The Cyclones are No. 24 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
Iowa State entered Saturday's matchup with Drake as 41-point favorites, expected to blow past the Bulldogs in the final game of the regular season. But the Cyclones couldn't cruise to victory in a 27-24 win at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
Facing off against an FCS team without scholarship players, Iowa State's offense slogged through the second half, failing to score in the last 30 minutes. Quarterback Brock Purdy threw for just 153 yards on 22 attempts. The Cyclones did get strong production on the ground, riding David Montgomery for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries.
The Cyclones had to overcome two deficits on Saturday, falling down 7-0 in the first quarter and 24-20 with under four minutes remaining in the third quarter. Iowa State took a lead it would never surrender in the final minute of the third quarter, scoring on a touchdown pass from Purdy to wideout Deshaunte Jones.
Iowa State ended the regular season at 8–4, 6–3 Big 12. The Cyclones will play in a bowl game for the second straight season.