Iowa State Random Recall: West Virginia



Iowa State’s Jake McDonough and A.J. Klein work to bring down WVU running back Shawne Alston on Friday, Nov. 23, at Jack Trice Stadium. Klein recorded a season-high 14 tackles during the Cyclones’ first-ever matchup against West Virginia.

Sam Stuve

Editor’s note: Each week, the Iowa State Daily will look back on a notable matchup from the past between the Cyclones and whoever they are playing that particular week.

This week, assistant sports editor Sam Stuve takes us back to the first ever game between Iowa State and West Virginia, a 31-24 West Virginia win.

West Virginia’s first season in the Big 12 featured a road trip to Ames for a date with Iowa State on Nov. 23, 2012. And what a barn-burner it was. 

The Mountaineers came into Ames with a modest 5-5 (2-5 Big 12) record, but had gotten off to 5-0 start the season, reaching as high as No. 5 in the AP Poll before losing five games in a row leading up to the game against the Cyclones.

On the other hand, the Cyclones were 6-5 (3-5 Big 12) and had just beaten Kansas 51-23 on the road. For both teams in this game, it was the rushing attack that led the way.

Running back Shawne Alston led the way for West Virginia with 130 of West Virginia’s 239 rushing yards and he had the game’s first touchdown, which put West Virginia ahead 10-0 early in the second quarter.

The Mountaineers out-rushed the Cyclones in this one, but it wasn’t by much.

Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson had 119 of Iowa State’s 234 rushing yards. The Cyclones’ primary game-plan was to establish the run, as they had Richardson, three running backs, three wide receivers and even punter Kirby Van Der Kamp run the ball (on a fake punt).

Richardson’s 119 yards on 18 attempts helped move the ball, but it was the passing attack that got Iowa State in the end zone three times with Jerome Tiller, Josh Lenz and Quenton Bundrage recording one receiving touchdown each. 

While Richardson did have three touchdowns and zero turnovers in this one, he did not have an efficient game through the air even with the three touchdowns.

He was 13 for 31 (41.9 percent) for 162 yards.

The difference maker in this game was the fourth quarter. Heading into the fourth quarter, Iowa State held a slim 21-20 lead. Both teams exchanged field goals which put the score at 24-23 Iowa State, after Edwin Arceo made a 49 yard attempt with 6:42 left that put it ahead.

On the ensuing West Virginia drive, it took one for that Iowa State lead to disappear and it the lead didn’t change hands for the rest of the game. 

Quarterback Geno Smith, who is starting for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, found future NFL wide receiver Tavon Austin on a pass that was taken to the house from 45 yards out and put West Virginia ahead 29-24.

Austin then punched in the two-point conversion attempt to put the Mountaineers up 31-24 6:31 remaining.

The Cyclones were within arms reach of tying the game, but a Jeff Woody fumble at the Mountaineers seven yard line with four minutes left gave the Mountaineers the ball back and a chance to drain the clock out, which it did, to win 31-24.