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Ohio defense holds to seal 10-7 upset win over Iowa State in defensive battle

Iowa State begins Big 12 play next Saturday afternoon with a home game against Oklahoma State.

ATHENS, Ohio — Ohio defensive lineman Rodney Mathews picked off a deflected pass late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 10-7 win by the Bobcats over Iowa State on Saturday afternoon.

The Cyclones began a drive at their own 12-yard-line after a booming Ohio punt with 2:21 left. But on the first play of the drive, quarterback Rocco Becht's pass was broken up by Ohio cornerback Roman Parodie, and the ball settled into the arms of Mathews to seal a signature win for the Bobcats (3-1).

Ohio, from the Mid-American Conference team, got its first win over a Power Five team since 2017 when they beat Kansas 42-30 at home.

Kurtis Rourke tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to Sam Wiglusz in the third quarter, and Gianni Spetic added a 27-yard field goal for the Bobcats early in the fourth.

Becht answered with a quick scoring drive capped by an 18-yard TD pass to Jayden Higgins with 4:15 left.

Iowa State (1-2) kicker Chase Contreraz missed field goals in the second and fourth quarters.

Rourke was 16 for 32 for 135 yards. Becht was better, going 17 for 24 for 233 yards — but he threw two interceptions.

The Bobcats capitalized on Becht's first big mistake to finally crack the scoreboard in the third quarter.

Higgins fell making a cut on his pass route, and Becht was picked off by Ohio cornerback Torrie Cox.

Five plays later, Rourke found Wiglusz alone in the back of the end zone.

The teams combined for 11 punts in the game.

Iowa State was left scrambling when starting quarterback Hunter Dekkers and other key players were dismissed amid a gambling scandal before the season began. That thrust second-year player Becht into the role of leading the Cyclones offense.


Iowa State: Begins Big 12 play next Saturday afternoon with a home game against Oklahoma State.

Ohio: At Bowling Green next Saturday.

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