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The Best Cyclone Performance Against: Louisiana-Monroe

We look back at the one-time matchup.

There is not a whole lot to say about Louisiana-Monroe as we have only matched up once, in 1980. And technically speaking, Iowa State has never taken on “Louisiana-Monroe” as they have gone through many name changes throughout their 88 year history.

Opening as Ouachita Parish Junior College in 1931, the Indians (at the time) started as a junior college in the NJCAA before moving to the Division 1-A level in 1951, staying passed 1952, then returning back to the FCS level. Until 1971, when they once again went back to Division 1-A as an independent from the years 1972-1981, fitting in the time frame which the Cyclones and Indians played each other.

Iowa State was coming off of a sub-par 1979 season, seeing Donnie Duncan win just 3 games in his first season as the head honcho in Ames. With a new offensive coordinator in Mack Brown and a running back transfer via Garden City (Kansas) in Dwayne Crutchfield, things felt different in 1980. The first time the team would take the field would be against - you guessed it - Northeast Louisiana (which eventually became UL-M).

Anyway, let’s look into that game against the Warhawks Indians (they were the Indians until 2006 before switching to the Warhawks due to some controversy) while focusing in on this week’s performer, Dwayne “Move Out My Way” Crutchfield.

The Cyclones came out of the gates hot, driving 85 yards for a touchdown on their first offensive series. Iowa State never really looked back from there. Northeast Louisiana really had no answer for Iowa State’s ground game. Junior running back Rocky Gillis, would carry the ball 13 times for 77 yards, all coming in the first half. With Coach Duncan wanting to sit the starters, Crutchfield would get his time to shine.

On his first drive as the main running back, he would carry the ball 30 yards on this 55 yard drive and carry several Indian defenders on his way into the endzone to put the ‘Clones up 14-0. The following drive, Crutchfield would carry for 48 of the 51 yards, with those lone 3 remaining yards coming off of a 3 yard pass from quarterback John Quinn to wide out Vinny Cerrato to put Iowa State up 21-zip at half.

The second half would be essentially a repeat of the first half, as Iowa State dominated and Crutchfield kept getting the ball. He would score one more time midway through the second half, finishing the day with 121 yards on 19 carries and a pair of scores. Northeast Louisiana would score one garbage time touchdown, making the final 42-7. Donnie Duncan would say after the game, “From what I saw today, Crutchfield needs to have the ball in his hands quite a bit,” and Donnie would give him all he could handle throughout the season.

Iowa State would then win their next 4 games, starting 5-0, the best start since 1938. Though they didn’t reach a bowl game, the Cyclones had a successful season. Crutchfield would finish the season with 1312 yards and 11 touchdowns on 284 attempts on his way to All-American honors. The team would win 6 games that season finish 6-5, though all 5 losses came consecutively before the Cyclones tallied the last win against Oklahoma State.

New York Jets Dwayne Crutchfield Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images