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DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 30, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Milan Puskar Stadium (60,000) -- Morgantown, West Virginia. Television: FS1. Home Record: ISU 1-5, WVU 3-2. Away Record: ISU 1-4, WVU 1-4. Neutral Record: ISU 0-0, WVU 0-1. Conference Record: ISU 1-7, WVU 2-6. Series: WVU leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The Iowa State Cyclones and West Virginia Mountaineers will close out their respective seasons on Friday evening in Morgantown when the two meet up for a Big 12 Conference clash at Milan Puskar Stadium.
Iowa State will miss out on a bowl game for the second time under fifth-year head coach Paul Rhoads. However, the Cyclones did manage to end a seven-game losing streak with last weekend's 34-0 shutout win over Kansas. The temperature at kickoff time for that game was eight degrees, making it the coldest game ever recorded in school history.
West Virginia is coming off a bye and has also been eliminated from postseason contention thanks to losses in five of its last six games. The Mountaineers also faced Kansas their last time out but suffered a much different result as the Jayhawks claimed a 31-19 victory to snap a 27-game Big 12 losing streak. For the Mountaineers, the losses ended their streak of 11 consecutive bowl games, which was tied for eighth-longest in the country.
This marks the Cyclones' first-ever visit to Morgantown. WVU notched a 31-24 road win over Iowa State last season in what was the only prior meeting between these two programs.
Iowa State's offense posted season-highs of 300 passing yards, 202 rushing yards and 502 total yards in the win over KU. Grant Rohach displayed marksman- like accuracy, completing 15-of-20 passes for 300 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Justin Coleman finished with eight catches for 78 yards, while Quenton Bundrage caught his seventh TD pass of the season to make it a 20-0 game midway through the third quarter. Bundrage's seven scoring grabs are tied for the sixth-best single-season total in school history. The Cyclones scored on 4-of-5 red-zone opportunities (two TDs, two FGs) and are now 29- of-31 on the season (21 TDs, eight FGs), which tops the Big 12 and ranks seventh nationally.
Iowa State's shutout was its first over a conference foe since blanking Baylor by a 41-0 margin back in 2001. The defense seized the momentum with a key stand on 4th-and-1 in the second quarter at the ISU 13-yard line while clinging to a 10-0 lead. Senior linebacker Jeremiah George racked up a game- high 14 tackles and also forced a fumble, as he has now posted double-digit tackles in nine of 11 games this season. George paces the Big 12 and ranks third nationally in tackles per game (11.5), while his 11.0 tackles for loss in league play rank third in the conference. Jacques Washington recovered the fumble that George jarred loose and finished with a career-high 13 stops.
There has been no use trying to predict which Mountaineers offense will show up from week to week, as they have been held below 20 points on four occasions, including twice in single digits, and also eclipsed 30 points five times. In their latest showing at Kansas, the Mountaineers opened the game with a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive but then needed another 12 possessions to find the end zone again. However by then, it was simply too late. Running back Charles Sims was solid in defeat, as he rushed 16 times for 99 yards and a score. Paul Millard threw two touchdowns and two interceptions and finished with 242 yards on 23-of-42 passing.
Defensively, WVU allowed the Jayhawks to churn out 315 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. James Sims accounted for 211 of those yards and three touchdowns by himself, and he averaged nearly a first down per carry (9.6 ypc). The Mountaineers were giving up so many yards on the ground that KU freshman quarterback Montrell Cozart attempted only 12 passes for the game. The Jayhawks posted 14 first downs, and all but two came on the ground. Will Clarke paced WVU with 10 tackles (nine solo), including two for loss. Nick Kwiatkoski chipped in with eight stops, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery in a losing effort.
Both of these teams faced Kansas their last time out and produced very different results. Still, Iowa State has been brutal on the road this year, while the Mountaineers will no doubt want to atone for their last performance and treat the Morgantown faithful to a win in the season finale.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: West Virginia 27, Iowa State 23
11/27 11:09:45 ET
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