Recap: Iowa football holds on to beat Colorado State, 24-14

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

IOWA CITY — Hello again from Kinnick Stadium, where the weather has a strong football feel for this Saturday afternoon showdown. No. 6 Iowa (3-0) and Colorado State (1-2) get underway at 2:30 p.m. on FS1.

Hawk Central reporters Kennington Smith, Chad Leistikow and Dargan Southard, as well as photographers Bryon Houlgrave and Joseph Cress, will have you covered from pregame to postgame.

The Hawkeyes are looking to wrap up the nonconference schedule with another cruise-control victory, before diving into the meat of Big Ten action. Iowa is more than a three-touchdown favorite against a Colorado State squad that earned its first win last week at Toledo. 

Follow along here all afternoon from updates, commentary and analysis. 

Read more Iowa football vs. CSU news

Postgame — Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell 

On forced fumble: "I couldn't tell if it was forced out or a mishandle, but we needed to make something happen." 

On racking up 18 tackles: "Just never giving up on a play no matter how far down the field it is." 

On thriving in current role: "One of the best things that's happened in my life. But we can never be satisfied." 

On defensive standard: "The standard is so high that there's something you can always do better. The whole defense believes that." 

Postgame — Iowa wide receiver Keegan Johnson

On TD catch: "Just being in the right place at the right time. Me and Spencer have that connection where when we see press, I feel like I can get open. The ball couldn't have been thrown any better."

On improvement: "Felt like I got my feet wet today. Just more and more confident." 

On freshmen contributions: "I feel like we have a special class. We all support each other. Connor (Colby) and Arland (Bruce IV), they're both super hard workers. That was a great experience."  

Postgame — Iowa defensive end Zach VanValkenburg

On the fumble recovery near the goal line. "That was huge. A product of us playing our brand of football. That's something you should strive for."

On Phil Parker's anger level at halftime: "Probably like a 6.5."

On defensive line improvement: "We been focusing on the techniques of the o-lines. Just effort and never stopping. Just keep going." 

On Jack Campbell: "It's definitely reassuring. We know if we do our jobs, he'll clean it up." 

On a win being a win: "We can't come out of here with our heads down. We need to make those adjustments so we can play like that next week."

Postgame — Iowa linebacker Seth Benson 

On flip in the second half: "There's nothing dramatic that ever changes. Just have to tighten things down."

On Colorado State's third-down success: "They've got a really good football team. We've got to get off the field on third down. They just gave us some looks we needed to adjust to." 

On Jack Campbell: "He focuses on the fundamentals and pushes me everyday. We've just got to attack the week, and Saturday is the byproduct." 

On sidestepping adversity: "Every win is a good win no matter how it happens." 

Postgame — Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras

On Keegan Johnson: "Keegan's a really talented guy. Any time I can get him in one-on-one, I'm going to take a look."

On what Colorado State show defensively: "If they were going to play Cover 1, that was going to leave some guys one-on-one on the outside." 

On Nico Ragaini's long catch: "I got hit so I didn't really see the catch, but I heard it was incredible. I hear it was a great play." 

On overcoming adversity: "We knew it wasn't going to be easy, a dogfight. Down seven at the half, that's huge adversity. It wasn't pretty but that's football." 

On halftime conversation: "A lot of our issues were self-inflicted. It became about us and how we do things. A little adversity but we fought through it. That's what good teams do."

FINAL — No. 6 Iowa 24, Colorado State 14.

It wasn't pretty again. But the Hawkeyes get things done with a strong second half. Rams didn't score after intermission. Stay right here for postgame commentary and quotes. 

3:08/4Q — Another stop for the Iowa defense. 

The Hawkeyes have looked like their defensive selves in the second half, forcing another turnover on downs. Colorado State just called its last timeout. Iowa inching toward a victory. 

5:47/4Q — This game is dragging to the finish. 

After an eventful third quarter, things are dragging a bit in the fourth. Colorado State has first-and-10 at its 24 with 5:47 remaining, still in a 24-14 hole. Iowa had to punt after picking up one first down.  

9:25/4Q — Iowa trying to put this one away.

Another long field for the Hawkeyes, but Iowa is in milk mode with a 10-point lead and nine minutes left.  

12:32/4Q — Iowa 24, Colorado State 14

After a nice long pass to Nico Ragaini, Charlie Jones fumbles for a loss of 13 yards to halt Iowa's TD threat. Caleb Shudak good from 44 yards to extend the Iowa lead to two scores for the first time today.   

END 3Q — Hawkeyes taking this one over.

The defense has found its groove. The offense has found some life. Hawkeyes in control, set to get the ball back on a punt as we start the fourth quarter. Rams have one first down in the second half. 

6:01/3Q — Iowa 21, Colorado State 14

And the Hawkeyes are back in front. After a key PI extended the Iowa drive, Spencer Petras finds a wiiiiide open Sam LaPorta for the 27-yard TD. The closest Colorado State defender was in Coralville. 

21-14, Hawkeyes. 

8:17/3Q — What a swing for the Hawkeyes.

