Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown, West Virginia.
Saturday November 28, at Noon ET.
How to watch?
Saturday's game will be televised nationally on FS1.
The Iowa State Cyclones (3-8) (2-6 Big 12) are not only coming off two heart breaking losses which eliminated their bowl hopes but also the firing of their head coach Paul Rhoads. Rhoads coached the program for 7 seasons including the current one before being fired after the conclusion of the Kansas State loss. This team goes into a game with West Virginia playing for it's seniors, and a former head coach who will be there with them on the sideline for his last game as well.
Despite what their 3 win season may indicate to those who do not know many details of this program there have been bright spots. This team almost knocked off Oklahoma State who at the time was undefeated and ranked in the top 5. This team had a redshirt freshman break well over a thousand rushing yards in Mike Warren and they have found a consistent wide receiver quarterback duo for the future with sophomore quarterback Joel Lanning and sophomore wide receiver Allen Lazard.
Their youth hasn't only produced on offense either. Redshirt freshman cornerback Brian Peavy has been a force to reckon with on his side of the field. He has produced 2 interceptions along with a whopping 10 pass breakups. The growth can be attributed to opposing quarterbacks attacking his inexperience. He stands at only 5 feet and 9 inches but could potentially be a problem for West Virginia's wide receiver tandem of Shelton Gibson and Ka'Raun White.
There's one more note worthy part of this Cyclone defense and that is senior defensive end Dale Pierson. He has certainly put some draft stock together after collecting 8.5 sacks in 11 games. Though the Mountaineers are run heavy now look for this type of pass rush to aid Brian Peavy when Mountaineer quarterback Skyler Howard drops back.
The Mountaineers of West Virginia (6-4) (3-4 Big 12) are bowl eligible after a 49-0 thrashing of the Kansas Jayhawks. There have been losses that shaped this teams postseason chances but now these next couple of wins will shape it's bowl quality. The Mountaineers can look forward to playing other quality teams who currently have 8 wins like Oregon, Ole Miss and others including rival Pittsburgh.
The Mountaineers have found their offensive identity in the run game. They erupted for 426 rushing yards at Kansas and the game before against Texas it was 257. The duo of Rushel Shell and Wendell Smallwood aren't the only ones doing the damage either as quarterback Skyler Howard has scored on the ground in these past two games also.
The passing game is not elite but Howard has posted a passing touchdown in each of the last two contests. The receivers are many and give the Mountaineers an advantage in fighting fatigue.
The motive and game plan are there.
West Virginia will over power the Cyclones up front and keep the substitutions going for the skilled positions as well effectively demolishing their defense. Iowa States young offense will be no match for a red hot defense of West Virginia clicking on all cylinders right now. They both have excellent motivation to go out and play a football game but on paper the Mountaineers have this game.