STAFF PICKS: West Virginia Mountaineers

Oct 6, 2018; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver David Sills V (13) catches a pass during the third quarter against the Kansas Jayhawks at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

chris williams – Iowa State 27, West Virginia 24

I hate picking the good guys here. Would rather go against them, to be honest. I’ve studied this game all week and see a hole in West Virginia’s offensive line that Iowa State’s stout defensive front should be able to exploit. The game will come down to Iowa State’s continued improvement on the offensive line and the consistency of Brock Purdy. West Virginia is a very good football team. They are better on defense than they get credit for and Grier is the real deal. I just think that Iowa State has finally found its stride and expect a fun second half of the season in Ames.

Jared Stansbury – iowa state 38, west virginia 34

David Montgomery returns to be Brock Purdy’s backfield running mate and busts his longest run of the season early in the game. The Cyclones’ defense forces two turnovers, including a late interception by someone besides Braxton Lewis to seal the win.

Brent Blum – iowa state 27, west virginia 24

The mindset of CycloneNation has done a complete 180. Now, a majority of Cyclone fans believe Iowa State can compete and potentially defeat an undefeated, top ten team. Defeating four ranked teams in the last 14 games like Iowa State has done can do that to a psyche. No disputing West Virginia is great, but Iowa State is the best defense the ‘Neers have seen this year. Couple that with an amped atmosphere and expect some Magic at Jack Trice.

Rob Gray – iowa state 28, west virginia 24

I trust ISU’s defense to keep this game close and I now trust the offense to make enough plays to win it under the lights. Turnovers will swing this game, and I expect the Cyclones to win this battle on Saturday night — and improve to 5-2 in their last seven games against ranked foes.

Jeff Woody – west virginia 33, iowa state 24

I picked ISU to beat Iowa. They didn’t. I picked ISU to beat Akron by 40. They didn’t. I picked ISU to beat OU. They didn’t. I picked ISU to beat TCU. They didn’t. I picked ISU to lose to OSU. They didn’t.

Jay Jordan – iowa state 34, west virginia 31, OT

The strange thing about WVU has been that their games have been close until they explode late to extend.  However, if Tech had played more aggressive defense in the first half that game might have turned out differently.  Iowa State poses some issues for their offense.  They also have the potential to cause some defensive problems.  Iowa State holds serve and squeaks a narrow and confidence building win.

Kevin Fitzpatrick – iowa state 30, west virginia 28

I expect a bit of a “back down to Earth” game from Brock Purdy and think we could see him throw one or two picks against a tricky WVU defense. Luckily, the ISU defense should present a great challenge to Will Grier too and I think this one stays close throughout. Connor Assalley nails a field goal with under a minute left in this one to give the Cyclones another victory over a top 25 team.

Kirk Haaland – iowa state 35, west virginia 31

The computer says that West Virginia is going to roll into Ames with a 37-27 victory. But, ya know what? Sometimes computers are wrong. Like last week when the Cyclones were predicted to lose in Stillwater but left with a 48-42 victory. This game is set up to be a lynch pin for how high the rest of the season can go, will it be a ho-hum six win season or a special year with eight or nine victories?

West Virginia is led by Will Grier and their top ten offense by They have the country’s third-best success rate (61.3 percent) but they’re also explosive but they do have a vulnerability for turnovers and negative plays. The Mountaineers turn the ball over on 16.4 percent of possessions (115th) and register a negative yardage play on 13.5 percent of plays (124th). Two areas that the Cyclone defense is trending upward with.
But the real story for ISU may well be Brock Purdy doubling down and “proving” his performance from last week. He doesn’t have to be 400 yards and five touchdowns good, but we’ll need more from the offense than we got versus Iowa and TCU. Hopefully, he has David Montgomery standing next to him in the backfield come Saturday night to aid in his cause.

Jared Stansbury


Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.