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First Half Thoughts Against ISU

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 30 Iowa State at West Virginia Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
  • West Virginia came out in a speed huddle and quickly got a first down. When WVU ran the ball with Leddie, Iowa State closed quickly. They are keying on Brown.
  • Iowa State breaks a huge run on their third play as Breece Hall quickly makes it 7-0. The few fans who are here are already mad and they should be. This is miserable.
  • Iowa State sends the kickoff through the endzone, negating their horrific special teams. Thought this might be a game where Winston Wright could flip a field but he’s not going to get a chance.
  • Early so far but Doege is 4-4 and moving the ball through the air. The deep pass to Esdale misses badly. Not sure what happened there as Doege faked a run play but no one was around to fake to.
  • Good misdirection play there as Doege hands off to Brown and he picks up a huge run. Doege makes a great throw to the endzone but the Iowa State corner Anthony Johnson breaks up the pass. TJ Banks takes a short checkdown and rumbles to the 4 yard line.
  • The line got a good push and Leddie found a hole and pushed his way through for a touchdown. The team needed a good response after the Iowa State touchdown. The team has found good success through the air in the short passing game, which is Doege’s strength.
  • Defense responds with a solid three-and-out. That was the perfect response for the defense. They gave up a big play on the first drive. Offense responded with a touchdown and the defense gets a three-and-out.
  • Greene opens the third series with a toss sweep to Leddie before sailing a pass over the head of the wide receiver. He is subsequently pulled and Doege over throws Kaden Prather.
  • Iowa State responds to the three-and-out by a broken play where no one was within 20 yards of Tarique Milton. Everyone was worried when Purdy broke contained and scrambled and Milton was left W-I-D-E O-P-E-N.
  • Iowa State seems content to let West Virginia get 6-8 yards a pass. The Mountaineers have broken a few plays but Iowa State is wrapping up nicely. The out breaking routes are open all day so far for West Virginia as Esdale makes a beautiful grab to get a foot down inbounds.
  • The defense responds with a huge three-and-out. On third down Josh Chandler Semedo breaks through and sacks Purdy. The ensuing punt sees Esdale break a huge return and the Mountaineers are feeling salty today. Looks like they have no intention of rolling over.
  • The offense continues to find plays. Tony Mathis breaks off a big run to start the drive and Jarret Doege looks nothing like the quarterback who has played from 2019 through Baylor. He seems more decisive and his throws has been more on point. So far this looks completely different than what we’ve seen for the past 28 games.
  • The offense stalls as Doege is flushed from the pocket on third down. If the line holds he had Esdale breaking free in the endzone. Instead Casey Legg kicks a field goal and the Mountaineers are up 17-14 with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
  • The defense is really feeling itself now. On third down they get pressure and Breece Hall barely slips through for a first down. Next third down they break Purdy around and he has to throw it away.
  • Things are getting chippy now and West Virginia isn’t backing down from Iowa State and the Cyclones don’t like it.
  • On third and ten Doege steps up in the pocket and looks like he is going to run but fires a pass to Esdale for a big first down.
  • A slant pass thrown to Bryce Ford Wheaton gets tipped and Iowa State picks it off. Tough break as West Virginia was cruising. Wheaton has to make that catch.
  • Lance Dixon flushes Purdy and rushes his throw and the defense forces a punt following the interception. The team is just playing better, both sides working together. The offense picked up the defense following two broken plays. The defense picked up the offense following a turnover.
  • Now the Cyclones in a hurry up mode and pressing and moving the ball. This is the first time their offense has looked in sync all game. West Virginia would be thrilled to go into the half tied at 17.
  • The defense stiffens and forces a field goal by Iowa State. Game tied at 17 all with 18 seconds left. This has to be a win by the Mountaineers for the first half.

West Virginia has controlled the clock so far, owning the ball for almost 19 minutes and other than two busted played on defense have held the Cyclones in check. Jarret Doege is 18-28 for 168 yards and a touchdown. The Mountaineers have rushed for 61 yards on 14 carries (4.4 YPC) and really have been very methodical and surgical on their drives.

Brock Purdy is 8-15 for 129 yards but 70 of those came on one throw. The Mountaineers have harrassed him all game. Breece Hall has 81 yards on 10 carries but 70 of those came on 1 play.