Tavon Austin's electrifying end-around gives West Virginia their sixth victory of the season, defeating Iowa State 31-24.
The Mountaineers are officially eligible for a bowl game after a hard fought match in Ames, Iowa.
Despite 11 penalties for a total of 107 yards, West Virginia was able to pull out a victory, their first since October 6, against Texas.
The Mountaineers had a three point lead at halftime. A one-yard punch from Shawne Alston and a six-yard catch and turn from Stedman Bailey were the two touchdowns from WVU. Bitancurt added a 42-yard field goal as well
Quarterback Sam Richardson tossed two touchdown passes in the first half. The first was for eight-yards, and then he followed that with an 18-yard pass to Josh Lenz.
Early in the fourth quarter, it seemed Tavon Austin made yet another game-changing play. On an ISU punt, Austin wiggled and weaved for a 68-yard return touchdown. However, KJ Dillon was called for a holding penalty on the punter right before Austin crossed the 20-yard line.
Austin would have a second chance to make a difference on the next drive. On the very first play, Austin took a flick 75-yards to the end zone for the go-ahead score. He then went outside on a two-point conversion where he reached the ball over the goal line to give West Virginia a seven point lead.
Iowa State drove to the WVU seven-yard line, when the defense came up huge. Darwin Cook forced Jeff Woody to fumble, and Karl Joseph hopped on the ball in the end zone giving the Mountaineers the ball back at their 25-yard line.
The Mountaineers were then able to control the ball until the time ran out.
The two teams exchanged leads four times throughout the game, all coming in the second half. For the majority of the time, it was a battle of the two kickers: Tyler Bitancurt and Edwin Arceo.
Bitancurt capitalized on three-of-four field goal attempts, connecting on kicks of 35, 42, and 44-yards. Arceo hit the post just as Bitancurt did on one of his attempts, but later nailed a 49-yard field goal to give Iowa State the lead.
Geno Smith was 22-31 with 236 yards in the air and two touchdowns. Sam Richardson for the Cyclones did his best to match that. The freshman was 13-31 with 162 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the team in rushing with 119 yards on 18 attempts.
Tavon Austin had 74-yards rushing, 99-yards through the air, and 46 return yards. Stedman Bailey managed seven receptions for 82-yards.
Leading the way for WVU on the ground was Shawne Alston, it was his first full workload since early September. He finished with 130 yards and that one touchdown, but his effectiveness was most visible on third down and short situations.
Overall, the Mountaineers converted on 6-of-13 third down tries.
This was Iowa States final game of the season, they are bowl eligible. The Mountaineers will wrap up their regular season next weekend against Kansas at home, it will be the final home game for several Mountaineers.