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Inside the Numbers - Looking back to 2001 Iowa State

Inside the Numbers - Looking back to 2001 Iowa State

9/9/2002 by Jon Miller of Hawkeye Nation


As continues it's Iowa v Iowa State Game Week coverage, we thought that before looking towards Saturday’s contest that it might not hurt to turn back the clock a bit to last November and examine the 2001 meeting of the in state rivals for a special ‘Inside the Numbers’ rewind.

Both teams return several key players, but each team lost some top performers as well. This collection of numbers and comparisons might not amount to much, but what the heck, it’s also ‘Paralysis by Analysis’ week.

There has been a lot of talk on the message boards as of late with regards to Iowa State’s Seneca Wallace and just what type of day he might have against the Hawkeyes.

Looking back at 2001, Wallace was 20 of 27 for 228 yards and he had one passing touchdown and one interceptions. Iowa sacked Wallace three times at Ames and he did not hurt the Hawkeyes on the ground.

Keep in mind that the game time temperature was 57 degrees and the winds were between 10 and 20 mph per the 2001 Game Stats Information

Was that a good day for the Iowa defense? Considering what Wallace had done to other opponents, I would say so.

Will Wallace fare better at Kinnick Stadium, where the temperature should be much warmer? I think that is a safe bet as well, considering that Iowa has yielded more than 700 yards passing in their first two games.

The Hawkeyes had 18 first downs last year to ISU’s 17. Iowa also had nearly double the yards on the ground than the Cyclones could muster.

Where was the game lost for the Hawkeyes? One could argue that it happened on two plays.

The first being a Kahlil Hill fumble on a punt return with 1:40 to go in the first half when ISU had a 7-0 lead. The Clones got the ball on their own 36-yard line after Iowa’s defense forced Iowa State to punt after just four offensive plays. The Hawks trailed 14-0 at the half after ISU cashed in on that mistake.

Iowa rallied back in the 2 nd half, scoring two touchdowns within less than five minutes time of the third quarter.

Then with roughly 10 minutes to go in the game and ISU leading 17-14, Iowa’s Grant Steen intercepted Seneca Wallace and returned the ball inside the ISU 10 yard line, only to be stripped from behind. ISU recovered the fumble on their own seven-yard line.

ISU then controlled the ball for the next 5:55 and punted the ball in the end zone for a touchback.

Iowa took over, but Kyle McCann was intercepted on the ensuing drive and Iowa’s hopes fell by the way side.

Neither team played a great game and Iowa’s turnovers cost them. ISU did not fumble on the day and each team threw an interception. Neither team capitalized on the pickoff’s.

Iowa averaged just 32.8 yards per punt while ISU averaged exactly 10 yards per punt more than the Hawkeyes.

Iowa’s average field position was their own 20 in the first half and their own 17 in the second half. Iowa State started, on average, from their own 37 in the first half and their own 31 in the second half.

That will kill you, and the Hawkeyes must win the battle of field position this year if they want to snap ISU’s four-game win streak.

ISU was just 6 of 15 on third down conversions and they also committed seven penalties to Iowa’s two. Each team recorded three sacks.

ISU had 17 first downs, 12 of them coming through the air, just four on the ground and one via penalty. Iowa had 18 first downs, eight of them on the ground, nine through the air and one by penalty.

Iowa forced ISU to just one ‘three and out’ series.

116 of Wallace’s 228 passing yards came on two drives; the first of the game which resulted in an ISU TD and the drive in the fourth quarter after ISU recovered Steen’s fumble.

Will any of this have any bearing on Saturday’s game? Probably not.

But, it just goes to show you that the little things like punting, field position and turnovers will ultimately decide who wins and who loses. Iowa and ISU appear to be very evenly matched on paper this year, so there is no question that those areas will decide the outcome of Saturday’s game.

Hawkeye NationHawkeye Nation was founded by Jon Miller, and later acquired by Rivals and Sports Illustrated. You can visit them at

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Inside the Numbers - Looking back to 2001 Iowa State - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games