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.
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.
Jeff Woody, Cyclone Fanatic Analyst
Jay Jordan, Cyclone Fanatic Analyst
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
Kevin Fitzpatrick, Cyclone Fanatic Contributor