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2019 Season

Preview: West Virginia Looks For Revenge In Long Awaited Rematch With Iowa State

Iowa State is looking to extend the Brocktober win streak, while West Virginia is looking to bounce back, previewing the Cyclones at the Mountaineers.

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David Long Jr of the West Virginia Mountaineers tackles David Montgomery of the Iowa State Cyclones - Getty Images - Justin K Aller
Getty Images - Justin K Aller

Despite the struggles so far this season, it wasn’t long ago that West Virginia was undefeated and ranked number six in the country. Iowa State ended that. Last Season in Ames the Mountaineers got beat on all facets of the ball in a 30-14 Iowa State win.  

This time around it means a lot less for the rebuilding Mountaineers. For Iowa State, however, it’s a tough road game for a possible conference contender. The Cyclones aren’t a top ten team and don’t have national championship aspirations like West Virginia was last year, but they’re the ones with something to lose this time.  

Game Details

  • When: SAT, OCT 12th at 3:00 PM CT
  • Where: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV
  • Forecast: Scattered Showers, High of 61°F
  • TV: ESPN
  • Stream: WatchESPN
  • Betting Lines: ISU-10.5. O/U 53

Iowa State Cyclones

By Colton Wood

The season seems to be looking up for the Cyclones after their dominant performance over the Horned Frogs last Saturday. That win followed a very disappointing 21-23 road loss to the Baylor Bears. It seemed as though Iowa State was taking some of their Baylor frustrations on TCU. Kind of like the Louisiana-Monroe game after the heart-breaking Iowa loss.

Last Saturday, we saw Brocktober in full effect. No one is quite sure as to why this phenomenon exists, but Iowa State fans haven’t been questioning it too much. In fact, they’ve actually embraced it.

The Cyclones will look to extend their winning streak to two for the first time this year, as they take on the Mountaineers. For Iowa State, I think they’re looking at games like this as must-wins, considering that they lost a potential tie-breaker to a team that will probably finish around the same spot as the Cyclones. Matt Campbell will keep his team focused and emphasize that you have to win the games you’re supposed to win.

Iowa State Keys To The Game

Rattle Austin Kendall: Austin Kendall is a decent quarterback. It’s just that while a very large majority of his plays are good, his mistakes tend to be big ones. Look at the Texas game. Kendall went 31-for-46 with 367 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he also had 4 picks. A couple of those picks led to very short fields for the Longhorns.

Put The Ball In Brock’s Hands: When Iowa State’s offense is on the field, there’s no doubt that Purdy is your best player on the field. He just has that competitive drive to win. He’s going to go out there and make plays because that’s just what Brock Purdy does.

Have Fun: It seemed that part of the reason that ISU was struggling early on was that they were playing too tight. On every play, they were thinking too much about being perfect. During the TCU game, it seemed like they were having fun. It was something that Matt Campbell emphasized going into the game, and look at the results. A big win over a quality Big 12 team.

Colton’s Game Prediction

Morgantown is typically a tough place to play. It’s a lot like Iowa State, with raucous fans that love to drink a lot. The Mountaineers consuming some quality moonshine, while Cyclones are downing Busch Lights until the entire city is sold out (see Liberty Bowl 2017 and Alamo Bowl 2018). They don’t call it the Riot Bowl for nothing. With that said, being the week after the Texas game, I think the fans might be a little drained, especially with the way it ended. On top of that, the game coincides with West Virginia’s fall break, so expect fewer students than usual. I think the Cyclones will come in and take care of business. Welcome to Brocktober. The Cyclones are just getting started.


West Virginia Mountaineers

By Franklin Markel

West Virginia had about as close to a “positive loss” as you could have last week. The Mountaineers lost and didn’t even cover the spread, but it all looked very promising. West Virginia lost because of turnovers, plain and simple. The S&P analytics said Texas wins that game 47% of the time. That is genuinely a unlucky loss. The Mountaineers defense looked very good, despite giving up 42 points. The offense moved the ball pretty well, the four interceptions killed them. Those four interceptions are mostly all fixable, especially the deep ball shot to Sam James that was intercepted by superman himself. 

The offense is led by Austin Kendall. The transfer quarterback has proven two things this year. He’s had moments that showed why Lincoln Riley was fighting hard to keep him at OU, but he also has showed why he’s been a backup all these years. To put it in simpler terms it’s been an up and down ride. Kendall needs to be more consistent, consistently good. The running game has improved from the start of the season, Kennedy McKoy and Martell Pettaway are getting carries and making noise with them. Leddie Brown and Alec Sinkfield also round out a talented backfield. The receivers are starting to get bit by the injury bug. Sean Ryan had surgery this week, while he isn’t expected to miss the season he will be out for this weeks game. Sam James was limited this week and questionable but he should be good to go Saturday. It’s a middle of the pack offense, but when they’re on their game they can definitely put up points. 

The defense was great last week. The Mountaineers are starting to figure things out on that side of the ball. They’ll have to move on without starting safety Jovanni Stewart who will redshirt the rest of the season. The Mountaineers were without him for the Texas game, however, and his replacement stepped up. The Stills brothers continue to wreck havoc off the defensive line. They’ll be in Iowa State’s backfield all day. In the defensive backfield, Keith Washington and Josh Norwood continue to mark opposing teams top receivers. The defense is pretty average after that point though. The concern is despite how good the defense played last week, they still allowed 42 points. 

West Virginia Keys To The Game

Austin Kendall: WVU needs Kendall to be better. If he can cut own those turnovers expect West Virginia to be in this game. The offense looked good last week and if they can keep that up without turnovers they should have a solid performance. 

Shut down the automatic Iowa State offense: The Iowa State offense has been clinical all season. Quarterback Brock Purdy is leading the offense up and down the field with ease. West Virginia doesn’t have the offensive talent to compete in a shootout, they need to stop Iowa State when they have the ball. 

Redemption: Not everyone was on the roster last season, but that shouldn’t matter. Iowa State ruined West Virginia’s undefeated run last year and sang country roads in the locker room. That should pump up every single Mountaineer whether they were a part of that team or not. Defend your home turf and get revenge. This game is going to be tight, West Virginia needs to want it more. 

Franklin’s Game Prediction

This one should be really close. I don’t see Iowa State as that good of a team, but they’re better than West Virginia. The Mountaineers need to make up for a lack of talent with their home field advantage and toughness. I think West Virginia would win this game if a lot of starters experienced last years heartbreaking loss in Ames, but most of these players weren’t there and don’t have that extra motivation. West Virginia definitely covers but Iowa State wins by a field goal. 

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