Good Cop/Bad Cop: West Virginia


Tyler Coe

MJ Anderson celebrates sack of Oklahoma quarterback Dylan Gabriel on Oct. 29.

Anthony Hanson and Payne Blazevich

Good cop: Anthony Hanson

The Cyclones were good on Saturday against Oklahoma. But, for the fifth straight week they weren’t good enough.

Hunter Dekkers recorded his second game of his career with more than 300 passing yards. The junior quarterback also tallied new highs for passing attempts and completions as the Cyclones again leaned heavily on the pass. 

The Cyclones, however, did show signs of evolution on the offensive end. 

For the second straight week Dekkers used his legs to gain more than 30 yards. In the air, Iowa State was able to better balance out the attack, with Dimitri Stanley having a career game with six receptions for 90 yards. Jaylin Noel showed his ability to get open by earning seven receptions and finding the end zone for his third time in two games. 

Dekkers is relying solely on his favorite target Xavier Hutchinson less and taking matters into his own hands regarding the struggles of the rushing attack.  

Iowa State came one step closer to solving its biggest problems against Oklahoma and has a glimmer of hope before facing its companion at the bottom of the Big 12 standings. 

The road to Iowa State’s first conference win has been much longer than Cyclones fans anticipated. But, marginal gains made week-by-week will culminate this week, and the losing skid will end. 

Iowa State and Dekkers will spread the ball around for a healthy offensive balance. Dekkers will continue to find success with his legs and add another wrinkle to Iowa State’s scoring attack. 

Prediction: Iowa State 24, West Virginia 14

Bad Cop: Payne Blazevich

Until Iowa State finds a way to put together a complete performance, the Cyclones will continue to drop games. 

The offense – specifically the absence of a run game – has continued to hinder Iowa State. Even out of a bye week, the offense wasn’t able to take a step forward. In fact, there appeared to be a regression from where the offense was against Texas. 

Dekkers threw three interceptions and the total run game amassed 66 yards. Dekkers was the leading rusher, escaping the pocket to pick up 31 yards. When the running back room isn’t able to make a noticeable impact on the game, the offense suffers.

The Oklahoma matchup was supposed to be an area where the Iowa State offense could find success. The Sooners struggled to shut down other conference opponents, but the Cyclones still failed to effectively move the ball. 

If the offense couldn’t click against Oklahoma, the unit probably won’t find much success against West Virginia. Although the Mountaineers have had their struggles on defense this season, the unit had an incredibly productive second half against No. 7 TCU. 

West Virginia held TCU’s offense to 13 points in the second half, compared to the 28 allowed in the first two quarters. When the defense made an adjustment to bring more pressure on the quarterback, the unit found success. 

At this point in the season, it’s unreasonable to expect a great deal of improvement from Iowa State’s offense. It’s possible that Dekkers can have a breakout performance or a running back like Cartevious Norton or Jirehl Brock finds a rhythm, but until the offense proves otherwise, it is unreasonable to expect the Cyclones to snap their losing streak. 

The defense will keep Iowa State in the game as they have done all season. But ultimately,  woes on the offensive end will lead to another loss in the Big 12. 

Prediction: West Virginia 20, Iowa State 14