Todd Blythe caught a pair of touchdown passes in overtime and Iowa State held on to a 45-43 in triple overtime win Thursday night over Toledo when Rockets' receiver Chris Hopkins couldn't hold on to a potential game-tying a 2-point conversion pass on the goal line.
Quarterback Bret Meyer added three TD runs for Iowa State (1-0), which picked up its first OT win in six tries.
Blythe caught a 29-yard TD pass from Meyer to bring Iowa State even in the second overtime. Blythe and Meyer hooked up again on the first play of the third overtime, with Blythe grabbing a 25-yard TD pass with one hand. Meyer ran in the 2-point conversion.
Toledo (0-1), which had rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, finally ran out of answers. Jalen Parmele scored from 2 yards out to cut Iowa State's lead to two. Hopkins caught 13 passes for 139 yards and three touchdowns but couldn't come up with one more grab and the opening night thriller ended.
Meyer's third TD run, a 10-yarder, gave Iowa State a 30-23 lead in the first OT. Toledo tied it on its first play of the extra session on a 25-yard pass from Clint Cochran to Hopkins.
Meyer completed 17-of-25 passes for 234 yards and two TDs.
Toledo tied the game at 23 with 3:28 left in regulation, marching 79 yards for a touchdown after Iowa State botched a field goal try on a bad snap. The Rockets kept the drive alive with a 31-yard reception by Steve Odom on 4th-and-11, and Richard Davis tied the game with a 3-yard TD run on the next play.
The Rockets got within 20-15 on Hopkins' second TD reception of the game, a 21-yarder from Cochran in the third quarter. Bret Culberson hit a 39-yard field goal to push the Cyclones' lead to eight.
Iowa State took a 20-8 third-quarter lead on Meyer's 18-yard TD run.
Toledo took its only lead of regulation, 8-7, in the second quarter with a 99-yard TD drive and a 2-point conversion off a blocked extra point attempt.
Cochran, making just his second career start, was 39-of-49 passing for 367 yards and three touchdowns.