(Photo credit: Matt Lunsford-USA TODAY Sports)
Rodney Mathews had a clutch interception with 2:13 remaining and host Ohio bottled up Iowa State in a 10-7 victory on Saturday afternoon in Athens, Ohio.
The Bobcats (3-1) defeated the Cyclones (1-2) for the first time in nine all-time meetings by doing enough offensively and dominating defensively.
Kurtis Rourke completed 16-of-32 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown to Sam Wiglusz early in the third quarter. After Ohio was unable to do little else offensively, the game came down to its defense.
Forced to use its last two timeouts on Ohio's previous drive, Iowa State got the ball at its own 12 following a 48-yard punt by Jared Wheatley. Quarterback Rocco Becht threw a pass up the middle for Jayden Higgins but Ohio cornerback Roman Parodie broke it up and the ball popped in the air for Mathews to make the interception.
Becht was among several Iowa State players dealing with food poisoning on Friday and reportedly was throwing up at halftime. He completed 17-of-24 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown but also threw two interceptions.
Wiglusz was targeted 12 times and had five catches for 53 yards as Ohio held the ball for 35:51 and outgained the Cyclones on the ground 112-38.
Gianni Spectic added a 27-yard field goal for Ohio in its first home meeting with Iowa State since 2001.
Iowa State was without star wideout Jaylin Noel due to food poisoning. Higgins had three catches for 65 yards to lead the Cyclones.
After the teams traded missed field goals in a scoreless opening half, Ohio capitalized on a turnover to take the lead.
On Iowa State's second play of the third quarter, Higgins slipped in the middle of the field and the ball was intercepted by Ohio's Torrie Cox Jr. After Cox returned the ball to the Iowa State 23, Rourke found Wiglusz in the back of the end zone.
After Iowa State's Jeremaiah Cooper broke up a pass for Wiglusz in the end zone, the Bobcats settled for a field goal with 13:58 remaining to cap a 12-play, 81-yard drive covering over five minutes.
Iowa State inched into the red zone but opted for the field goal on fourth and one after Dimitri Stanley's 12-yard catch but Chase Contreraz hooked a 37-yarder wide right with 7:23 remaining.
Iowa State scored with 4:15 remaining when Higgins made a leaping catch one play after Becht found Jackson for a 39-yard pass.
--Field Level Media