MORGANTOWN—The West Virginia football team hosts Iowa State this weekend in a battle of Big 12 teams owning the same record (3-2 overall, 1-1 in the conference) but for WVU, this one is a little more personal based upon recent history.
Last season, in Ames, the Cyclones upset the #6 Mountaineers by the score of 30-14 and in the process, provoked the Mountaineer faithful with their storming of the field at the conclusion of the game.
The Big 12 ultimately fined Iowa State a total of $25,000 for the incident, and former WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen stated how unprepared the Cyclone’s gameday staff seemed to be for the possibility of a field-storming to occur.
“Our job is to keep student-athletes in a safe place,” Holgorsen was quoted as saying. “When you’ve got thousands of people coming at you, it’s not easy. It was very unprofessional. We didn’t have time to get them off the field, so that’s not good.”
In the contest, which WVU had led by the score of 7-0 at one point, Iowa State held the Mountaineers to 152 yards overall and zero points in the second half. With the win, the Cyclones also beat a Top 25 team for the fifth time in seven tries after dropping 20 in a row to ranked teams, so maybe they did have a lot to be excited about.
WVU will come into the contest scoring 26.2 points per game while allowing opponents to score an average 28.8 points per game. Iowa State averages 37.6 points per game on offense while holding opponents to an average of 22.2 points per game on defense.
The Cyclones have two losses on the season by a combined three points. They lost earlier in the season to state-rival Iowa by the score of 18-17 and more recently to Baylor by the score of 23-21. They won their most recent contest, a 49-24 blowout of conference opponent TCU in Ames on Saturday.
The Mountaineers most recently played #11 Texas and dropped that contest by the score of 42-31 on Saturday at Mylan Puskar Field in Morgantown.
Brock Purdy leads the passing attack for the Iowa State, completing 121 of his 171 pass attempts on the season for 1,578 yards with 10 TD’s against only 2 INT’s. His counterpart for the Mountaineers, Oklahoma-transfer Austin Kendall, has thrown for 1,238 yards on 125-190 passing for 9 TD’s with 7 INT’s.
On the ground, Purdey also leads Iowa State in rushing, accounting for 203 yards and another 5 TD’s on 45 carries. For West Virginia, Kennedy McCoy leads the way in rushing yardage with 181 yards and 3 TD’s on 54 carries.
Purdy’s main target through the air is Deshaunte Jones, who has 37 receptions for 444 yards and a TD, while WVU’s Sam James has caught 32 passes for 329 yards and 2 TD’s.
The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4:00pm in Morgantown. Early-week weather forecasts for the Saturday show a high of 63 degrees and scattered showers throughout the day.