AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Dan McCarney wanted his Iowa State players to
approach overtime as "our time."
For the first time in Cyclones history, they did.
Todd Blythe caught a pair of touchdown passes in OT and Iowa
State held on for a 45-43 victory over Toledo in triple overtime
Thursday night for its first OT win in school history.
"We've had our opportunities, and we've had our guts torn out
in overtime," McCarney said. "It's real good to win one."
The win came after Toledo receiver Chris Hopkins couldn't hold
on to a potential tying 2-point conversion pass on the goal line.
Quarterback Bret Meyer added three TD runs for Iowa State (1-0),
which picked up its first OT win in six tries.
Overtime woes cost Iowa State the Big 12 North title in each of
the last two seasons. Losses to Missouri in 2004 and Kansas in 2005
prevented the Cyclones from reaching the conference title game.
The coaching staff made overtime the focus of their offseason,
and the hard work paid off immediately.
Blythe caught a 29-yard TD pass from Meyer to tie it for Iowa
State in the second overtime. Blythe and Meyer hooked up again on
the first play of the third overtime, with Blythe grabbing a
25-yard TD pass with one hand. Meyer followed by running in the
Blythe, Iowa State's biggest offensive threat, had only three
catches in regulation. But after begging McCarney for the ball in
OT, the junior came through with two of the biggest catches of his
"When the game was on the line, I thought he was about as good
a wide receiver as there is in college football. He's a special
talent," McCarney said. "I said, 'We're going to get you the
ball. Go out there and make the plays.' That's exactly what he
Toledo (0-1), which rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit,
finally ran out of answers. Jalen Parmele scored from 2 yards out
to cut Iowa State's lead to two. Hopkins caught 13 passes for 139
yards and three touchdowns, but couldn't come up with one more grab
as the thriller ended.
"I couldn't be any prouder of my team," Toledo coach Tom
Amstutz said. "We played like winners in my book. ... I will not
remember this as a (loss)."
Meyer's third TD run, a 10-yarder, gave Iowa State a 30-23 lead
in the first OT. Toledo tied it on its first play of the extra
session with a 25-yard pass from Clint Cochran to Hopkins.
Meyer completed 17-of-25 passes for 234 yards and two TDs.
Toledo tied it at 23 with 3:28 left in regulation, marching 79
yards for a touchdown after Iowa State botched a field goal try on
a bad snap. The Rockets kept the drive going with a 31-yard
reception by Steve Odom on fourth-and-11, and Richard Davis tied it
with a 3-yard TD run on the next play.
The Rockets got within 20-15 on Hopkins' second TD reception of
the game, a 21-yarder from Cochran in the third quarter. Bret
Culberson kicked a 39-yard field goal to push the Cyclones' lead to
Iowa State took a 20-8 third-quarter lead on Meyer's 18-yard TD
Toledo took its only lead of regulation, 8-7, in the second
quarter with a 99-yard TD drive and a 2-point conversion off a
blocked extra-point attempt.
Cochran was 39-of-49 passing for 367 yards and three touchdowns
in his second career start.