West Virginia took on Iowa State in their final game of the season. The Mountaineers couldn't send their seniors out with a victory. It took overtime, but West Virginia was defeated by Iowa State 52-44.
Iowa State's offense took the field first as quarterback Grant Rohach and company failed to get anything going to start the game. The West Virginia defense forced two incompletions and kept a screen pass to Jensen Watson to a minimum.
It would be Clint Trickett getting the start for the Mountaineers. Tricket would go 21 for 37 for 356 yards and 2 touchdowns on the night.
Running back, Charles Sims would lead the way early. A 17-yard run by Sims brought the Mountaineers into Cyclone territory.
Sims would finish the game with 149 yards and 2 touchdowns.
However, the offense would stall shortly after. West Virginia would settle for three. Kicker, Josh Lambert put the ball through the uprights from 49-yards out to give the Mountaineers and early 3-0 advantage.
After both teams went cold and exchanged a series of punts. West Virginia's punter, Nick O'Toole would pin Iowa State on their own three yard line.
Pinned deep, Rohach committed the first turnover of the game. Rohach was picked off by Nick Kwiatkoski as the Mountaineers took over with excellent field position. Sims wasted no time as he and the Mountaineers capitalized on the turnover. Sims took the ball in for a 7-yard touchdown run. West Virginia would take 10-0 lead late in the first quarter.
The Mountaineer's defense wouldn't stop after the interception. Cyclone's running back, Aaron Wimberly would cough up the ball as Karl Joseph scooped up the fumble and returned it 38-yards for a touchdown. Joseph would extend the Mountaineer's lead to 17-0.
The Cyclones went back to work after two straight turnovers. Rahach would find wide receiver Tad Ecby but Ecby would be stopped short of the first down. Iowa State elected to go for it on fourth down and managed to run it up the gut to get a new set of downs. Rahach would then break off a 54-yard touchdown run to give the Cyclones life. Iowa State narrowed the deficit to 17-7 late in the first quarter.
West Virginia's offense would look to answer. Trickett found wide receiver, Mario Alfred for a 30-yard pass completion and then again for 40-yards as the first quarter came to a close. Trickett then threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Kevin White. The Mountaineers lead would grow to 24-7 to start the second quarter.
Alfred amassed 215 yards and one touchdown while White picked up 27 yards and one touchdown.
"They played well, but we didn't win the game," said wide receivers coach Lonnie Galloway. "Mario had a good game. The offseason starts tomorrow."
The rushing attack for the Cyclones continued. After a big pick-up on the ground from Shontrelle Johnson, Rohach found wide receiver, Justin Coleman just inside the ten yard line. Tough goal line defense from the Mountaineers would lead to a sack by Will Clarke, forcing the Cyclones to a kick a field goal. Cole Netten's 42-yard field goal banged off the right upright leaving the score at 24-7 in favor of the Mountaineers.
In a blink of an eye the Mountaineers would score once more. Sims took the ball 76-yards down the field increasing the Mountaineer's lead to 30-7 midway through the second quarter. With that run, Sims picked up 1,000 yards on the season, the first Mountaineer to do so since 2009.
"It's a great accomplishment," said Sims in regards to getting 1,000 yards. "I just wish we would've won that game, hard fought battle."
Facing an uphill battle, the Cyclones got a spark from Wimberly who took a 34-yard pass from Rohach into Mountaineer territory. Rohach completed a 10-yard touchdown strike to Quenton Bundrage to conclude the drive. Iowa State would chip into West Virginia's lead, 31-14.
On the Mountaineer's next offensive possession, Trickett would complete several passes to move West Virginia into Iowa State's side of the field. Running back, Wendell Smallwood would appear to have committed West Virginia's first turnover. Smallwood fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Iowa State, halting the drive just beyond midfield.
Upon further review, Smallwood was ruled down and West Virginia's drive was kept alive. However, Trickett wouldn't be able to connect with Jordan Thompson, bringing up fourth down.
West Virginia went for it on fourth down. Trickett would be sacked on the play, losing the ball in the process. The Mountaineers turned it over on downs, giving the Cyclones the ball at midfield.
The Cyclones would turn to a trick play to begin their drive. A flea-flicker-like play saw a lateral back to Rohach who connected with E.J. Bibbs on 12-yard completion. The Mountaineers would hold though, forcing a punting situation.
