AMES, Iowa (AP) — Freshman Brock Purdy threw for 254 yards and three TDs and Iowa State throttled sixth-ranked West Virginia 30-14 on Saturday night, handing the Mountaineers their first loss in emphatic fashion.
David Montgomery had a career-high 189 yards rushing for the Cyclones (3-3, 2-2 Big 12), who capped a wild day by beating a Top 25 team for the fifth time in seven tries.
West Virginia (5-1, 3-1) was the fourth Top 10 team to fall Saturday. LSU pounded No. 2 Georgia 36-16, No. 7 Washington fell 30-27 in overtime at No. 17 Oregon, and No. 8 Penn State lost to Michigan State 21-17.
Iowa State scored 20 straight points after spotting West Virginia an early touchdown off a turnover. Purdy then found Deshaunte Jones through a pair of defenders on a sprawling 32-yard TD grab that, after a two-point conversion, put Iowa State ahead 28-14 with 12:17 to go.
The story of the game was Iowa State’s defense, which dominated the high-flying Mountaineers on a windy and chilly night. West Virginia gained just 152 yards, 420 below its season average.
Fittingly, the Cyclones sealed the win by forcing a hold in the end zone for a team safety and a 30-14 edge with 5:14 left.
Will Grier had arguably his worst game as a Mountaineer, throwing for just 100 yards. West Virginia was outgained by 346 yards, a stunning figure for a team that hadn’t even trailed in rolling up five straight wins.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers still control their destiny in the Big 12, with games against Texas and Oklahoma left on the schedule. But their playoff hopes are currently out of their hands. Still, it’s early, and if West Virginia can regain the offensive form they showed through the early part of the season it’ll be tough to beat. But this was a bad, bad loss.
Iowa State: The Cyclones have held all six of their opponents below their season average, which has been instrumental the team’s bounce back from a 1-3 start. Can Iowa State grab the second spot in the Big 12 title game? Probably not — but the schedule will ease up considerably and these Cyclones seem capable of going on a run.
West Virginia’s fate will rest on how many voters realize what kind of defense Iowa State has in 2018, and how well the Cyclones have played in big games over the past two years — especially at home.
West Virginia hosts Baylor on Oct. 25.
Iowa State is off next week.