Oklahoma (2-0) at Iowa State (0-1)
September 15th, 2018, 11:00 AM CT
Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa
Weather – Mostly Sunny, 82 degrees
Before getting into the heart of this report, one of the places that I visited during this trip was Marshalltown, Iowa. Marshalltown was hit by an EF3 tornado on July 19, 2018, that went right through their downtown area and impacted many homes and businesses including some very historic buildings. Although I did not capture any images of the remaining damage while I was there, there were still a lot of signs of the devastation that was caused. But the people I was able to chat with while I was there were all very kind and down to earth. Continued thoughts as you build your town back up.
Oklahoma 37 – Iowa State 27
After a huge upset in Norman the year prior, Oklahoma came into the game looking to put in a much better performance. At first this looked possible after pulling off to an early 10-0 lead after the first quarter. But, just as in the prior year, Iowa State refused to go away. On the first play from scrimmage after kicking a field goal, Iowa State recovered a fumble from Grant Calcaterra. On the very next play Hakeem Butler caught a pass for a 51-yard touchdown and the score was suddenly tied again at 10.
Oklahoma scored two more touchdowns before the half to take a 24-10 lead into the break. In the second half Iowa State continued to fight. They were able to pull to within seven three different times but could not get in closer to that. Oklahoma wins the game 37-27.
The star of the game for Oklahoma was quarterback Kyler Murray who finished with 348 yards passing along with leading the team in rushing with 77 yards. On the Iowa State side, wide receiver Hakeem Butler finished with five catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns and bullied the Oklahoma secondary on a couple of occasions.
Jack Trice stadium was a great venue for a football game with a seating capacity of 61,500. The stadium was virtually full for this early kickoff. The majority of the stadium had bench seating though there was some individual seats in the two end zone areas for the club areas for donors. On the north corners of the stadium there were also a couple green hilly areas where families could come with blankets and enjoy the game with a general admission. The south end zone hosts the new Sukup end zone club that opened in 2015. This area includes a huge concourse area for donors which is also the one area of the stadium that served beer.
The concourses at Jack Trice stadium were very nice. There were plenty of concession options all around the stadium. A majority of the concessions had a ‘State Fair’ type feel to them, which seemed to fit in perfectly with Iowa. They had locations with corn dogs, tenderloin sandwiches, funnel cakes, and root beer floats. The only thing that seemed to take away from the stadium compared to some larger stadiums is there was only one concourse where all people were forced to go. That made it very difficult to walk around during the rush at half time. Since it was such a hot day, everybody made a rush to the concession stands and you had to maneuver your way through the crowds and had many people cutting through lines to get around. With that exception though, I was extremely impressed with how nice Jack Trice stadium was all around. This was a very fun stadium to enjoy a game day at!
Hot Dog – $5.00
32 Oz Soft Drink – $6.00
Other Sporting Event
Iowa State Women’s Volleyball vs. Iowa
On Friday night, I went to Hilton Coliseum to the see the Cy-Hawk match up between Iowa and Iowa State as part of the Cyclone Classic. There was a pretty good turn out for the game since it was a match between in-state rivals. They have a curtain that comes down on one side of the court that blocks out about 20% of the seats. Of the seats remaining, the lower bowl was pretty much filled. The upper bowl had a few seats filled but mostly empty. Announced crowd was 3,900.
The game was exciting and had the crowd going most of the night. Every set remained close throughout, but Iowa ended up winning the match 3 sets to 1 (25-20, 25-21, 23-25, 25-20).
Other Iowa State Athletic Facilities
The one thing I was extremely lucky to have for this trip was a tour of the athletic facilities from a member of the Iowa State athletic department a couple days before the game. I was able to get a tour of Hilton Coliseum, the football practice facilities, as well as some areas of Jack Trice stadium. I came away extremely impressed with all of the facilities.
Hilton Coliseum was a very large arena and you can see how it can easily get loud there during basketball season. I was able to see the locker rooms, press areas, and go inside Johnny’s, which is a very nice area of the arena where donors to the program can go during the game. The practice facilities was also impressive and fairly new to campus. They had a large weight room, a state of the art training room, and an indoor practice field.
I was blown away by how beautiful the Iowa State campus is. Everything is spaced out enough so that in the middle you have plenty of green space, trees, and even a large pond in one area of campus. They had a clock tower in the middle of it all that would play various songs throughout the day.
The Memorial Union was also a very pretty building. Many student groups had their offices there, plus there were plenty of places for students to study. They had an impressive food court area with many standards such as pizza, burgers, and burritos, but also a large salad and hot bar where you payed by the ounce. They had a very large dining area that made it easy to find a seat to eat lunch as well. The bookstore was also very large and had an extensive selection of apparel and gifts.
The library was another very pretty building in the heart of it all. Inside they had some nice murals over a lot of the doorways. While I was there, the library was extremely busy with students studying that made it seem like one of the go-to places on campus for study halls.
Iowa State Capitol (Des Moines, IA)
I always make a point to visit a state capitol building if I can, so the Iowa capitol building in Des Moines was the first place I came once I flew into town. It might be the nicest capitol building I’ve ever been to. From the outside, the golden dome is visible from miles around. My favorite part of the capitol tour though was probably inside the library. The library is five stories tall and has an extensive collection of books. The detail in the architecture, including the stairwells used to climb those five stories, was just amazing.
