In-state rivals Iowa and Iowa State have never played when both programs are ranked.
That will change Saturday when No. 9 Iowa State hosts No. 10 Iowa in a nonconference battle at Ames, Iowa.
The two teams didn’t meet last season due to the coronavirus pandemic and this season’s confrontation has prompted ESPN to conduct its pregame show on the stadium grounds.
But the nastiness in the rivalry hasn’t softened and will be extra intense with both teams eyeing strong campaigns.
The Cyclones have dropped their past five meetings with the Hawkeyes since last winning in 2014, and Iowa running back Tyler Goodson was quick to remind everyone of that fact.
“This is like their Super Bowl,” Goodson said of Iowa State. “They haven’t beat us in (several) years. I think them being at their home place knowing ‘College GameDay’ is going to be there is a good distraction for them and allows us just to focus on us.”
The Hawkeyes hold a 45-22 series lead, but every contest holds the attention of every resident in the state.
“It means something and there’s always a higher level of energy, especially a game like this,” said Cyclones coach Matt Campbell, who is 0-4 in the series since becoming coach prior to the 2016 season.
“It’s an incredible rivalry. It’s special for this state. It’s special for these two universities.”
Iowa opened its season with a 34-6 trouncing of then-No. 17 Indiana, while Iowa State struggled to notch a 16-10 win over FCS Northern Iowa.
Cyclones star running back Breece Hall scored a rushing touchdown for the 13th straight game, two shy of the Big 12 record held by Missouri’s Corby Jones in 1997-98.
Hall is also aware the victory wasn’t the type that would frighten the Hawkeyes.
“It wasn’t too pretty, but we’re still happy we got the ‘W,'” Hall said. “We didn’t play perfect. The defense did its job. The offense didn’t do what they’re supposed to do. We just have to get back to the drawing board and come back and practice and get better.”
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy completed 21 of 26 passes for 199 yards to improve to 24-11 as a starter. The wins are the most in Cyclones’ history by a quarterback.
Purdy’s career passing yardage total sits at 9,181 as he closes in on the school record held by Bret Meyer (9,499 from 2004-07).
Strong-side linebacker Mike Rose accumulated 11 tackles against Northern Iowa.
Cornerback Riley Moss was the star attraction in Iowa’s win over the Hoosiers as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns and helped hold Indiana to 233 yards.
The returns of 30 and 55 yards give Moss eight career interceptions — three for touchdowns.
Quarterback Spencer Petras completed 13 of 27 passes for 145 yards. He also rushed for a score.
Goodson rushed for 99 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.
Goodson’s comments certainly spiced up the game-week chatter, but Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz never finds it easy to make the two-hour bus ride from Iowa City to Ames.
“We have to go over there and play, and it’s always tough,” Ferentz said. “Might as well get used to it, that’s how it is in our (Big Ten) conference. We play a lot of tough road games. Just based on recent history, it’s probably going to be a really close game.”
–Field Level Media