AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Troy State thought maybe it could catch Iowa
State looking ahead to Nebraska. The Trojans quickly learned they
had the Cyclones' full attention.
No. 21 Iowa State (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today, No. 21 AP) scored off a blocked punt less than 3 minutes
into the game, and Seneca Wallace passed for three touchdowns and
ran for another as the Cyclones rolled past Troy State 42-12
Playing as a ranked team for the first time in 21 years, Iowa
State (4-1) dominated a team that had given Nebraska trouble three
weeks ago, with Todd Miller topping off the victory with his second
punt return of the season for a touchdown.
So, Troy State coach Larry Blakeney. Nebraska visits Iowa State
next Saturday. Any thoughts on that game?
"It's hard to compare them,'' said Blakeney, whose team
outgained Nebraska in a 31-16 loss. "They're different offensively
totally. I think that gives Iowa State a chance to beat Nebraska.
"I don't think they're very good at throwing, and I think Iowa
State's coaches know that. They can beat Nebraska.''
For now, Iowa State is happy beating Troy State (1-3), which
caught the Cyclones at what could have been an opportune time --
right after beating Iowa and right before playing Nebraska.
Iowa State looked flat at times in the first half, but then
Wallace would do something to get the Cyclones going.
Often throwing on the run, Wallace completed 17 of 25 passes for
295 yards with no interceptions. He scored on a 1-yard run and had
touchdown passes of 54 yards to Lane Danielsen and 20 and 4 yards
to Lance Young.
"We were chasing him around all night,'' Troy State defensive
end Osi Umenyiora said. "He is so frustrating to play against. We
think we have him, then he goes off.''
A key play was Wallace's touchdown pass to Danielsen, which came
with 30 seconds left in the half and made it 21-6. Derrick Ansley
gambled and failed trying for an interception, and Danielsen, who
caught the ball at the 38, had a clear path down the right
Troy State had cut the lead to 14-6 on Thomas Olmsted's 42-yard
field goal with 2:02 left in the half. The kick followed a
six-minute drive in which the Trojans used a no-huddle offense to
move the ball down the field with short, quick passes.
But the Trojans managed only one other sustained drive, and Iowa
State pulled away with the help of Miller's 45-yard punt return in
the fourth quarter. Troy State had 118 yards rushing after running
for 464 yards against Southern Utah a week ago.
"It was one of our goals this week to shut down their rushing
game,'' Iowa State defensive lineman Jordan Carstens said. "They
had some success the past couple of weeks and we wanted to stop
Miller scored on a 60-yard return against Tennessee Tech on
Sept. 7 and became the first Iowa State player to run back two
punts for touchdowns in a season since 1992, when James McMillion
did it three times.
Iowa State had a 7-0 lead before Wallace even stepped on the
field. The Cyclones forced a punt on the first series and JaMaine
Billups streaked through to block Olmsted's kick. Andy Kohler
picked the ball up and sprinted 22 yards for a touchdown.
"I saw it blocked and it rolled right over to me,'' Kohler
said. "I ran up, grabbed it and did what I could. That's what
we're taught on blocks, try to scoop up the ball and run.''
Wallace set up his second-quarter touchdown run with a 17-yard
pass to Jack Whitver, and the right-hander made two outstanding
throws while rolling to his left to set up second-half touchdowns.
Wallace hit Young in full stride for a 43-yard gain in the third
quarter. Three plays later, Young outjumped Heyward Skipper in the
end zone to catch a 20-yard touchdown pass from Wallace.
On Iowa State's next series, Wallace rolled left and hit Whitver
for a 39-yard gain to the Troy State 40. That drive ended with
Wallace lofting a soft pass to Young on a 4-yard touchdown play.
"You don't make calls in the huddle for Seneca to throw to
Jack, but you read the defense and you throw,'' Iowa State coach
Dan McCarney said. "Any time you have a receiver that can make
plays like we have, and we have three of them, that's a great bunch
Troy State's Hansell Bearden was 17-of-35 for 195 yards and
scored the Trojans' only touchdown on a 1-yard sneak. Iowa State
managed only 68 yards rushing, but Troy State had no answer for
"The triggerman is the difference,'' Blakeney said. "They can
talk about all those folks they want to talk about in the country,
but this guy right here is a football player. He's a great
quarterback, he can make it happen and if things go bad, he has
speed. They all can't do that.''
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