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AMES, Ia. — In maybe the most epic Cy-Hawk showdown in series history, it got to the point where neither team deserved to lose.

And then it became clear: It would come down to one big play.

Iowa would make that play and, amazingly, win by the same exact score that it lost by in a 2011 classic here at Jack Trice Stadium: 44-41.

Nate Stanley hit true freshman Ihmir Smith-Marsette for a 5-yard touchdown pass in overtime, and snatched victory from the jaws of seemingly certain defeat.

And, hey, I'll say it: Maybe this rivalry should never go away.

The 2-0 Hawkeyes won this with offense, a week after dominating Wyoming with defense.

FOUR touchdown drives of 89 or more yards, including the one that forced overtime after it seemed Iowa was left for dead, down 31-21 in the fourth quarter.

My game ball goes to Brian Ferentz, whose play calls brought the Hawkeyes back.

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Stanley, in his first road start, ended up throwing for five touchdown passes and had Iowa’s first 300-yard passing game since Jake Rudock in 2014.

The Hawkeyes showed a lot of grit in rallying, and this win helps gloss over a slew of mistakes all day long: Penalties, leaky defense, shaky punting among them.

Give Iowa State and coach Matt Campbell some credit on Saturday. He talked the talk leading up to this game, and the second-year Cyclone coach’s gutsy fourth-down calls kept his team a step ahead for much of the game.

But the Cy-Hawk trophy is staying in Iowa City. That’s all that matters. 

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