Sep 3, 2016; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones wide receiver Allen Lazard (5) catches a late touchdown in front of Northern Iowa Panthers defensive back Jamison Whiting (29) at Jack Trice Stadium. The Panthers beat the Cyclones 25-20. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

There are not many FBS and FCS series that have been as heated as Iowa State and Northern Iowa. The Cyclones hold a 20-6-1 advantage in the series, but the Panthers have kept most of the games between the two teams close.

That was especially true on October 10, 1987 when Northern Iowa held a 38-21 lead as the third quarter ended at Cyclones Stadium. What happened next still lives as one of the best comebacks in the history of Iowa State football.

Cyclone quarterback Brett Sadek connected with Eddie Bridges from 11-yards out for one of his three touchdown passes on the day to cut the deficit to 38-28. Iowa State later went 60 yards in eight plays to score then added a two-point conversion on a run by Edwin Jones to get within 38-36.

Iowa State recovered the ensuing onside conversion then a couple plays later Sadek connected with Dennis Ross, who finished the day with eight catches for 174 yards and a touchdown, for a 39-yard reception to set up the Cyclones’ final play.

Jeff Shudak knocked through a 28-yard field goal to give the Cyclones a 39-38 lead and complete the largest fourth quarter comeback in school history. Even though the game has since been matched by Iowa State’s win over West Virginia in 2013, it is still the program’s biggest fourth quarter comeback in Ames.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.