MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — 10:30 a.m.: Sitting here in West Virginia, when I saw WVU was going to take on Iowa State in early December in Ames, my first thought was a frozen tundra similar to the ice planet Hoth. Instead, it appears it will be cold, but not what I expected. With a high in the low 40s, the Mountaineers will look to upset No. 9 Iowa State with slim hope of a Big 12 title game berth.
WVU had a bit of a COVID-19 scare this week with several players testing positive and others forced to quarantine due to contact tracing. We should find out before kickoff what players are out.
2:58 p.m.: No confirmation on the reason, but WVU will be without wide receivers Sam James and Bryce Ford-Wheaton, safety Noah Guzman, tight end T.J. Banks and offensive lineman Blaine Scott. The receiver group will be the most affected, so the Mountaineers will need the likes of T.J. Simmons and Winston Wright to step up. It will be another opportunity to Isaiah Esdale.
3:33 p.m.: Iowa State is honoring its seniors for senior day, wearing the all black uniforms the Cyclones wore when they upset a top-10 WVU team in 2018 at Jack Trice Stadium.
3:43 p.m.: A promising start for WVU ends in no points after Leddie Brown is called for a false start on a 4th and 2. Tyler Sumpter’s punt sails into the end zone and the Cyclones will start at their own 20.
3:56 p.m.: Not an ideal start for WVU’s defense. With two chances to get off the field, the Mountaineers allowed Brock Purdy to run up the middle on a 3rd and long for a conversion. Later, Purdy hit Chase Allen on a 4th down, and the next play, Breece Hall scored from 20 yards out on a long run to give the Cyclones a 7-0 lead.
4:10 p.m.: The defense continues to struggle, but good news, a couple players are back from injury. VanDarius Cowan is in there at bandit and Taijh Alston is playing a defensive end.
4:19 p.m.: Purdy keeps and Iowa State scores from 10 yards out. WVU is in trouble to start the second quarter, down 14-0.
4:34 p.m.: Jarret Doege just had one of the biggest gaffs I’ve seen a quarterback make, throwing the ball three yards past the line of scrimmage on third down, resulting in a 5-yard penalty and loss of down. Casey Legg then missed the 41-yard field goal. Mountaineers doing an excellent job of looking like the team we’ve seen on the road all year.
4:54 p.m.: Touchdown Iowa State to extend the lead to 21-0. The Cyclones are 6 of 7 on third down and the Mountaineers simply cannot get off the field.
5:03 p.m.: We’re at halftime and that was the worst WVU has looked all season.
5:34 p.m.: Another poorly executed play by WVU’s offense as T.J. Simmons runs a 4-yard route on 4th and 6, and is stopped short. Iowa State will take over.
5:56 p.m.: T.J. Simmons drops a pass on 4th down and the Cyclones march right down and score again, this time as Purdy hits Charlie Kolar for a touchdown. Iowa State leads 28-0.
6:03 p.m.: Totally uninspired effort from the Mountaineers today with three weeks off. Iowa State scored on a long run to make it 35-0.
6:19 p.m.: Points! Tyler Sumpters field goal splits the uprights and the Mountaineers will not get shut out, but it’s still 35-3 Cyclones.
6:33 p.m.: Brock Purdy finds Breece Hall for another Iowa State touchdown. Don’t really have much to say about this one anymore.