It’s GAMEDAY in Ames, Iowa.
West Virginia vs. Iowa State
When? 3:30 p.m. on ABC
Forecast: Sunny with strong winds gusting to 30 mph and higher. Temperatures will be in the low 30s.
What’s on the line? If West Virginia wins this one on the road, the team will not have the task of waiting until the season’s last game to try and become bowl eligible. They can also keep a 7-5 regular season record within reach with a win and avoid finishing .500, or below .500. No one on this team played in the game, but back in 2007 (Iowa State Coach) Paul Rhoads, then a Pitt defensive coordinator, helped derail the Mountaineers national title hopes.
What are the big questions?
Who starts at quarterback for Iowa State? The options are Steele Jantz or freshman Sam Richardson who replaced an injured Jantz last week and threw four TDs against Kansas. How good is the Cyclones defense in the red zone? Iowa State is the only team in the conference that hasn’t given up more than 35 points a game and is 23-of-43 in the red zone. And what will West Virginia do with Tavon Austin? After rushing for 344 yards last week, he opens up the options on offense like no other player.
Best case scenario:
West Virginia finds success against a hobbled Iowa State secondary and is able to put some points on the board and relieve the pressure on the defense early. The cold and wind don’t disrupt things too badly and the team picks up that much needed win to become bowl eligible.