Ames, IA (Sports Network) - Geno Smith passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns
to give the West Virginia Mountaineers a 31-24 victory over the Iowa State
Cyclones in a Big 12 Conference battle at Jack Trice Stadium.
Smith completed 22-of-31 attempts while under center for WVU (6-5, 3-5 Big 12),
which snapped a five-game losing streak and became bowl eligible with the win.
Shawne Alston racked up 130 yards and a touchdown on 19 attempts to pace the
rushing attack while Stedman Bailey reeled in seven receptions for 82 yards and
a score. Tavon Austin also had a very productive day with 261 all-purpose yards
and one touchdown catch.
Sam B. Richardson finished with 162 yards and three touchdowns on 13-of-31
passing for Iowa State (6-6, 3-6), which lost for the third time in four
outings to finish its regular season. Richardson also rushed for a team-high
119 yards. Josh Lenz made a team-best four receptions for 48 yards and a score
in the losing effort.
The only points of the opening quarter came courtesy of a 42-yard field goal by
Mountaineers' place kicker Tyler Bitancurt.
WVU added onto its lead at the 10:34 mark of the second frame when Alston
punched it in front a yard out to punctuate a five-play, 70-yard drive. The
Cyclones' ended the visitor's 10-0 run when Richardson completed an eight-yard
touchdown toss to Jerome Tiller with just under eight minutes to go before
The Mountaineers came right back with an eight-play, 70-yard touchdown drive
that ended when Smith connected with Bailey from six yards away. ISU closed the
gap just before the intermission as Richardson pushed the offense 71 yards down
the field in just 1:14 and completed an 18-yard pass for six points to Lenz
with 18 seconds showing on the clock. Richardson's second touchdown pass
narrowed the deficit to 17-14 as the game progressed into the second half.
Just like in the first half, Bitancurt opened up the scoring, this time with a
44-yard field goal at the mid-point of the third quarter. The Cyclones charged
back and took their first lead of the game with a 35-yard touchdown pass from
Richardson to Quenton Bundrage.
In the final quarter of play, Bitancurt chipped in a 35-yard field goal to put
WVU back on top, 23-21, with 9:35 left in regulation.
ISU countered as Edwin Arcea booted a 49-yard kick through the uprights that
gave the home team the lead with under seven minutes remaining. The
Mountaineers refused to quit and Smith then completed a short pass to Austin,
who found room to run 75 yards after the catch for the go-ahead touchdown.
Austin then rushed it for two points to put WVU up 31-24.
The Cyclones drove towards the Mountaineers' end zone on their next drive, but
Jeff Woody fumbled at the five yard line and the defense recovered in the end
zone. WVU then managed to run the clock out to become bowl eligible.
Both teams were able to produce on the ground as WVU rushed for 239 yards on 41
attempts and the Cyclones tallied 234 yards on 46 carries.
The Sports Network