No. 21 Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 29–26 on Saturday.

By Jenna West
August 31, 2019

No. 21 Iowa State beat Northern Iowa 29–26 in triple overtime to escape an upset at Jack Trice Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Sheldon Croney Jr. ran for one-yard to score a late touchdown for the Cyclones. The touchdown was under review to determine if Croney's knee was down before he crossed the plane of the end zone, but the call was upheld.

The Panthers and Cyclones traded pairs of field goals and touchdowns in overtime to stretch out the game. Saturday's win is a huge relief to the Cyclones, who entered the 2019 campaign ranked in the preseason top 25 for the first time in 41 years. A loss to Northern Iowa would have ruined their shot to make the playoff as a dark horse candidate.

Iowa State scored first with a 42-yard field goal in the first quarter, and the game stayed relatively quiet until the third when the Panthers answered with a pair of field goals. Xavior Williams later recovered a fumble from Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy with six seconds left in the third quarter to score a defensive touchdown and put Northern Iowa ahead 13–10.

In the fourth quarter, Iowa State squandered a few key opportunities to take back the lead. With 5:17 left on the clock, Connor Assalley missed a 31-yard field goal. Less than two minutes later, the Cyclones looked like they would score a late touchdown when Williams broke up Purdy's pass to Dylan Soehner near the end zone. Purdy later rushed nine yards for a touchdown, but the Cyclones were called for a holding penalty and had to settle for a field goal to tie the game and send it into overtime.

Purdy finished the game going 30-for-41 with 278 passing yards and two touchdowns.

Northern Iowa redshirt freshman quarterback Will McElvain, who was offered a preferred walk-on spot as a defensive back by Iowa State, went 25-for-42 for 228 yards. He threw for one touchdown in double overtime, the only Northern Iowa offensive touchdown of the game.

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