November 17, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers wide receiver Tavon Austin (1) carries the ball against the Oklahoma Sooners during the first quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners won 50-49. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Bold Predictions: Iowa State


Happy Thanksgiving to all Mountaineers!

The staff at HailWV has taken a minute away from stuffing our faces to jot down our bold predictions for the Mountaineers game tomorrow against the Cyclones of Iowa State. Hopefully the football team doesn’t fill up too much with turkey today so they are still hungry for Cyclones tomorrow.

Let’s see which writers believe the Mountaineers will be stuffing the fighting Paul Rhoads and splitting a couple of wishbones.

Ken Durbin:

On a day like today, you cannot help but be thankful that the Mountaineers have rediscovered their offensive prowess. It shows that we should at least be able to gun it out with the final two sub-par opponents left on the schedule (Iowa State and Kansas). Given the way we played against Oklahoma, I think the Mountaineers are back to playing almost as well as we were when we beat Texas (remember, the defense was terrible then too). I would say that it is a lock that the Mountaineers will become bowl eligible. We should be able to handle a mediocre Iowa State team and should outright slaughter FCS-worthy Kansas next weekend in Morgantown.

Iowa State’s defense is far and away a step down in competition from Oklahoma. The Cyclones rank 94th in total defense and 110th against the pass. That means good things for the WVU offense and especially for Geno Smith. Pairing the ever potent Smith-Bailey connection with Tavon Austin’s new found rushing attack, I expect the Mountaineer offense to rumble up and down the freshly plowed corn fields of Ames. I’m looking for the Mountaineers offense to pile up 650 yards of offense. Expect Stedman Bailey to be a key contributor against a weak ISU secondary with 12 receptions for 185 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Fortunately Iowa State is only middle of the road in passing offense (72nd) meaning that the Mountaineers defense should look a little more competent in this match-up. So in my boldest prediction of the season, I predict that the Mountaineers defense will have a banner performance. The defense will hold ISU to 350 yards and 28 points. I look for the defense to come up with 2 turnovers and force at least 4 punts.

WVU finally makes a bowl game with a 45-28 victory.

November 17, 2012; Morgantown, WV, USA; West Virginia Mountaineers receiver Stedman Bailey (3) gestures at the line of scrimmage against the Oklahoma Sooners during the third quarter at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners won 50-49. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon Miller:

This game looks pretty simple. If we could put up 49 points and 750 yards on Oklahoma, the offense should be fine against Iowa State. Thoughts of this being some sort of trap game should be gone- there’s nothing for us to overlook, we’re just trying to get bowl eligible. It just comes down to who can score more points.

Defensively, WVU will be putrid again. As Holgorsen said in his weekly press conference, we have guys playing corner that have no business playing corner in the Big 12. It is what it is. Let’s just hope it gets better next year.

Special teams have been a disaster the past few games too, from giving up big returns to missed extra points and blocked field goals. Again, I’m not sure how much we can hope for that to improve this year. But I hope it doesn’t cost us another game.

I don’t know how you can pick against Tavon having another huge game. I look for 350+ all purpose yards and 3 touchdowns from Austin. Geno gets his mojo back and puts in his strongest effort since Texas with 450 yards and 4 TDs. WVU wins a shootout in Ames 55 – 52.

Alan Searles:

I am going to go out on a limb and predict a resounding victory. We have played tough the last few games, are playing a weaker offense, and should have too much fire power for Paul Rhoad’s team. Yes, I realize Rhoads has our number and they have had many upsets at Iowa State, but for all of those statements that this is a lost team, I think Saturday proved that to be false. Instead we saw a team that simply couldn’t make enough big plays against a great team. This isn’t a great team. Really, its average at best. The only concern is whether they let down after the heart breaking loss, but if they were going to do that, wouldn’t they have done that already?

Another 300 yards plus from Tavon in all purpose yards (more evenly balanced though), and Stedman gets a pair of TDs. I also think that Terrance Garvin continues his uptick in play that we have seen the last couple of weeks, after being very quiet in the first part of year. Vegas and their lines be damned; 34-21 Mountaineers.

Patrick Pishko:

It’s that time again boys and girls! Two things will affect the outcome in Friday’s trip to Ames, Iowa: Geno’s ability to overcome his passing issues in the wind (forecasted wind gusts of 20+ mph) and the defense’s ability to get off the field on third down.

I honestly liked our chances in this game after the loss to Oklahoma; felt as though the offense got back in line. However, that went out the window when I saw the weather forecast. I hope I’m blowing this out of proportion, but wind definitely affected Geno at Texas Tech, even to the point where Holgs states it did. Holgs also went on to claim that the wind wasn’t even as bad as it could be in the Midwest (he would know).

Iowa State came into this season as a top defense, but injuries have affected that prediction. They definitely struggle against the run and have not been great against the pass. There is a silver lining for the Cyclones in that they do create a great deal of turnovers.

I look for this game to be placed squarely on the back of Tavon. I do not foresee him having the ridiculous game he did last week because Iowa St. was able to game plan for him, but I do predict a great day just for the sheer fact he is such a special player.

If West Virginia can contain the run and limit Iowa St.’s freshman QB, they will win, although I believe it will be closer than many of us expect or would like to see.

Predictions: Tavon Austin: 25 carries, 145 yds., 2 TDs.

Karl Joseph: 11 total tackles, 1 pass defensed, one forced fumble…we are learning this one can really lay the hammer down.

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Tags: Big 12 Iowa State WVU WVU Football