Following a three-week break, the West Virginia Mountaineers returned to the field and probably wish they hadn’t as they were dominated by the No. 9 Iowa State Cyclones, 42-6, on Saturday evening.
The game started poorly and never got better for WVU (5-4, 4-4 Big 12). The Mountaineers opened the game with a productive drive that took them into Cyclones territory, but it ended in a punt that set up quarterback Brock Purdy and Iowa State (8-2, 8-1) at its own 20-yard line.
The Cyclones took over and orchestrated an 80-yard drive in 10 plays that was capped by a 23-yard touchdown run by running back Breece Hall. It would be the first of two touchdowns for the sophomore running back that is currently a Heisman candidate.
West Virginia answered the Iowa State scoring drive with a three-and-out. Iowa State scored on its second drive of the game with Purdy taking it in himself from 10 yards out to extend the lead, 14-0, early in the second quarter.
WVU quarterback Jarret Doege trotted onto the field focusing on getting the Mountaineers on the scoreboard. He put together a decent drive that pushed West Virginia into Iowa State territory at the 24-yard line.
The Mountaineers were unable to convert on third down and kicker Casey Legg attempted his first field goal on the day. Legg missed the 41-yard attempt with less than eight minutes remaining before halftime.
Following another Iowa State touchdown, the Cyclones took a 21-0 lead into the half.
Iowa State continued its dominant performance in the second half with Purdy tossing two more touchdowns. West Virginia avoided the shutout with two field goals from Tyler Sumpter who replaced Legg at placekicker.
In the end, Iowa State cruised to the victory, 42-6, to earn a spot in the Big 12 Championship game.
Doege finished the game 21-of-42 for 209 yards. Running back Leddie Brown failed to get into a rhythm for the majority of the game and finished with 48 yards on 14 carries.
After the West Virginia defense had been one of the best in the country for the entire season, the Mountaineers struggled against the Cyclones. Purdy went 20-of-23 for 247 yards and three touchdowns. Hall had 22 carries for 97 yards one rushing touchdown while he also caught three passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
As a team, Iowa State gained 236 rushing yards. WVU on average was allowing only 112 yards on the ground which ranked the defense No. 3 in the Big 12.
Next, West Virginia hosts No. 11 Oklahoma on Dec. 12 in Morgantown.