Players to Watch: West Virginia

Xavier Hutchinson had 12 catches, 125 yards and two touchdowns in the Cyclones’ 24-21 win over No.8 Oklahoma State on Oct. 23.

Matt Belinson

Iowa State: Xavier Hutchinson (WR)

It was a career-day on Saturday for the Cyclones’ No. 1 wide receiver.

Xavier Hutchinson finished with a career-high 12 receptions for 125 yards and two touchdowns in Iowa State’s 24-21 win over Oklahoma State, officially cementing himself as Brock Purdy’s favorite target.

And Saturday could be another chance for Hutchinson to stand out. The Mountaineers rank ninth in the Big 12 in pass defense, allowing opposing offenses to throw for 248 yards a game through the air.

He could be due for another big afternoon for Purdy and this offense if the numbers for both teams on paper come true Saturday. Hutchinson leads Iowa State in receptions, yards and touchdowns.

And while his 2020 season earned him Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year, Hutchinson is already on pace to break his impressive debut season. He already has more touchdowns than last year, with four in 2020 and five already this year. He also sits at 539 receiving yards, where as he finished with 771 last year.

West Virginia: Leddie Brown (RB)

The Mountaineers aren’t without their own offensive weapons. Running back Leddie Brown produced at a high level last year in the Big 12, he was just overshadowed by Breece Hall’s stellar season. 

Brown and Hall were the only running backs in the Big 12 last season with at least 1,000 rushing yards, as Brown ended with 1,010 yards and nine scores.

But like Hutchinson, the senior tailback is primed to surpass his rushing totals from a season ago. Brown has 533 yards to his name this year and nine touchdowns and is coming off a 111-yard, three touchdown performance against TCU on Oct. 23.