“I actually had a chance to get out of bounds. I could hear the sidelines telling me to get out of bounds, but… I scored.”
— Iowa senior running back Akrum Wadley
And Hawkeyes fans are glad he did. Wadley’s heroics forced Saturday’s game into overtime and Iowa evenutally outlasted Iowa State 44-41 in Ames to win the Cy-Hawk trophy for a third consecutive season.
“It was a two-minute situation,” Wadley said. “We always talk about if you catch the ball inside the numbers, be a player and run, but I think it was Nick, or Vandy, they threw a really great block downfield and I kinda caught ’em off guard. I tried to cut back but I’d seen somebody on the right of me, so I just went straight, straight through him.”
Wadley’s clutch play bailed out the Hawkeyes defense, which struggled against the Cyclones. Iowa junior defensive lineman Parker Hesse said the playmaker’s effort galvanized the unit for overtime.
“He inspires you as a defensive player,” Hesse said. “I mean, he is leaving it all out on the field for us all and you really wanna do the same. Probably one of the best individual efforts I’ve ever seen on the football field in person.”
Wadley’s 46-yard catch and run for a touchdown was the play of the day in a game full of highlights. Iowa senior linebacker Josey Jewell said that’s nothing new from No. 25.
“You see that stuff in practice too from him,” Jewell said. “He’s a great player. He’ll make plays happen even if they’re not there, so it’s just awesome to have him on offense.”
The black and gold’s sophomore quarterback agreed
“Can’t help but say, ‘Wow,’ sometimes,” Nate Stanley said. “I mean he’s just a great athlete, great player and great person. When he does something special like that, it kinda makes you want to drop your jaw, but then you realize he does it daily.”
Wadley’s huge day overshadowed another strong game from Stanley, who threw for 335 yards and five touchdowns, including the game-winner in overtime.