West Virginia traveled to Ames, Iowa on a wet and dreary night to face off against the Cyclones. The home crowd and home team were draped in black and ready for the sixth ranked Mountaineers. Sadly, West Virginia was not ready for the atmosphere or the Cyclones.
The first half was forgettable for West Virginia fans. Will Grier was under constant pressure and it threw the offense completely out of rhythm. Grier was sacked fives times and limited to 77 yards of passing and one touchdown in the first half. The offense as a whole had a lackluster performance and was limited to a 112 total yards. Conversely, Iowa State’s offense racked up 250 yards of total offense. The Cyclones seemed to have complete control until Kenny Bigelow burst through the line to block a 40 yard field goal. Derrek Pitts scooped up the bouncing ball and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown to get WVU back into the game.
It didn’t seem like the offense could have been worse but Coordinator Jake Spavital and Grier didn’t have any answers for the second half. In fact the Mountaineers’ miscues were even worse. They gave up another two sacks and gained an anemic 40 total yards. Will Grier finished the night 11 of 15 for 100 yards, a touchdown and one interception. The offense would finish with 152 yards of total offense, by far their lowest total of the season. The Cyclones deserve credit, they executed and had a good game plan but West Virginia had zero answers for anything.
Iowa State’s True freshman quarterback, Brock Purdy, torched the defense for 254 yards and three touchdowns. The secondary failed to contain 6’6″ receiver Hakeem Butler as he drew countless pass interference penalties and racked up 107 yards and a touchdown. David Montgomery, the Cyclones running back, carved up the WVU defense for 189 yards to go along with a score. This was his third consecutive game that he rushed for more than 100 yards against West Virginia.
The Mountaineers are still very much in the Big 12 conference race, just falling behind Texas who is 4-0 in conference. The remaining schedule is tough but the Old Gold and Blue could easily find their way to the Big 12 Championship game. Sadly, a bad loss to a 2-3 team likely destroyed any hope of the making the college football playoff.
WVU has their bye week and won’t see the field till October 25th when Baylor comes to town for a Thursday night match up. The bye week couldn’t come at a better time as the offense has looked out of sync since the second half of the Texas Tech game. That marks eight consecutive quarters of struggling offense. Coach Holgorsen, Coach Spavital and the team will need to head back to drawing room, find some answers and get the offense back on track.