Pappajohn Sculpture Park (Des Moines, IA)
A park named after a pizza joint? No, not quite. This park is named after John and Mary Pappajohn, who have made significant contributions to the fine arts in Des Moines. This park is an extension of the fine arts museum of Des Moines. It features sculptures from 22 different artists within a 4.4 acre park right in the heart of Des Moines. The piece I found most interesting was “Nomade” (Pictured above) which was the form of a human body that was composed of letters of the alphabet. Overall, if you’re in the area, it is interesting enough to take 15-30 minutes to walk through the park, but not something that I would go out of my way for, unless you do really enjoy sculptures and want to include this in a trip to the Des Moines art museum.
Matchstick Marvels (Gladbrook, IA)
Consider this one of those hole in the wall places that is well worth a trip out of the way. The Matchstick Marvels museum is located in the small town of Gladbrook, Iowa, which has a population of just under 1,000 people. This museum highlights some of the creation of artist Patrick Acton, who has made some amazing creations out of just matchsticks and glue. He has many pieces throughout Ripley’s Believe It or Not museums across the nation as well. It’s estimated that over 6.5 million matchsticks have been used to make all of the models to this point. The attention to detail of these items were just amazing to see in person. There were models of the Capitol building, battleships, a NASA space shuttle, and many others.
The Farm House museum is located in the heart of the Iowa State campus. It is the first building on campus that was built in 1860. Today, is has been restored and is now classified as a National Historic Landmark. Throughout the three story building you can see many artifacts and documents from the early days of the university from various former presidents and deans that called the building home during the early days of the university. While I was there a class was actually taking place inside the building talking about how the artifacts were maintained and archived.
Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad (Boone, IA)
The Boone and Scenic Valley railroad is a small excursion (Approx. 2 hours) that travels along some of the historic train lines in central Iowa. Although when most people think of Iowa they probably think of flat areas and lots of corn, there are also areas with a lot of trees plus sceniccrossings over the Des Moines river. This site also includes a museum that was added in 2012 and contains many artifacts from when the railroad would take riders across the company.
Although the sights along the way of this trip were nice, I can imagine it would be even better once all the trees change color in the fall. That is probably why the train fills up so quickly during the fall. I would recommend taking this trip during that time if you’re able to make a reservation.
Reiman Gardens is a small botanical gardens located on the south side of Jack Trice stadium. It is operated by the university. It has a butterfly exhibit (Mentioned below), several gardens, and Elwood, the world’s largest concrete gnome. While I was there, they also had a neat exhibit called “Wind, Waves and Light”. There were many sculptures around the garden made of stainless steel that would move and glimmer based on how the wind blew over them and how the sun hit them from several angles. Many of them were fascinating to watch because of the way the various pieces of metal moved with each other throughout the exhibit.
Butterfly Exhibit at Reiman Gardens
The main highlight of the Reiman Garden is the butterfly exhibit inside the main building. The exhibit is fairly small compared to the one I visited in Columbus, Ohio, the previous year, but there was easily more butterflies per area in this small space. I had several land on me as I walked through and sat down in the room. There were main different types of butterflies, including some beautiful all blue and all red species.
Maid-Rite (Marshalltown, IA)
If you look up the foods that Iowa is famous for at the top of that list is the loose meat sandwich, which is NOT to be confused with a sloppy joe. The place known for the loose meat sandwich is Maid-Rite which has several restaurants around Iowa. But the store in Marshalltown has been in it’s current location since 1958 and has an amazing old-school feel to it. Inside is just one long counter that goes around the entire store where you can see your food being made in the middle. The store was extremely popular and you can tell you have a lot of regulars here as the employees would call a lot of the diners by name as they walked in.
So what is a Maid-Rite? Think of it as a hamburger that uses loose meat instead of a patty. It is ground beef that comes along with mustard, pickle, and chopped onions. It was very tasty. I had one along with a chocolate malt that was also made right in front of me in the kitchen. It was very tasty and the price was very reasonable as well. If I lived in the area, this would easily be one of my regular places as well. When in Iowa make sure a Maid-Rite from at least one of their locations is on your list.
When talking to people around Ames to prepare for my trip the one place that everyone said I must go was Hickory Park, a very large BBQ restaurant in town. As a Texan, I, of course, went in wondering how would a BBQ place in Iowa compare with the Texan BBQ I love. I came away extremely impressed. Hickory Park had a very impressive menu and I decided to go with the sausage and beef brisket combo. The servings were large and the flavor of the meat was very good. On top of that, the prices were much lower than you would expect. I have paid much more for much poorer quality BBQ back home. The only minor complaint is that the spicy sauce they had on the table was not very spicy at all. Just part of having that Texas palate, I guess.
The other thing about Hickory Park is they have a very extensive dessert menu, with many different kinds of ice cream sundaes available. Even though the main course was very filling, I knew I had to have dessert while I was here. I went with a small hot fudge split. It was the perfect mix of ice cream, bananas, and hot fudge and I left knowing I had eaten too much, but still very satisfied.
B-Bop’s is a small fast-food burger chain with just a few locations in Des Moines and one in Ames. It reminded me a lot of a Burger Street location back in Tulsa, where I grew up. They have a double-drive thru, but also a place where you can walk up and order. I went with a quarter pounder, with mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, lettuce, pickle, and onion. The burger had good flavor and the fries were hot and salted very well. It was a good place for a quick, cheap meal.