A long pass play from Trickett to Alfred got the drive going for the Mountaineers. After a good mix of run and pass plays and an unnecessary roughness call against the Cyclones the Mountaineers appeared to be in business. The Cyclones' defense would hold the Mountaineers to a field goal. Lambert's kick would be no good from 51-yards out.
West Virginia would take a 31-14 lead into halftime.
After the Mountaineer's offense punted the ball away on their first possession of the second half, the Cyclones took over. A well-balanced attack landed the Cyclones in the red zone. Another solid red zone stop by the West Virginia defense held the Cyclones to a field goal try.
Iowa State's field goal attempt was blocked by Avery Williams, leaving the score at 31-14.
Charles Sims continued his success into the second half. Sims would bust one up the middle for 18-yards to start West Virginia's ensuing drive. Fellow running back, Dreamius Smith would get in on the action as well. Smith took a handoff for 45-yards down the field, setting the Mountaineers up in the red zone.
It seemed only fitting to throw Smallwood into the mix. However, Smallwood would fumble the ball on the 1-yard line. Iowa State would come up with the fumble recovery.
E.J. Bibbs would pick up big yardage for the Cyclones as Rohach found him wide open in the middle of the field. The Cyclones would bring the third quarter to end, threatening inside the Mountaineer's 20-yard line.
Johnson would cap off the 99-yard drive by the Cyclones with a 3-yard touchdown run. The Cyclones would take advantage of the fumble, climbing their way back into the game, 31-21.
Just as it seemed like things were going Iowa State's way, the Mountaineers answered. Trickett found Alfred open on a slant pattern which led to a 76-yard touchdown pass. The Mountaineers would get some breathing room early in the fourth, 36-21.
The Cyclones would be forced to go three and out on their next possession. The Cyclones would fake the punt though, picking up 21-yards on the play for a first down.
Rohach then found Bundrage in the middle of the field. Bundrage took the pass 62-yards into the end zone. The Cyclones responded, bringing the game within ten once again.
The Mountaineers tried to answer but after a completed pass to Vernon Davis, Davis fumbled the ball after picking up the first. The Cyclones would come away with another turnover.
The Cyclones would then face another fourth down. Rohach would find Coleman across the middle, converting on another fourth down. The Cyclones would then have to settle for three after the Mountaineer's defense managed to force Rohach to throw incomplete on third down.
The Cyclones would make it a one possession game, 38-31 late in the fourth quarter.
"Everything bad that could have happened, did happened," said senior Doug Rigg. "(There were) people missing assignments. Everything that could've gone wrong went wrong in the fourth quarter."
Trickett on the ensuing drive would contribute to the late-game turnovers. Trickett would throw an interception, setting the Cyclones up in WVU territory.
"They were weird turnovers," said Trickett. "It was a weird game. It was what it was. We made some turnovers we couldn't have. It was a tough game."
Another West Virginia turnover, led to another Iowa State score. Rohach found Coleman for a 19-yard touchdown to knot the game up with one minute to go in the fourth quarter.
West Virginia would be unable to get anything going on their final possession, bringing about the end of regulation.
The Mountaineers elected to give Iowa State the ball first in overtime. The Cyclones were held to a field goal attempt after a big tackle in the backfield from Joseph. Netten's 40-yarder split the uprights, giving the Cyclones the lead in overtime, 41-38.
West Virginia took to the air, but to no avail. The Mountaineers were also held to a field goal attempt. Lambert booted through a 41-yard field goal to retie the game, sending into a second overtime.
Iowa State elected to go on defense first in the second OT period. Trickett would complete a pass to Alfred bringing them to the 13-yard line. However, the Mountaineers would have to settle for three again. Lambert connected again, this time from 26-yards out, giving West Virginia a 44-41 lead.
Iowa State would go to the run game, pounding the ball down the middle. The Mountaineers were able to stop the rushing attack just outside the 10-yard line. Netten would connect on a 26-yard field gold to even the score at 44.
West Virginia would go back on defense to start the third overtime. The Cyclones only needed one play to find the end zone. Coleman reeled in another touchdown pass to give the Cyclones the lead. Rohach would then find Bibbs on the two point conversion. Iowa State would go up, 52-44 in the third overtime.
Trickett and the offense would then find Sims for a 22-yard pass, setting the Mountaineers up inside the 10-yard line. The Cyclones defense managed to bring up a fourth down for the Mountaineer's offense. The Mountaineers failed to get the ball into the end zone, losing the game 52-44.
"Obviously, (this was) a disappointing end of the game," said head coach Dana Holgorsen. "It was a disappointing end to a disappointing season."