PREDICTIONS: No. 14 Iowa State at West Virginia

WHAT: No. 14 Iowa State (6-2, 4-1) at West Virginia (5-3, 3-2)
WHEN: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Morgantown, W.V.
LINE: West Virginia (-2.5)

Chris Williams, Cyclone Fanatic Publisher

There’s a reason why all week long I have been gushing about Iowa State’s ability to win different types of football games. Last week was an ugly, grind it out style of win vs. an elite defensive opponent. West Virginia could not be more opposite to that. The Mountaineers are giving up an abysmal 6.13 yards per play on defense – the – 102nd worst mark in the country. Iowa State should be able to sustain plenty of long drives in this one, which will be key in keeping the defense off of the field vs. the up-tempo Mountaineers. I have a ton of respect for Morgantown. It is a brutal place to play. But I simply believe that Iowa State is the better football team in this matchup.

THE PICK: Iowa State 31, West Virginia 24

Brent Blum, Cyclone Fanatic Columnist 

Iowa State is going to need to put up some points in this one. Nobody in the country takes more deep shots than West Virginia and I expect them to hit a couple. The game rests on David Montgomery’s capable shoulders and he needs a big afternoon. Prepare for a humdinger.

THE PICK: Iowa State 31, West Virginia 27
Rob Gray, Cyclone Fanatic Staff Writer

During our weekly “Monday Rundown” podcast, Jared Stansbury and I both said we expect an ISU win. I stand by that. If either David Montgomery finds space to run, or Kyle Kempt continues to hit an array of big receivers for big plays, the offense will do its part. If both pieces are working, look out. I expect the defense to pressure Will Grier and struggle a bit against Justin Crawford and company, but not enough to give up huge numbers — on the stat sheet or the scoreboard.


MATT CAMPBELL: “The Ego is the Enemy” as ISU seeks to keep rolling

Jeff Woody, Cyclone Fanatic Analyst
Two things stick out about this game. The first is Will Grier’s interception numbers, and the second is the 3-3 stack defense that WVU plays. Sure their stats aren’t great and they don’t have the horses Texas does (the last predominantly 3 down team ISU played), but this defense has the schematic capacity to give ISU fits like the Horns did if they’re not on the ball. If ISU can force Grier into mistakes like other teams have, ISU comes out winning a tense game for 50 minutes with a little coast at the end.
THE PICK: Iowa State 30, West Virginia 20
Jay Jordan, Cyclone Fanatic Analyst
It is pick your poison for West Virginia.  Allow David Montgomery space to stop the vertical pass, or leave the secondary exposed while trying to stop the run. Be patient and lean on Crawford more than Grier, or let it fly in to the teeth of the defense. Maybe back and forth for a little bit, but ISU pulls away for a decisive win.
THE PICK: Iowa State, 45, West Virginia, 20
Kirk Haaland, Cyclone Fanatic Contributor 

Can they do it again and keep this ball rolling? If they do, the path to a conference championship game becomes insanely real. By CFB Analytics numbers, West Virginia has the 14th best offense and the 67th best defense, if the Cyclones are to win the offense will need to put more drives together than they did against the tough TCU defense. I’m just not sure the Cyclone defense can keep up with this stingy pace. I know, I know. Why can’t you pick the Cyclones?? I’ve been rolling with the CFB Analytics machine all year, which has mostly matched up with the Vegas spread. The odds makers have the Mountaineers by 3.5, we are nearly identical.

Jared Stansbury, Cyclone Fanatic Staff Writer
I don’t think West Virginia’s defense is very good. I also think Will Grier takes a lot of risky chances and that plays straight into Jon Heacock’s hands. The Mountaineers will gain some yards, but I don’t think they’ll put enough points on the board.
THE PICK: Iowa State 31, West Virginia 21
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Cyclone Fanatic Contributor
I love that the Cyclones have found multiple ways to win in their current four-game streak, and I expect it to continue against an inconsistent Mountaineers team. The offense gets back on track while the defense lets up a few scores, but does enough to secure the win. It’s time to bring home the Riot Bowl trophy.
THE PICK: 38 Iowa State Dumpster Fires, 24 West Virginia Burnt Couches