The game did not start out the way Neal Brown or the Mountaineers envisioned. A three and out by the offense led to a huge run by Breece Hall as the Iowa State Cyclones took a 7-0 lead early and it looked like another blow out loss. This is where things got interesting as the offense, in what looks to be a complete reversal, looked functional. Quarterback Jarret Doege looked sharp on out breaking routes and moved down the field and Leddie Brown would find paydirt to tie the game at 7.
The defense, rejuvenated by an offense capable of picking it up when it made mistakes, started getting after the Cyclones and forced a three-and-out. The offense would go three and out and once again a broken play by the defense led to a huge play for the Cyclones. At 14-7, the Cyclones looked like they just had an answer for the Mountaineer defense.
The second quarter saw the Mountaineer implement their “Oklahoma” offense as they methodically drove down the field and ate up the clock. Doege would find Bryce Ford Wheaton in the endzone and tie the game at 14. Following another Iowa State three-and-out, the Mountaineers would once again drive the field and this time they kicked a field goal to make it 17-14.
West Virginia appeared to be in control and looked to take an even bigger lead after they forced another Iowa State punt but a Jarret Doege pass hit Wheaton in the hands and he bobbled the pass up and it was intercepted by Iowa State. Trading field position with punts, the Cyclones would eventually get the ball back and get into a hurry up offense. Driving the field with passes they got to the 30 before the defense stiffened up and forced a field goal. At halftime, the teams were all tied up at 17.
Starting the second half, the Mountaineers would force a quick three and out but the bad luck goblin would strike the Mountaineers. Jarret Doege would hit Bryce Ford Wheaton on a long pass play and he would take it close to the goalline only to be called for offensive pass interference. It was a cowturd call. The resulting penalty put the Mountaineers at first and 30 and Doege would float a pass outside that was picked off easily for a touchdown.
Could the Mountaineers respond? This is where the Mountaineers had fallen apart before, one bad play would lead to another and erase any goodwill we’d seen. Garret Greene would start the series before once again being pulled on third and five. Doege would come in and find Ford Wheaton on a huge throw and then follow it up with another touchdown pass to Wheaton. Wheaton would leap and get one foot down.
Unfortunately for the Mountaineers, the defense was unable to respond as Breece Hall would rip off another long run and put the Cyclones inside the five yard line. On third and goal, Brock Purdy would pull down the keeper and race outside for a touchdown giving the Cyclones a 31-24 lead.
The following drive showed everything good and everything bad with the Mountaineers. Leddie Brown ripped off multiple big runs and helped move the ball. Then for some reason the Mountaineers started switching quarterbacks and were forced to burn two timeouts in the span of a few plays. It looked like the Mountaineers were going to roll over before a defensive pass interference call gave the Mountaineers life back. With 14:49 left in the fourth, Doege found Winston Wright Jr on a post and tied the game at 31.
West Virginia would finally get a holding call in their favor when on second down the Cyclones held pushing them back and stalling their drive. A block in the back on the Iowa State punt pushed the Mountaineers back to their 13. A Leddie Brown run would get the team out of the shadow of their own endzone before Jarret Doege once again teamed up with Bryce Ford Wheaton on an out and up for a HUGE gain. A pass interference penalty would put the ball at the 2 yard line and Leddie Brown would run it in to give the Mountaineers a 38-31 lead with 9:25 to go.
The Cyclones drove the field and looked like they would tie the game before quarterback Brock Purdy fumbled at the goalline and through the endzone. The resulting call gave the Mountaineers the ball at their own 20 and a chance to eat up the clock. As the Mountaineers drained the clock an errant Doege pass on third down set up a put up or shut up moment for the defense.
Purdy would drive the field and give the Cyclones a chance. With no timeouts left, Iowa State false started with 0:14 left which ran ten seconds off the clock. Neal Brown called his final timeout and the defense, which had weathered the Cyclones potent attack all game, came up with one more knock down as they kept the Cyclones from scoring and won 38-31.
The Mountaineers are now 4-4 and look in good position as they move forward for the season.