Cyclones too much for UNI

By LUKE MEREDITH

AP Sports Writer

AMES — Jacob Park threw for 271 yards and two touchdowns and Iowa State, aided by a pair of interception returns for TDs, beat Northern Iowa 42-24 in the season opener for both teams Saturday.

David Montgomery ran for 82 yards and two scores for the Cyclones, who scored 21 straight points to hold off the Panthers just a year after losing to their FCS rivals in the opener.

Willie Harvey (12 yards) and Kamari Cotton-Moya (18 yards) returned Eli Dunne picks for scores in the first quarter. Montgomery then closed the first half with an 8-yard TD run and opened the second with a 3-yard score to make it 28-10.

Iowa State’s Allen Lazard caught eight passes for 108 yards to set a new school record for career receptions with 178.

Dunne threw for 259 yards with three TDs and three picks.

Look for complete game coverage in Monday’s sports section.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa State: The Cyclones got off to a very slow start that those pick-sixes helped mask. But Iowa State started the second half with a nine-play, 65-yard scoring drive, forced a three-and-out and then added another nine-play touchdown drive. Ultimately, the Cyclones were able to overwhelm the FCS Panthers because of their wealth of skill position options. Whether they’ll be able to do that against Iowa — which held Wyoming and its star quarterback, Josh Allen, to three points earlier Saturday — will be a major question mark heading into next week.

Northern Iowa: Erase the two pick-sixes, and the Panthers just might have made a game of it. But teams that give away points typically give away games, as UNI found out. The Panthers will look to push past this loss and focus on getting back to the FCS playoff after winning just five games in 2016.

UP NEXT

Iowa State hosts rival Iowa on Sept. 9.

Northern Iowa will open its home schedule against Cal Poly on Saturday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.