2:00 PM ET, November 6, 2004
Jack Trice Stadium, AMES, IA
AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Bret Meyer threw for a career-best 345 yards and three touchdowns to lead surging Iowa State past Nebraska 34-27 Saturday and into a tie for first place in the Big 12 North.
Iowa State (5-4, 3-3 Big 12) had been stuck in a 13-game conference losing streak in mid-October but now has won three straight. If the Cyclones win their final two games, at Kansas State and home against Missouri, they'd become the North champions and play in the Big 12 championship game for the first time.
It was Iowa State's second victory over Nebraska in three years, but only the third since 1978.
Trailing 34-14 in the fourth quarter, Nebraska (5-4, 3-3) drew within seven on Brandon Jackson's 1-yard touchdown run with 5:01 to play. The Cornhuskers got the ball back two minutes later, but Tim Dobbins' interception with 2:45 left ended their hopes of completing the comeback.
Iowa State fans stormed the field after the final play and several climbed the north goal post, rocking the steel structure in a futile attempt to bring it down.
Nebraska's defense wasn't nearly as stout and took a step back after appearing to re-establish itself in a 24-3 victory over Missouri a week ago. The Cornhuskers are 0-3 in Big 12 road games, giving up an average of 49.7 points and 469 yards.
After managing only 192 yards in a 13-7 victory over Kansas a week ago, Iowa State amassed 283 by halftime Saturday and had 466 for the game.
Meyer, a redshirt freshman, accounted for most of it, throwing touchdown passes of 4 yards to Ben Barkema, 17 yards to Todd Blythe and 77 yards to Jon Davis. Under frequent pressure from Nebraska blitzes, Meyer usually managed to scramble out of trouble and finished 17 of 38 with one interception.
Blythe, also a redshirt freshman, had eight catches for 188 yards -- all in the first half. The touchdown catch was his ninth of the season, breaking the school record he had been sharing with Tracy Henderson (1983) and Ty Watley (1997).
Davis' over-the-shoulder catch of a perfectly thrown ball from Meyer and sprint to the end zone gave Iowa State its 34-14 lead with 1:58 left in the third quarter. Nebraska quarterback Joe Daily, inconsistent to this point, then got it going.
His 46-yard completion to Mark LeFlore, who fell down with an open field in front of him, put the Cornhuskers at the ISU 28 and set up Jackson's 6-yard TD run. Dailey then led a nine-play, 60-yard drive that Jackson capped with his second TD, and now the Cornhuskers had a chance.
They got the ball back at their own 31 with 2:55 play, but Dobbins picked off Dailey's underthrown pass on the next play and ran it back to the Nebraska 30. Meyer's 1-yard sneak on fourth-and-1 at the 21 enabled the Cyclones to keep the ball and run out the clock.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||6-18||8-19|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-1|
|FG||11:01||BRET CULBERTSON 28 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||4:18||BEN BARKEMA 4 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||14:55||STEVE KRIEWALD 6 YD PASS FROM JOE DAILEY (SANDRO DEANGELIS KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 50 yards.
|TD||5:59||STEVIE HICKS 12 YD RUN (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 14 plays, 93 yards.
|TD||0:05||TODD BLYTHE 17 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 57 yards.
|FG||8:19||BRET CULBERTSON 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 76 yards.
|TD||2:32||CORY ROSS 2 YD RUN (SANDRO DEANGELIS KICK)|
Drive info: 15 plays, 77 yards.
|TD||1:58||JON DAVIS 77 YD PASS FROM BRET MEYER (BRET CULBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||13:14||BRANDON JACKSON 6 YD RUN (BLOCKED XP)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||5:01||BRANDON JACKSON 1 YD RUN (SANDRO DEANGELIS KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 60 yards.