The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

December 1, 2013

WVU drops final game of season to Iowa State in triple OT 

MORGANTOWN — Iowa State, ranked 97th in the nation in scoring, came from 31-7 down with a furious fourth-quarter comeback Saturday and laid 52 points on West Virginia University in winning, 52-44, in triple overtime.

Inspired when a fake punt by punter Kirby Van Der Kamp gained 21 yards and a crucial first down, his sixth successful fake of the season, Iowa State won the game on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Grant Rohach to Justin Coleman and two-point conversion pass to E.J. Bibbs. WVU’s final chance failed when a pass by quarterback Clint Trickett was tipped and caught short of the goal line on fourth down.

Iowa State won its second straight game to finish 3-9, while the Mountaineers closed out a disastrous 4-8 season.

“A lot of people deserved this moment this time – the players, first and foremost,” said Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads. “There were a lot of people that played, prepared, worked and never gave up on the season.

“They are the true Iowa State Cyclone culture and football team. The coaching staff is the same way. They’ve been knocked around and beat up, partially by me. They’ve been doing the best job they could.”

A crowd of 33,735, third-lowest in Milan Puskar Stadium history, saw WVU give the game away after leading 31-7.

“We have talked about finishing all year long. It is something that will be addressed in the off-season,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “We have had issues closing games this year. Why can’t we close games? It comes down to execution and a burning desire to win. You need a collection of guys not wanting to let each other down and coaches not wanting to let the players down. Obviously, we don’t have that right now.”

It was the other way on the other side.

“We just stayed focused and kept on playing,” said Paul Rhoads. “You can’t rush things in a situation like that. The fake punt probably provided a bit of an energy boost, but we never had a surprise onside or anything. We just kept playing, trusting that our defense could put up some stops and that our offense could do the job.”

Rohach did the job, throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns while also running for a 54-yard score.

Mario Alford, who had been coming all season as he got accustomed to West Virginia football after playing junior college ball, caught 8 passes for 215 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown, and senior running back Charles Sims surpassed 1,000 rushing yards.

“That meant a lot,” Sims said. “It’s something I can cherish, but I would have liked the win.”

Sims gained 149 yards, including a 76-yard TD run, to become WVU’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Noel Devine in 2009.

Trickett, who had missed the last game with a concussion, came back to quarterback West Virginia, completing 21 of 37 passes for 356 yards and two TDs.

Iowa State had trailed 17-0 and 31-7 before rallying in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 38-38, when quarterback Rohach hit Justin Coleman with a 19-yard TD pass. Iowa State scored 17 points in the final 9:38.

West Virginia gave it one final try, a Hail Mary pass being intercepted at the gun after the Mountaineers somehow took a delay-of-game penalty out of two consecutive timeouts to kill any chance they had of a miracle field goal.

The teams traded field goals in the first two overtime periods, West Virginia’s third overtime game of the season.

West Virginia opened up a 17-0 lead on a 49-yard field goal by Josh Lambert, a 7-yard TD scamper by Sims and a 38-yard fumble return by safety Karl Joseph.

Iowa State had a bit of trickery up its sleeve as Rohach made a spectacular fake on a zone read, and as most of WVU chased a “ball carrier” around right end, he turned up field and went 54 yards for the touchdown that made it 17-7.

But WVU was just heating up and as the first quarter turned into the second, Kevin White turned into a touchdown hero, latching onto a Trickett pass for a 17-yard score to make it 24-7.

 Iowa State tried to battle back into the game, reaching the WVU 8 with a first-and-goal before throwing it in reverse and missing a 42-yard field goal following a sack by Mountaineer defensive end Will Clarke, a sack that brightened his senior day that he celebrated with a little dance, something he had avoided doing for his whole career.

On the play after the missed field goal, Sims broke loose for a 76-yard touchdown run, WVU’s longest run of the season and a run that lifted him past 1,000 rushing yards for the season, putting the Mountaineers seemingly in control at 31-7.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: NCAA football is thriving in the digital age

    The other day Baylor football coach Art Briles walked into his graduate assistants’ office and had to laugh at what he saw.
    “There’s five guys sitting in there — a couple of GA’s and some office personnel — and they all are within a foot and a half of each other and not a one of them is talking to each other,” Briles said, describing the scene “Every one of them is on the phone.”

    April 24, 2014

  • O’Brien leads WVU baseball past Marshall

    Catcher Cam O’Brien made a bid at becoming only the second West Virginia University player to hit for the cycle as the Mountaineers jumped on Marshall early and routed their in-state rival, 10-3, behind strong pitching from Corey Walter and a pair of relievers.

    April 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions

    West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.

    April 22, 2014

  • Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games

    Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.

    April 22, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right

    The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.

    April 21, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads