David Johnson ran for a career-high 199 yards and two touchdowns and caught passes for two more scores to lead Northern Iowa past Iowa State 28-20 Saturday night in Ames.
Northern Iowa, seeking a return to the FCS playoffs after a rare losing record in 2012, jumped to a 21-7 lead and handed Iowa State its first season-opening loss in five seasons under coach Paul Rhoads. It was just the fifth victory for the Panthers in 28 games with the Cyclones, who are coming off two straight bowl appearances.
Iowa State drew to 21-20 on Cole Netten's third-quarter field goals of 23 and 38 yards, the first of his career. But Johnson caught a short pass from Sawyer Kollmorgen, slipped through three defenders and went 29 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter for an eight-point lead that held up.