Iowa State 28, Northern Iowa 27

AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Bret Meyer passed for 323 yards and two

touchdowns, including a 16-yarder to Jon Davis with 1:05 left that

gave Iowa State a 28-27 victory over Northern Iowa on Saturday


The largest crowd in Iowa State history, 55,518, saw the

Cyclones (3-2) rally from deficits of 21-7 and 27-21 to overcome

two late fumbles and survive a major scare from the Panthers (2-2),

the Division I-AA national runners-up last year.

The Cyclones weren't assured of winning until Northern Iowa's

Brian Wingert was wide right on 51-yard field goal attempt with 6

seconds left.

Before that, Wingert had made 19 straight field goals dating

back to last year, including fourth-quarter kicks of 43 and 32

yards that had given his team a six-point lead.

Wingert's second field goal came with just 2:20 left, but Iowa

State responded quickly, needing only 65 seconds to drive 74 yards

in six plays for the go-ahead score. Davis beat Curtis Cooper on

the left side of the end zone and Meyer's pass was perfect.

Bret Culbertson added the extra point to put the Cyclones ahead

for the first time since the first quarter.

Meyer finished 24-of-29 and also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass

to Todd Blythe in the third quarter. He was intercepted once and

Dre Dokes returned it 46 yards for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie

in the second quarter.

Northern Iowa stretched the lead to 21-7 on its next series,

Corey Lewis scoring on a 5-yard run to finish an 80-yard, nine-play


Blythe made a leaping, juggling catch of Meyer's pass in the

back of the end zone to draw the Cyclones to 21-14, and they tied

it on Ryan Baum's 65-yard punt return with 13:10 left. But things

quickly soured for Baum and the Cyclones.

Northern Iowa went three-and-out and Baum fumbled the punt.

Northern Iowa recovered, but the Panthers were called for an

illegal formation so they had to punt again. Baum fumbled that kick

as well and Grant Zielinski recovered for Northern Iowa at the ISU

34, setting up Wingert's first field goal.

The Cyclones then zipped down the field with the help of a pass

interference call and a face mask penalty, but Austin Flynn fumbled

into the end zone while fighting to reach the goal line after

catching a pass and Northern Iowa's Araf Evans-Sykes recovered for

a touchback.

That led to Wingert's second field goal, which Iowa State

answered with its clutch drive.

Northern Iowa's Eric Sanders completed his first 12 passes and

finished 23-of-29 for 158 yards and a touchdown. He gave Iowa State

trouble with short passes underneath the coverage, but the Cyclones

got more pressure on him in the second half and the Panthers'

offense wasn't as effective.