Defense, clutch play fuels 3-0 start for ISU

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AMES, Iowa (AP) -- Hardly anyone expected Iowa State to get off to a 3-0 start.

It's not necessarily a mirage though.

After surviving a major scare from FCS school Northern Iowa, the Cyclones stunned Iowa in triple overtime, 44-41, after scoring just 15 points against the Hawkeyes in three previous meetings.

Iowa State then hit the road and, after a dreadful first quarter from quarterback Steele Jantz, rallied to upset Connecticut 24-20 last weekend and post their best start in six years.

The surging Cyclones, picked ninth in the 10-team Big 12's preseason poll, have the week off before hosting No. 19 Texas (3-0) on Oct. 1 in their conference opener.

Coach Paul Rhoads says the Cyclones are fortunate to be 3-0. But Rhoads adds that fortune will go away once league play begins