown on the season thanks to a 22 yard pass from Espinoza to make it 10-13. Danny Gantt also scored his only 1985 receiving touchdown in this game, scoring from 11 yards out to put the Cyclones up.

Drake’s next drive would be very methodical, and they would soon get a one yard touchdown run to go up 20-17.

Iowa State had two more attempts at tying/winning the game. The drive started on the ISU 24, and made it’s way to the Drake 32 before Espinoza was sacked for 10 yards. By the time Reffner had to punt, the line of scrimmage was on the 44.

Alex Espinoza tried to dial up some magic, but Tom Hamilton intercepted another pass and the Cyclones would lose to Drake.


After a 4-7 season, the Bulldogs president Michael Ferrari decided whether to remain in NCAA Division I-AA football, fall to Division III or eliminate the sport. In 1986, the school chose not to award athletic scholarships to football players.