Hawkeye special teams came up big in Ames

Hawkeye Headquarters

The Hawkeyes had a clear advantage on special teams in the wild win over the Cyclones in Ames on Saturday.

Keith Duncan with four field goals.

Michael Sleep-Dalton good punting once again.

But the difference maker at the end was the muffed punt by the Cyclones that Devonte Young recovered for the Hawkeyes victory — their fifth-straight over Iowa State.

“Once I saw the ball hit his shoulder and I saw the it on the ground and I dove on it, that’s when I realized it was time to go home,” Young said. “That’s when I realized it was the ball game. In my mind, I’m just thinking just celebrate with my teammates, you know, a trophy win.”

It was an ending unlike any other in Cy-Hawk history. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz says Young’s dedication to special teams came up at the biggest time.

“One of our seniors who’s really done a great job on special teams for a couple of years,” Ferentz said. “So yeah, just a really unusual end and probably fitting just the way this thing was going. It was crazy on all fronts.”

The Hawkeyes kicking game was also flawless with Duncan connecting on all four of his field goal attempts.

“Having that mindset that I can just go out and kick and everything is gonna be correct, there’s nothing more that I could ask for, so that’s awesome,” Duncan said.

The junior is 8-for-8 on field goals this year. He credits new-found spiritual growth for the perfect start.

“Kicking free is a lot different than going out there and feeling like you have to make the field goal,” Duncan said. “Now going out there, getting excited for a field goal opportunity, that’s where I’m at mentally.”

“A couple of years ago, he was a young guy and kind of acted like a young guy. But boy he’s been riveted in, wired in,” Ferentz said.

The Hawkeyes were also plus two in the turnover margin on Saturday night.

Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said after the loss that it comes down to the little details in games like this, something their in-state rival has continued to do in the five-game winning streak.

For more Hawkeye coverage, follow @AdamJRossow and @HawkeyeHQ on Twitter and Facebook — and sign up for our HawkeyeHQ.com pregame and postgame newsletter. All you need is an email address and we’ll send you a newsletter every Friday and Monday during football season.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

More Hawkeye Headquarters schedules