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Preview: Iowa State Cyclones

MORGANTOWN, W. Va. – (December 4, 2020) – The West Virginia Mountaineers enter this weekend’s matchup against No. 12-ranked Iowa State Cyclones needing a must-win to stay alive for a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game.

What it seems to be a month, the Mountaineers haven’t played any games since Nov. 14 because of the postponement of the Oklahoma game.

“We’re going to be fresh and ready to go,” Brown said. “Our guys were excited for the opportunity to play Oklahoma last week. It didn’t come and now we will channel that excitement to go on the road to play an Iowa State team that’s already qualified for the Big 12 championship.”

This game on Saturday if huge for both West Virginia (5-3, 4-3 Big 12) and Iowa State (7-2, 7-1 Big 12) as both teams are fighting to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. 

ISU has already qualified to travel to Arlington on Dec. 19 to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. WVU needs a lot to happen to go to Arlington, but it is still possible, and it starts on Saturday.

The Cyclones were upset by Louisiana at the beginning of the season 31-14. The only loss ISU has in conference play is when they traveled to Stillwater and lost to Oklahoma State 24-21. 

Their biggest wins of the season were defeating Oklahoma in October and Texas, last week.

The Iowa State offense is led by Brock Purdy. Purdy completes 64 percent of his passes for 2,025 yards. The three-year starter has thrown for 14 touchdowns on the year.

The Cyclones offense is heavily relied on Breece Hall’s running game. Hall leads the conference in rushing yards (1,260) and rushing touchdowns (16). 

This matchup between Breece Hall and the Mountaineers rush defense will be very intriguing to pay attention to.

WVU’s defense has taken a much-needed 18-day break. The defense is 14th in the country allowing 17.8 points per game. 

West Virginia allows 112.5 rushing yards per game.

Tykee Smith, the Stills brothers and Akheem Mesidor will get plenty of opportunites to get tackles for losses as Hall gets 22.2 rushing attempts per game.

Josh Chandler-Semedo will get an opportunity for get back on the field after missing the TCU game. The junior has three sacks on the season.

Leddie Brown is the running back that is right behind Hall in the Big 12 leaderboards. The Philly native is second in the conference in rushing yards (897) and rushing touchdowns (9). Brown ran for 156 yards on 24 carries on Nov. 14 against TCU.

Jarret Doege has not thrown on interception in six weeks since the Kansas game. Doege is first in the conference in passing completions with 203. 

T.J. Simmons will look to keep up his run the last few games. The former Crimson Tide recorded 90 yards for four catches with two touchdowns against the Horned Frogs.

West Virginia is looking to end a two-game skid against Iowa State. The last time the Mountaineers beat the Cyclones was in 2017 when WVU won 20-16 in Morgantown.

WVU leads the history series 5-3.

The Mountaineers and Cyclones will kick-off at 3:30 P.M. in Ames. Coverage will be on ESPN.

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