In a matter of minutes, this game has totally changed. A fumble from Colorado State running back A'Jon Vivens recovered by Jack Campbell set up Iowa with a needed short field. One play later, Tyrone Tracy takes the end-around into the end zone for a 6-yard TD run. 14-14 here in a rejuvenated Kinnick.   

9:40/3Q — More boos after another futile Iowa drive.

Another possession, another three-and-out. Spencer Petras got lit up on a sack where the Colorado State defender went untouched the whole way. Hawkeyes could use a wake up soon before this really enters upset territory. 

11:12/3Q — Colorado State nearly delivers another big third-down conversion.

The Rams nearly made it 10-for-14 on third down on its first second-half drive. Deep pass slides out of Trey McBride's hands as he's taken to the turf. Spencer Petras needs a rebound now. Iowa starts around midfield after the TV timeout. 

12:30/3Q — Iowa's offense doesn't do much yet again. 

 One decent gain by Tyler Goodson and that's it. Hawkeyes stall out just past midfield after Sam LaPorta can't break a tackle near the sticks. Tory Taylor on again to punt. 

HALF — Colorado State 14, Iowa 7

Rams cash in the costly turnover with a 3-yard TD pass to Gary Williams, and Colorado State takes the lead into the break. Hawkeyes outgaining Colorado State by nine yards, but it hasn't mattered on the scoreboard.    

A telling stat: Iowa surrendered nine third-down conversions in the first half, which is only three fewer than the Hawkeyes gave up through their first three games combined.  

1:32/2Q — Disaster for Spencer Petras.

First major mistake this season for Spencer Petras, who throws his first interception of the season on a failed screen. Came right after Iowa's offense was heating up. Colorado State's Robert Floyd returns the pick 62 yards before being caught by Tyler Goodson. First INT for Petras in his last 163 passes.  

3:17/2Q — Hello again, Keegan Johnson.

Great ball from Petras. Great snag from the freshman receiver on the 49-yard catch and run. Petras and Johnson have hooked up for 92 of Iowa's 107 passing yards.   

3:55/2Q — Iowa and Colorado State back even.

What a drive from the Rams. Three third-and-long conversions, with the last one coming on Todd Centeio's QB draw to paydirt. We've rarely seen Iowa's defense carved apart like that this season. Colorado State currently 8-for-12 on third downs.  

6:42/2Q — Rams are driving.

Iowa's defense has already surrendered more than 120 total yards in a first half that could be tied come intermission. Impressive road effort so far from Colorado State. 

13:45/2Q — Iowa 7, Colorado State 0

What's the old saying? "If he's even, he's leavin'." That was Keegan Johnson, who scooted past his defender with the ball in the air and hauled in the 43-yard pass for his first collegiate score. Great throw by Spencer Petras, who had just 13 passing yards until that toss.   

END 1Q — Iowa and Colorado State scoreless.

The Rams have surprisingly been able to move the chains a bit against this vaunted Iowa defense, but the Hawkeyes are locking down when needed. The offense, though? Still sputtering like before, that is until Tyler Goodson rips off a 27-yard run to end the quarter. Iowa had 33 total yards before that scamper.  

4:33/1Q — Still not great from Iowa's offense. 

One decent run from Tyler Goodson, but that's all Iowa can muster on its second possession. Spencer Petras was under pressure for one throw, then tossed another high intended for Sam LaPorta. Hawkeyes have just 29 yards on their first two drives.   

6:05/1Q — Iowa defense bends a bit, but doesn't break.

Colorado State strings together a few nice plays to move into Iowa territory, but the drive stalls out after a fourth-down stop. Rams had a walk-in TD on the drive that QB Tony Centeio couldn't complete. 

10:06/1Q — Hawkeyes offense with a less than stellar start

One first down, then a costly sack of Spencer Petras derails Iowa's first drive. An uncharacteristically average punt from Tory Taylor gives Colorado State first-and-10 at its 26. One note: Keegan Johnson joined Connor Colby as true freshmen in Iowa's starting lineup.

13:32/1Q — Iowa defense doing its thing

Jack Koerner nearly had an interception on Colorado State's first play. Jestin Jacobs with a nice stop on third down. Colorado State punting early. 

2:31 p.m. — Back in Black is here

Riley Moss, Spencer Petras, Kyler Schott and John Waggoner leading the Swarm out. Kickoff coming soon. Colorado State wins the toss and will receive.  

2:01 p.m. — Justin Britt update

The Iowa offensive lineman is warming up and dressed, so he won't be completely absent today despite dealing with some injuries. Defensive tackle Logan Jones is also in in uniform today.

1:50 p.m. — We have a Penn State kick time.

3 p.m. (CT) two weeks from today. No night game in Kinnick. 

1:08 p.m. — A pregame update on the offensive line.

Play-by-play man Gary Dolphin delivered a noteworthy update on the offensive line. Freshman Connor Colby will start at right guard for the banged-up Justin Britt, further showcasing Colby's quick rise in the Iowa program.

The former Cedar Rapids Kennedy standout was already a rotational piece through the first three games, and will now get an even bigger opportunity against Colorado State.  

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.