Each day leading up to Iowa State’s season opener against South Dakota State, Cyclone Fanatic will check another day off the calendar with a memorable statistic, player or game as part of our Countdown to Kickoff presented by Tailgate Clothing.
Entering halftime on Sept. 14, 2002, the No. 3 Iowa Hawkeyes appeared to be further solidifying themselves as legitimate national title contenders. Kirk Ferentz’s team held a 24-7 lead over Iowa State and was rolling towards a 3-0 start.
But, one of the greatest individual performances in Iowa State football history and one of the program’s largest second-half comebacks ever threw a wrench into The Team Out East’s national title hopes with 29-straight points to walk out of Kinnick Stadium with a 36-31 win.
Wallace completed 23-of-37 passes with a touchdown and added another on the ground to orchestrate the comeback and helped the Cyclones’ offense more than double-up the Hawkeyes’ second-half yardage total. Plus, Iowa State’s defense stiffened to allow only 29 yards on 17 rushing attempts after the halftime break following a first-half that saw the Hawkeyes run wild for 222 yards.
The Cyclones’ 29-straight second-half points were the most for the program since 1989 and were enough to hand the Hawkeyes their only loss of the 2002 regular season. It also gave Dan McCarney’s program its fifth-consecutive win over the in-state rival.
Iowa State went on to start the 2002 season 6-1, reaching No. 9 in the AP Poll, before finishing the year with a 7-7 record.