The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

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.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos