Cyclones fall to Mountaineers on senior day

Beau Berkley

The ISU football team (2-9, 0-8 Big 12) remains winless in the conference after dropping their final home game of the season to West Virginia (7-5, 5-4 Big 12) with a score of 37-24.

ISU quarterback Sam Richardson finished with 275 yards and two touchdowns off 26 completions, and running back Aaron Wimberly racked up 77 yards on 22 rushing attempts. However, a balanced West Virginia offense was too much for the ISU defense.

West Virginia running back Rushel Shell broke the deadlock in the first quarter as he darted 54 yards for the first touchdown of the game. Not to be out done, on Iowa State’s first possession Wimberly punched through the line for a touchdown to knot it up 7-7.

Richardson, who finished the first quarter with seven completion on nine passing attempts, then found Wimberly in the back of the end zone to put Iowa State ahead 14-7 after a missed field goal by West Virginia.

West Virginia has been plagued by turnovers all season and that held true in the second quarter when ISU safety Kamari-Cotton Moya recovered a West Virginia fumble, marking the Mountaineers 27th turnover on the season. Richardson capitalized and found Tad Ecby downfield for a 29-yard touchdown. 

West Virginia closed the gap on the next drive as receiver Mario Alford brought in a 29-yard touchdown catch of his own and then brought the Mountaineers back and tied the game at 21 after catching a 4-yard touchdown on their next possession. 

The Mountaineers would then rely on the leg of their kicker, Josh Lambert, who would hit two straight field goals to give West Virginia the 27-21 lead heading into halftime. 

Aside from a field goal from ISU kicker Cole Netten, the third quarter was relatively quiet until the Cyclones dialed up a fake field goal run by holder Austin Fischer, who was able to convert for a first down to end the third quarter. At the start of the fourth quarter, however, Iowa State was unable to capitalize on the momentum as Richardson threw an interception in the end zone. 

West Virginia would go up 34-24 off a 15-yard touchdown pass and another field goal from Lambert would put the score at 37-24, where the score would remain until the clock wound down. 

West Virginia’s regular season is finished, and the Mountaineers will likely head to a post-season bowl game, while Iowa State still has one more game before the end of the season. 

The Cyclones travel to Fort Worth, Texas, Dec. 6 to play the No. 6 TCU Horned Frogs (10-1, 7-1 Big 12), who are still in the hunt to qualify for the playoffs. The kick-off time had not yet been announced.