Week 9 College Football Picks: Iowa State vs. West Virginia Prediction & Betting Pick
Iowa State vs. West Virginia
Spread: Iowa State -7
Game time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET
Where to Watch: ESPN +
The Iowa State Cyclones have won three straight games, including a close, down-to-the-wire battle last week against the Oklahoma State Cowboys. This week, they look to keep their Big 12 title hopes alive as they head to Morgantown to face West Virginia. The Cyclones started the season at 2-2 with a pair of losses to Iowa and Baylor, which were the two best teams on their schedule up until that point. The wins for Iowa State came against Northern Iowa, UNLV, Kansas and Kansas State. Not a single one of those being against an upper-echelon opponent.
Iowa State finally was able to get an impressive and quality win, beating previously undefeated Oklahoma State, 24-21, in a game that was the best game of the season for not only the team but especially for QB Brock Purdy. Oklahoma State pretty much shut down Iowa State’s ground game, holding the Cyclones' outstanding RB Breece Hall to just 70 rushing yards. But, Purdy threw for 307 yards, completing 27-of-33 passes, and had 3 TD’s through the air. The Iowa State defense, after some first half struggles, made some good adjustments in the second half and proceeded to allow just a single TD drive to Oklahoma State, as the Cyclones 12th-ranked defense in the country in yards per play allowed turned up the heat down the stretch to preserve the victory.
West Virginia limped into their bye week, suffering consecutive losses to Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Baylor. It was starting to appear as if the season was getting away from the Mountaineers, but West Virginia used the bye week to hit the reset button and they returned to the field with a solid game in a wire-to-wire victory on the road against TCU.
The defense has been solid for the most part this season for West Virginia, outside of the blowout loss to Baylor. Last week’s win against TCU was the best game of the season for the Mountaineers' offense, which had a very efficient and balanced attack in the win against the Horned Frogs. QB Jarret Doege threw for 257 passing yards while RB Leddie Brown spearheaded a ground attack that combined for 229 rushing yards, and Brown alone had 111 of those yards running the football.
That balanced offensive attack will need to be there against Iowa State. I’m encouraged by the fact they were able to run the football and received one of the better performances in the passing game from Doege--an inconsistent QB for the last couple years. That could position them to at least compete on their home field with a very good Iowa State squad.
When teams struggle going into their bye week in College Football, it can be difficult to determine if they can get the train back on the tracks so to speak, but West Virginia was able to park the disappointment of those three straight losses and use the bye week to wipe the slate clean.
I think that proves West Virginia, who are now 3-4 on the season, still want to finish strong and try to make their way toward gaining bowl eligibility, at the very least. West Virginia head coach Neal Brown said his team played their most complete game of the season last week on both sides of the football. I think that could be a springboard to them also playing well this week and giving Iowa State a very tough game.
Iowa State won and covered against the two Kansas schools in Big 12 play but failed to cover in their other two conference games against Baylor and Oklahoma State. West Virginia is better than Kansas and Kansas State but isn’t quite as good as Baylor or Oklahoma State. That being said, I think the Mountaineers are good enough to make this a competitive contest, especially with this game being in Morgantown. It’s worth noting that West Virginia is 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 home games.
Week 9 College Football Picks: Iowa State vs. West Virginia
Pick: West Virginia +7 @ -108