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Des Moines, Iowa


The Cyclones of New

Geoff Wood

Coach Rhoads celebrates with the fans in LincolnI am 31 years old and for the first time in my lifetime, the Iowa State Cyclones beat the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska today October 24, 2009.

Let's hope it's the first of many.

It was not a pretty high-scoring exciting offensive showdown. Instead, it was a defensive battle that ended by the slim margin of 9-7. All that is important is that it is a win for Iowa State. That's how the record books will remember it and hopefully the details of the game will fall away with time and confusion as the passionate Cyclones take more and more wins in Lincoln (and for that matter, in Ames) in the future.

The national media story will focus on the 8 turnovers committed by Nebraska and I'm sure that many of their fans will blame themselves for the loss, giving little credit to the Cyclones for their play. Nebraska's vaunted "Blackshirt" obviously played well holding Iowa State to 9 points. However, they weren't able to force ANY turnovers on the Cyclones. Also, those Blackshirts were facing a redshirt freshman quarterback in his very first start and were not able to fluster him to the point of such mistakes. They also were facing a back up RB, as the Cyclones' league-leading rusher was also out with injury.

The Cyclone defense (never described as "vaunted") were able to do what the Blackshirts could not - force, and take advantage of, mistakes by the other team's offense.

I was reminded of the quote from former "Voice of the Cyclones" Pete Taylor following another streak-breaking win(1) by the Cyclones over the Huskers in 2002:

"This may not be the Nebraska of old but this is the Iowa State of new"

This is the second win over Nebraska since Pete made that proclamation and despite the fact we've changed coaches twice in that time, I think it's playing out. We had a 15 year losing streak against the University of Iowa that fell in 1998. In the 12 games since the end of that streak, Iowa State has come away the victor 7 times. That series is once again the rivalry that is should be. Since the losing streak to ended to Nebraska, Iowa State has been the victor in this series 3 of 9 times. Let's hope that we can build on this win in future years to make this series that rivalry that it should be, too.

(1) First win over the Huskers since 1992 and it was at home in Ames

Photo credit: AP Photo/Nati Harnik