College Football
Preview
West Virginia at Iowa State
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, December 5, 2020
Where: Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, Iowa

Approaching a first conference championship in 108 years lends itself to reflection.

Big 12-leading Iowa State knows all about that, even though the No. 9 Cyclones have only clinched a share of the conference regular-season title as they yearn to cement their spot in the league championship game.

"Every once in a while, I will think about all the accomplishments," senior wide receiver Landen Akers said. "I think we really came up from nothing and brought this program to be something."

Iowa State sits atop the conference standings at 7-2 overall, 7-1 in the Big 12. A win against visiting West Virginia in Saturday's regular-season finale would assure a spot in the conference championship, but a slip-up could muddle the picture as several other teams play games next week following previous postponements related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Several things beyond a Mountaineers victory in Ames, Iowa, on Saturday would need to happen, but even West Virginia (5-3, 4-3) could vault into contention for a top-two conference finish and a spot in the Big 12 championship game later this month.

Make no mistake, that would represent quite a rally for the Mountaineers, who follow their trip to Iowa State by hosting No. 11 Oklahoma, the defending conference champion, next week.

"It's two teams playing as good as anybody in our league to finish up," West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. "The keys for us to win are we're going to have to take care of the football, we've got to establish a run game and stop the run. Down the stretch, those are going to be critical pieces for us."

The Cyclones extended their winning streak to four games with a 23-20 victory at then-No. 17 Texas on Nov. 27. Breece Hall rushed for a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown with 1:25 to play and finished with 91 yards on 20 carries.

While Hall was held under 100 yards for the first time this season, he gained 30 of the team's 69 yards on its final drive. Brown said Hall is "playing as good as any offensive player in our league right now" and recalls his heroics during the Cyclones' 38-14 victory in Morgantown, W.Va., last season -- 26 carries for 137 yards and three touchdowns.

Hall ranks second in the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns and 1,260 yards on the ground, helping the Cyclones to 195.9 rushing yards a game, second in the conference.

Iowa State has limited West Virginia to fewer than 200 yards of total offense in the schools' past two meetings, both Cyclones victories. Defensive lineman Latrell Bankston earned conference defensive player of the week honors after collecting five tackles and two sacks, both career highs, at Texas.

West Virginia has been idle since defeating visiting Texas Christian on Nov. 14 behind 195 rushing yards from Leddie Brown and a pair of touchdown passes from Jarret Doege to T.J. Simmons.

The Mountaineers were set to host Oklahoma on Nov. 28, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns in the Sooners' program.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
West Virginia 5-3 W1 29.4 17.8 5-0 0-3 0-0 0-0 4-3
Iowa State 7-2 W4 33.1 23.0 4-1 3-1 5-1 0-0 7-1
Last Meeting
West Virginia Iowa State
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/12/19 ISU 38 WVU 14 190 41 149 372 143 229
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
West Virginia J. Allison 75.0 140 1 1
Iowa State B. Purdy 63.3 229 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
West Virginia L. Brown 10 26 2.6 0
Iowa State B. Hall 26 132 5.1 3
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
West Virginia T. Simmons 5 75 15.0 1
Iowa State L. Pettway 8 81 10.1 0
Touchdowns Player TD
West Virginia T. Simmons 1
Iowa State B. Hall 3
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
West Virginia J. Doege 65.9 2219 13 3
Iowa State B. Purdy 64.5 2025 14 6
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
West Virginia L. Brown 165 897 5.4 9
Iowa State B. Hall 200 1260 6.3 16
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
West Virginia W. Wright Jr. 42 494 11.8 2
Iowa State X. Hutchinson 42 523 12.5 4
Touchdowns Player TD
West Virginia L. Brown 11
Iowa State B. Hall 17
Quickchart Matchup
West Virginia West Virginia Off vs  Iowa State Iowa State Def
West Virginia 442.6 yards
Iowa State 348 yards
West Virginia 4.1 yards/rush
Iowa State 3.2 yards/rush
West Virginia 7.2 yards/attempt
Iowa State 7.8 yards/attempt
Iowa State Iowa State Off vs  West Virginia West Virginia Def
Iowa State 437.1 yards
West Virginia 274 yards
Iowa State 5.4 yards/rush
West Virginia 3.3 yards/rush
Iowa State 7.7 yards/attempt
West Virginia 5.7 yards/attempt