Punt, pass and pick: Iowa State takes on West Virginia

Isd Sports Staff and Danielle Gehr

Aaron Marner (4-1)

Sports editor

West Virginia 37, Iowa State 35

After last week, I don’t know what to think about this Iowa State team.

Before the year started I said Iowa State would split the two games between Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Truth be told, I felt like West Virginia at home would’ve been an easier win for the Cyclones than winning in Stillwater, Oklahoma, for the first time since 2000, but I’m sticking with my prediction that Iowa State goes 1-1 in that two-game stretch.

The Cyclones’ defense faced its toughest task against Oklahoma in September, but West Virginia and Will Grier are a close second. Grier could win the Heisman this year and the Mountaineers have a great receiving corps.

I think Brock Purdy has another big game, but I don’t like his odds of out-dueling Grier in his first career start. Iowa State’s best hope Saturday is to win the turnover battle — if they do that, I could see Iowa State pulling out the victory.

Instead, I’ll take West Virginia in a close game.

Noah Rohlfing (4-1)

Assistant Sports Editor

West Virginia 42, Iowa State 29

Yes, yes, I’m picking against the Cyclones again.

Despite the really great offensive performance from last weekend, there’s a lot of work to be done still with the Cyclones as they enter the Brock Purdy era.

Iowa State had trouble for much of the game against Oklahoma State in preventing explosive plays. If you’re looking for a non-explosive opponent, West Virginia isn’t it. Led by Will Grier and wideout David Sills, the Mountaineers can strike at any moment. Grier has 21 touchdown passes already, and Trevor’s Heisman favorite will surely have his moments.

Iowa State won’t go down easy. The black jerseys will be out, and the atmosphere will be great. But, the battle for the flaming couch will go to the Mountaineers in what should be an entertaining contest.

Trevor Holbrook (2-3)

Assistant sports editor

West Virginia 40, Iowa State 31

So you enjoyed the offensive outpour from last week? Then do I have a game for you this week. We’re in for a good ole’ fashioned Big 12 shootout.

If you’ve followed the Cyclones at all during the past week, you’ve probably heard the name Brock Purdy (or a play on words of his name). The freshman sparked the Iowa State offense that scored 48 points — the most since the Cyclones’ 66-10 win over Patrick Mahomes and Texas Tech in 2016.

While it took the Cyclones a handful of games to click on offense, the Mountaineers have hit on all cylinders since the start of the season.

The fewest points West Virginia’s scored in a game this season came against Kansas State with 35. It’s worth noting that the Mountaineers has played a soft schedule so far (West Virginia’s final four games are against Texas, TCU, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma, yikes). The toughest opponent — a 3-2 Texas Tech — kept the game close in a 42-34 loss.

Regardless, expect quarterback Will Grier to pile up the stats and West Virginia to throw points on the scoreboard in bunches.

Danielle Gehr (0-0)

Managing editor of print

Iowa State 54, West Virginia 17

I said this last year when I did the guest pick, and I will say it again: I don’t know sports.

I really tried. My whole family is into them and I’m just sort of an outsider. They told me I couldn’t join in for the NFL predictor cup (which my entire family does) because I was just wasting $20. Sports editor Aaron Marner kindly tried to give me some background for Saturday’s game, but I zoned most of that out. What did stick was that West Virginia (mountain mama) is ranked No. 6. That sounds pretty good to me. But a quote from one Kevin Malone came to mind.

“If anyone gives you 10,000 to one on anything, you take it. If John Mellencamp ever wins an Oscar, I am going to be a very rich dude.”

I would enjoy the satisfaction of one of my crazy predictions coming true — that crazy prediction being Iowa State winning. Also, last year I was tasked with predicting the Iowa State – Oklahoma game. I went with the safe bet, and look where that left me. So Iowa State will DESTROY West Virginia Saturday.

If Iowa State wins, I am going to be a very rich dude … with pride.