AMES, Iowa (AP) — Hunter Dekkers threw for 268 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as Iowa State rolled past Ohio 43-10 and improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2012.
Dekkers completed 28 of 36 passes and ran for a touchdown. The first-year starter now has thrown for eight touchdowns and 748 total yards.
“There are some critical plays that he makes in the football game that we’re not the team we’ve got the ability to be if he doesn’t make those plays,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “His confidence and his resiliency – when something bad happens, his ability to bounce right back – those things are super positive.”
Xavier Hutchinson had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown, giving him five touchdowns in three games, equaling his total from all of last season.
“It looked early on like they were trying to bracket X (Hutchinson) in the first half,” Campbell said. “And you’re still able to have him in some critical third downs and some critical plays and great moments.
“I think the thing I’m most excited about is, you had some other guys step up.”
It was all part of an Iowa State offensive performance that netted 463 yards.
Ohio (1-2) never mounted much of a threat, committing four turnovers and finishing with 233 yards, including just 24 rushing.
“We got behind early, had a couple short punts giving them a short field and we struggled,” Ohio coach Tim Albin said. “They did a good job of dinking and dunking the ball around.”
Iowa State scored touchdowns on two of its first three drives, then converted two Ohio turnovers into 10 more points to build a 24-0 lead.
By early in the second quarter the Cyclones already had gained 179 total yards while holding the Bobcats to just 27.
Ten different Cyclones caught passes while Jirehl Brock and Deon Silas combined for 134 yards on the ground.
“We’ve got a lot of dogs on the team,” Silas said. “We’re stacked. We’re stacked for real.”
Iowa State is now 8-0 all-time against Ohio and 27-5 against schools from the MAC.
“It’s a great vibe,” Silas said of being 3-0, “but we’re not done. We’ve got a mission that we’ve got to accomplish.”
The Iowa State defense was stellar against nonconference opponents. After allowing a total of 17 points in two previous games – and an average of 235 yards – the Cyclones permitted only a field goal in the first half Saturday. Ohio netted just 116 yards before halftime.
LESS THAN PERFECT
Despite Iowa State’s domination on Saturday, there were a few Cyclone glitches. A couple of snapping gaffes, unforced penalties and a blocked point-after kick prevented Iowa State from adding to a 30-3 halftime lead. It was no big deal against Ohio, but a much tougher date with Baylor looms this weekend.