West Virginia vs. Iowa State Prediction, Game Preview

    West Virginia vs. Iowa State prediction and game preview. The Mountaineers try to improve to 7-4 as they host the Cyclones in Morgantown.

    September 26, 2016


    It’s the final game of the Paul Rhoads era, fired last week but coaching the season-ender for Iowa State (3-8) after a bit of a hard-luck season. West Virginia (6-4) comes in on a three-game winning streak becoming bowl eligible last week. Check out the Iowa State vs. West Virginia prediction and game preview.

    Iowa State vs. West Virginia Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, November 28
    Game Time: 12:00 pm
    Venue: Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV

    Network: Fox Sports 1

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    Why You Need To Care

    The Cyclones have nothing to lose. Losers of three in a row and six of the last seven, they haven’t been able to come up with that one big win needed – but they’ve been close. Unfortunately, close didn’t count for Rhoads or the season, giving Oklahoma State all it could handle in a 35-31 loss, and followed it up with a 38-35 loss at Kansas State last week. Beating West Virginia wouldn’t change anything, but it would be a nice moment in a frustrating year.

    West Virginia is now working for a decent bowl, and securing the No. 5 spot in the Big 12, with the potential for a great finish with a win in the home finale and closing out against Kansas State. It might not have been the big season Mountaineer fans might have hoped for, but the team just couldn’t get past the four-game run against the league’s top teams. However, just when it seemed like there was a problem, the wins started to come with good victories over Texas Tech and Texas to right the ship.

    Why Iowa State Will Win

    The running game has rocked over the last two games. It’s actually been solid over the second half of the season with 232 yards or more in four of the last five games, with 249 yards and three scores against Oklahoma State and 238 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas State. West Virginia’s front seven has been mediocre against the decent ground games, allowing 227 yards or more in three games in four weeks before stopping Kansas cold. Iowa State should be able to rumble.

    Why West Virginia Will Win

    The Mountaineer offense has been terrific in terms of balance, but this week it should be able to rock through the air. It’s been a hit-or-miss passing game, but this is when it’s time to bomb away against an Iowa State secondary that hasn’t even been close. The Cyclones have allowed 968 yards and eight touchdowns with no picks in the last three games, and that includes last week against a Kansas State team that can’t throw a lick. On the year, ISU has allowed quarterbacks to connect on 62% of their chances with 27 touchdowns and four interceptions.

    Player Who Matters

    Skyler Howard has been okay, but the West Virginia junior quarterback needs to be better. The Mountaineer offense has mostly worked when the ground game’s been cranking it up, but Howard has only hit the 200-yard mark once in Big 12 play. That’s not the biggest problem – he’s not consistent enough. Good for at least one pick a game in each of the last eight, he also only completed 60% or more of his throws just once against conference teams. To beat the high-powered Big 12 teams, the passing game will have to be better next year, and that means Howard has to close out strong to show he can do it.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    West Virginia will be too good at home. Iowa State has come painfully, achingly close to coming up with a big win, and while it’ll empty the cupboard in the last game of the year, the run defense won’t be able to hold up, and Howard will come up with a solid performance.

    Iowa State vs. West Virginia Prediction

    Final Score: West Virginia 38, Iowa State 20, Line: West Virginia -14, o/u: 59.5

    Must See Rating: 5: Creed – 1: Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade … 2.5

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