The West Virginia Mountaineers sent their seniors off with a win in their last home game, and Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads out with a loss, this afternoon in Morgantown. West Virginia defeated the Cyclones 30-6, retaining the coveted Riot Bowl Trophy, and moving to 7-4 (4-4 Big XII) on the season.
West Virginia's offense wasn't what we come to expect after the last three games, and struggled to move the ball at times. The Mountaineers came into this game averaging around 6 yards per carry, but the Iowa State defense managed to hold them to about 4.5 yards per attempt today. Skyler Howard led the team with 73 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown on 13 attempts. Wendell Smallwood and Rushel Shell were relatively quiet today. Smallwood accumulated yards 72 on 15 carries, and Shell added 41 yards and 1 touchdown on 10 carries. Howard was 12/26 for 202 yards, 1 touchdown and 1 interception through the air. Shelton Gibson managed to shake whatever has been holding him back and led the team with receiving yards and 2 touchdowns, and came very close to hauling in at least 3 more.
The mostly senior-led Mountaineer defense was lights out once again. KJ Dillon and Daryl Worley each picked off Iowa State QB Joel Lanning. Noble Nwachukwu was the unsung hero of the game, keeping constant pressure on the Iowa State quarterback throughout the game and disrupting everything the Cyclones tried to do.
West Virginia will finish out the regular season next Saturday in Manhattan, KS against noted wizard Bill Snyder and his Kansas State Wildcats. The game is scheduled for a 4:30PM EST kickoff and will televised on Fox Sports 1.