On Saturday, the 69th (nice) chapter of the Iowa-Iowa State book will be written at Kinnick Stadium.
The biggest obstacles in the way of Iowa winning its second consecutive Big Ten West title will come in the Hawks’ other trophy games, including the final two games of the regular season. The Hawkeyes will duel it out with conference rivals Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska in what ultimately could be the most important games of the year. But, the rivalry between the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones carries plenty of weight.
Starting quarterback and California native Spencer Petras has embraced the annual battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
“I consider myself an Iowan at this point — this is my fifth year in the state,” Petras mentioned. “It’s a big game. The whole state tunes in. It’s a lot of fun.”
Linebacker Jack Campbell grew up rooting for the Northern Iowa Panthers, who his dad played for. But growing up in Cedar Rapids made Campbell mindful of the bad blood between the Cyclones and the Hawkeyes.
“In middle school, in high school, it was just a battle between Iowa and Iowa State fans,” Campbell remembered. “It’s just something that brings the whole state together, which I think is pretty cool. It’s an in-state rivalry, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of that.”
Receiver Arland Bruce IV got a taste of the feud last season when his team took down the Cyclones 27-17. Bruce, who was a true freshman, didn’t see any action. But there was one aspect of the game that made a big first impression on him.
“I don’t feel like the environment’s the same,” Bruce said. “I love rivalry games, but Jack Trice Stadium just doesn’t have the same feel as Kinnick Stadium.”
Kirk Ferentz isn’t so new to the matchup in his 24th season coaching Iowa.
“It’s a big game for everybody in the state,” Ferentz said. “It’s certainly a big game for both programs. I mean everybody on our team wants to win this game. Another cool aspect about it is it’s probably the only BCS Power Five intrastate rivalry where teams are in different conferences.”
While this matchup is indeed a rivalry, it’s been a relatively lopsided one. Iowa leads the all-time series 46-22 that begun in 1894. The Hawks are riding a six-game win streak, with their last defeat to the Cyclones coming in 2014. But, the games are almost always tight. Most notably Iowa’s 44-41 overtime win in 2017 at Kinnick Stadium, followed by an 18-17 nail biter in 2019.