This year marks the 40th season of Jack Trice Stadium. The stadium has provided Iowa State fans with many memorable moments since its first game on Sept. 20, 1975.
Picking the top-five Iowa State victories in JTS history is a difficult task, and very subjective to say the least. Listed below is my brave attempt to rate the top-five wins in the history of the stadium.
You may or may not agree, but here you go….
5. Iowa State 44, Iowa 41 (3 OT)- Sept. 10, 2011
Both teams weren’t ranked, but for pure entertainment value, Iowa State’s 44-41 triple overtime victory vs. Iowa in the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series was one of most exciting games in Jack Trice Stadium history. The Cyclones came from behind on three different occasions in the fourth quarter and overtime periods, as the victory was sealed on James White’s four-yard TD run in the third overtime. ISU QB Steele Jantz had the game of his life, completing 25-of-37 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Down 24-17 with 5:40 left in regulation, Jantz engineered a 13-play, 59-yard drive to force overtime and keep the Cyclones’ hopes alive. Twice in the drive, Jantz converted improbable third-and-long situations to keep the chains moving. The first on a 19-yard pass to Darius Reynolds on 3rd-and-15 and the second on a 40-yard pass to Reynolds on 3rd-and-20.
“I don’t have trouble finding words very often. I had trouble in the locker room and am having trouble right now because of the unbelievable performance, not just by one team but by two teams out there. Our football team overcame unbelievable adversity today.”
– Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads
4. Iowa State 36, No. 20 Nebraska 14- Sept. 28, 2002
Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace completed 19-of-32 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more scores as the Cyclone defense held No. 20 Nebraska to 81 yards rushing for ISU’s biggest win over the Huskers since 1899. Wallace received help from running back Michael Wagner and receiver Lane Danielsen. Wagner gained 107 yards on just 19 carries and Danielsen tallied 111 yards through the air on nine catches. The win marked ISU’s first against a ranked opponent since 1993.
“We wanted to go out there and cut down mistakes. We were trying to keep the ball moving and score some points. We are focusing on playing to win and putting Iowa State football on the map.”
– Iowa State quarterback Seneca Wallace
3. Iowa State 37, No. 9 Nebraska 28- Nov. 13, 1976
In one of the biggest wins in Cyclone history, Iowa State downed No. 9 Nebraska, 37-28 in front of 50,781 fans. It was the first win vs. Nebraska since 1960 and the Cyclones did it in exciting fashion. In a game marked with a number of outstanding plays, none was bigger than Luther Blue’s 95-yard kickoff return that gave the Cyclones a 17-7 lead. Sophomore running back Dexter Green rushed for 109 yards and two TDs and the ISU defense minimized the vaunted Husker rushing attack to just 77 yards on the ground.
“Jiminy Christmas! We held them to 77 yards rushing! That’s a helluva defensive effort. This is the high point of my career and the greatest thing that’s happened to Iowa State and Iowa State football. I’ve been telling people we have great football players. Luther Blue is a super player. And I’ll tell ya, Dexter Green’s not so bad either.”
– Iowa State head coach Earle Bruce
2. Iowa State 19, No. 7 Nebraska 10- Nov. 14, 1992
On a crisp November afternoon in 1992, Iowa State stunned the football nation by posting one of the biggest upsets in college football that season with a 19-10 win over No. 7 Nebraska. The story of the game was defense and third string quarterback Marv Seiler. The Cyclones held the Huskers to 246 yards of total offense, 225 yards less than their season average. While the Cyclone defense was stopping the Husker offense, Seiler was instantly becoming a legend among the Cyclone faithful. The seldom-used fifth-year senior carved the Husker defense with 144 yards on 24 carries. His 78-yard run set up Iowa State’s fourth-quarter touchdown drive and his brilliant manipulation of the triple-option controlled the clock and moved the chains the rest of the way.
“I’m not very fast. But I’m a lot faster when people are chasing me.”
– Iowa State quarterback Marv Seiler
1. Iowa State 37, No. 2 Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT)- Nov. 18, 2011
Really no argument on this one, right? Iowa State turned the college football world upside down with a 37-31 double overtime victory over No. 2 Oklahoma State, its biggest win in school history. The win knocked the Cowboys out of national championship contention, as the Cyclones made an improbable comeback, erasing a 17-point second-half deficit. Jeff Woody sealed the win with a four-yard touchdown run, but the play of the game was Ter’Ran Benton’s interception after Jake Knott tipped a Brandon Weeden pass in OSU’s possession in the second overtime. What made the win even more remarkable is that it was accomplished with a reserve freshman quarterback, Jared Barnett, running the offense. Barnett passed for 376 yards, the sixth-best output in school history. The Cyclones churned out 568 yards of total offense, the 12th-best total in school history.
“We’ve got a blue collar football team. We got a group of young men that put their hard hats on every day and just continue to go to work. I could not be prouder of the effort they put out tonight. It was a complete team effort and that is what we needed for victory and that is what we delivered.”
– Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads
These games didn’t make my cut, but you could certainly make a strong argument to include them.
Iowa State 23, No. 8 Iowa 3 – Sept. 10, 2005
Iowa State totally dominated its in-state rival Iowa, ranked eighth nationally, in the 2005 edition of the Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series.
Iowa State 34, No. 8 Missouri 13 – Oct. 17, 1981
Behind the powerful legs of All-American back Dwayne Crutchfield, Iowa State routed No. 8 Missouri. Crutchfield had three touchdowns and 98 yards in the win, as the Cyclones moved into the national rankings the following week.
Iowa State 31, Texas Tech 17 – Oct. 12, 2002
Seneca Wallace. “The Run.” Makes the list purely on one of the most amazing plays ever witnessed in Jack Trice Stadium history.
Iowa State 15, No. 7 Oklahoma State 10 – Nov. 23, 1985
It was brutally cold (22 degrees at kickoff), but the Cyclones came ready to play in a win over the seventh-ranked Cowboys. ISU held future NFL Hall-of-Famer Thurman Thomas, the nation’s second-leading rusher at the time, to just 54 yards on the ground and the Cowboys to just 47 total rushing yards.
Iowa State 15, Iowa 13 – Sept. 15, 2007
The “Shaggy Game.” Any victory decided on the last play of the game is sweet, especially if it’s against your in-state rival. Senior kicker Bret “Shaggy” Culbertson accounted for all 15 Iowa State points on a school-record-tying five field goals. Culbertson’s 28-yarder with one tick left propelled the Cyclones to the huge upset.