The North Dakota State Bison, five-time defending champions of the FCS, scored the first touchdown of the day at Iowa, but the Hawkeyes have come back to take a lead into halftime.
North Dakota State opened the scoring late in the first quarter with the defense doing the honors. Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard was hit as he attempted a pass and linebacker MJ Stumpf managed to be in the right spot at the right time to get his hands on the ball as it popped out of the quarterback’s hands. He managed to return the turnover 21 yards for the score. Beathard would make up for the mistake in the second quarter.
After getting a feel for what North Dakota State was doing defensively, the Hawkeyes eventually figured out how to move the football. Beathard got Iowa on the board with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Riley McCarron, who split a couple of defenders in the open field and had nobody in front to stop him on the way to the endzone. After forcing the visiting Bison to punt away on the ensuing possession, Iowa got on the scoreboard once more with a Beathard touchdown pass to Matt VandeBerg inside the red zone.
Still, North Dakota State appears to be playing the game it wants to hang around and give the Hawkeyes a decent scare. North Dakota State needs to keep the offense on the field, which has been difficult against Iowa’s defense. North Dakota State had just one third-down conversion in the first half, although they did pick up a fourth-down conversion.