21st Annual Cactus Bowl

Iowa State 14, Minnesota 13

21st annual cactus bowl
December 31, 2009

Attendance: 45,090

Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium

Offensive Player of the Game: Alexander Robinson, Iowa State

Defensive Player of the Game: Christopher Lyle, Iowa State

Sportsmanship Award: D.J. Burris, Minnesota

Head Coaches: Paul Rhoads, Iowa State - Tim Brewster, Minnesota

Weather: Clear, 63 degrees

Television: NFL Network

Payout Per Team: $1,350,000

Iowa State had plenty to celebrate on New Year's Eve.

How about a 14-13 victory over Minnesota in the 21st Annual Cactus Bowl, which clinched the Cyclones' first winning season since 2005?

Iowa State beat its border rival for only the third time in 26 meetings - and for the first time since 1898. The Big 12 won its fourth straight Cactus Bowl against the Big Ten.

Alexander Robinson ran for 137 yards to take offensive player of the game honors, while teammate Austen Arnaud threw for one touchdown and ran for another as the Cyclones notched their second Cactus Bowl victory, the first coming against Pittsburgh in 2000.

Minnesota's Adam Weber threw for 261 yards and a touchdown, and Kyle Theret tied a Cactus Bowl record with two interceptions and also caught a 40-yard pass on a fake punt.

The Cyclones spotted Minnesota a 3-0 first quarter lead. But they stunned the Golden Gophers with two quick scores -- a 9-yard scamper by Arnaud and a 38-yard strike from Arnaud to Jake Williams -- to takea 14-3 halftime lead.

The Gophers still trailed by 11 midway through the third period when coach Tim Brewster reached into his bag of tricks. On fourth-and-4 at Minnesota's 37-yard line, punter Blake Haudan hit a wide-open Theret for 40 yards -- the junior defensive back's first career reception.

One play later, Weber hit tight end Nick Tow-Arnett for a 23-yard score, slicing Iowa State's lead to 14-10.

The Gophers pulled to within a point on a 21-yard field goal by Eric Ellestad late in the third quarter. Minnesota had rallied for four victories in the fourth quarter during the regular season, but this time, the Golden Gophers came up short.

With a 7-6 finish, first-year Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads became the first Cyclones coach to post a winning record in his debut season since George Veenker went 5-3 in 1931.

Quarter Scores

Scoring
1
2
3
4
F
Iowa State
0
14
0
0
14
Minnesota
3
10
0
0
13

Yardstick

ISU
MN
22
First Downs
21
44-216
Rushes-Yards
32-139
216
Passing Yards
312
19-26-2
Passes
20-35-1
121
Return Yards
50
5-209
Punts
5-248
2-2
Fumbles-Lost
1-1
8-56
Penalties-Yards
1-9

How They Scored

ISU
MN
0
3
Eric Ellestad 36-yard field goal
7
3
Austen Arnaud 9-yard run (Grant Mahoney kick)
14
3
Jake Williams 38-yard pass from Austn Arnaud (Grant Mahoney kick)
14
10
Nick Tow-Arnett 23-yard pass from Adam Weber (Eric Ellestaf kick)
14
13
Eric Ellestad 21-yard field goal

Individual Statistics

Rushing
ISU
Alexander Robinson 22-137, Austen Arnaud 21-76.
MN
DeLeon Eskridge 13-43, Kevin Whaley 11-42, MarQueis Gray 3-34, Troy Stoudermire 1-1.
Passing
ISU
Austen Arnaud 19-26-2-216.
MN
Adam Weber 18-32-1-261, MarQueis Gray 1-2-0-11, Blake Haudan 1-1-0-40.
Receiving
ISU
Jake Williams 6-83, Marquis Hamilton 4-32, Collin Franklin 3-31, Darius Darks 2-38, Alexander Robinson 2-20, Derrick Catlett 2-12.
MN
Da’Jon McKnight 7-124, Troy Stoudermire 3-33, Nick Tow-Arnett 2-47, MarQueis Gray 2-37, Duane Bennett 2-13, Kyle Theret 1-40, Eric Lair 1-12, John Hoese 1-3, Ben Kuznia 1-3.