|3rd down efficiency||1-10||5-13|
|4th down efficiency||0-0||2-2|
|Yards per pass||6.7||10.2|
|Yards per rush||1.9||5.2|
The no. 6 West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1, 3-1) was beat down by the Iowa State Cyclones (3-3, 2-2) 30-14 in Ames Saturday night. The WVU offense was ranked 10th nationally in total yards per game (526.8) and was held to just 152 yards and Heisman contender Will Grier finished the game with 100 yards on 11-15 passing and sacked seven times.
Iowa State won the toss, deferred to the second half and West Virginia elected to receive.
The Mountaineers moved the ball down to the Cyclone 44-yard line before Will Grier was sacked at midfield and was forced to punt.
The defense held Iowa State to a three and out on their opening series. On the punt, returner Marcus Simms was pushed back all the way to his own one-yard line. However, he would bring it out to the WVU 24-yard line.
Iowa State sacked Grier again on third down and the Mountaineers forced to punt. Then of the first play for ISU Dravon Askew-Henry picked off quarterback Brock Purdy at the 44-yard line.
The offense took advantage of the short field and make quick work of the Cyclone defense. Kennedy McKoy ran up the middle for 26 yards, setting up a Will Grier to David Sill 18-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the endzone.
Iowa State responded with a touchdown of their own on the ensuing possession. On fourth and one at the WVU 41-yard line, David Montgomery went off the left side for 37 yards, setting up first and goal from the four. On then next play, Brock Purdy found Hakeem Butler wide open in the endzone tying the game up at seven.
On the Cyclones next offensive series, it was a big dose of Montgomery. He had 4 carries 38 yards and the touchdown giving them the 13-7 lead.
West Virginia’s offense was sputtering, and Iowa State was taking advantage. The Cyclones scored on their third straight drive putting them up 13 mid way through the second quarter. A couple of big plays and a 15-yard face mask penalty got ISU into the redzone. On a third and 16, Purdy hit tight end Charlie Kolar crossing over the middle for the 19-yard touchdown.
The Mountaineer offense had another three and out and Iowa State was threatening to put another touchdown drive together. West Virginia stopped them at the 22 and the Cyclones lined up for a Field Goal to extend their lead before Kenny Bigelow busted through the line, blocked the field goal and Derrek Pitts picked it up and took it to the house cutting the lead 20-14.
West Virginia was fortunate to only be down six at halftime. They only had 112 yards of total offense, 1-7 on third down and gave up five sacks.
Iowa State was moving the ball at will, especially on the ground. The Mountaineers were only giving up 120.8 rushing yards per game coming into the game; however, the Cyclones had 135 yards on the ground in the first half.
The Cyclones started the second at their own 25-yard line after Evan Staley kicked the ball through the endzone. They drove down to the Mountaineer 29-yard line missed the 46-yard field goal, keeping it a one possession game.
The West Virginia offense could not get into any rhythm. They went into the fourth quarter with just 154 yards of total offense and Heisman contender Will Grier was 9-12 for 98 yards and was sacked five times.
The Cyclones scored on just six plays to start the fourth quarter. They went 81 yards highlighted by a circus catch, juggled and hauled in by Deshaunte Jones from 32 yards out for the touchdown. Then, they converted the two-point conversation to make it 28-14 Cyclones.
Iowa State picked up a safety after the defense chased Grier around in the backfield into the endzone and a holding penalty forced the two points.
It’s a tough loss for the Mountaineers. They have a bye next week then host a Thursday night game against Baylor on October 25th.