WVU Sports with Tom Bragg

WVU PASS OFFENSE VS IOWA STATE PASS DEFENSE

West Virginia had one of its best passing days in terms of production last week against Texas, but did throw four interceptions. The good news for WVU is freshman Sam James, the team’s leading receiver, is expected to play after leaving the Texas game with an injury. For Iowa State, senior safety Lawrence White is a tackling machine and has one interception and three pass break-ups so far this season.

EDGE: IOWA STATE

IOWA STATE PASS OFFENSE VS. WVU PASS DEFENSE

Cylcone quarterback Brock Purdy has been very good this season. The sophomore is on the short list of the Big 12’s best quarterbacks with 356.2 total yards per game and a league leading 315.6 passing yards per game. West Virginia has been decent against the pass despite depth issues in the secondary. Senior cornerback Keith Washington leads the conference in passes defended and is second in the Big 12 with three interceptions.

EDGE: IOWA STATE

WVU RUSH OFFENSE VS. IOWA STATE RUSH DEFENSE

The Mountaineers have not been able to establish much of a run game yet in game this season, though sophomore running back Leddie Brown has had some success moving the ball with a team-leading 5.2 yards per carry on just 25 attempts. Iowa State ranks third in the Big 12 in rush defense, allowing 113.6 yards per game. Cyclone linebackers are making a lot of tackles behind the line of scrimmage, led by sophomore O’Rien Vance 6.5 tackles for a loss.

EDGE: IOWA STATE

IOWA STATE RUSH OFFENSE VS. WVU RUSH DEFENSE

Purdy leads ISU in rushing with 203 yards and five touchdowns as the Cyclones continues to break in new featured running back Johnnie Lang, a sophomore. The Cyclones rank 8th in the conference at 159.6 rushing yards per game. West Virginia, meanwhile, is 7th in the league in rushing defense, allowing 181.2 yards per game. Junior defensive lineman Darius Stills is tied for 3rd in the Big 12 with 8.5 tackles for a loss this season.

EDGE: WEST VIRGINIA

SPECIAL TEAMS

West Virginia kicker Evan Staley’s up and down season continued in last week’s loss to Texas with two missed field goal attempts. Punter Josh Growden, however, has been very good with nine punts landing inside opponents’ 20 yard line. Iowa State kicker Conor Assaley is a perfect 23 of 23 on extra point attempts and has connected on 7 of 10 field goal attempts, with a long of 42 for the season.

EDGE: IOWA STATE

INTANGIBLES

Neal Brown and West Virginia had everything they wanted off the field working in their favor last week against Texas but still came up short against the Longhorns. Mountaineer fans will likely be out in full force again when Iowa State visits, but the home crowd only counts for so much. ISU coach Matt Campbell and the Cyclones haven’t been the same team away from Ames this season, but they don’t lose games in October — at least not in recent seasons.

EDGE: IOWA STATE