AMES, Ia. — It’s October. Go time for an Iowa State football team that seemingly never loses during this bewitching month.
But more on that later.
For the second season in a row, the Cyclones upset an opponent that featured a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate — this time 30-14 against a West Virginia team that came to town as the Big 12’s lone unbeaten.
Baker Mayfield and Oklahoma a year ago.
Will Grier and sixth-ranked West Virginia on Saturday night.
Iowa State’s blossoming tradition of upsetting the college football universe was about what the Cyclones did to render Grier useless.
Freshman sensation Brock Purdy played in just his second game of significance. And did you see the beautiful, 32-yard touchdown pass he lofted over double coverage that Deshaunte Jones caught in the end zone?
As well as the kid played — again — in overshadowing Mr. Heisman Candidate, Iowa State’s most recent upset was about Jon Heacock’s defense.
Don’t get me wrong. Purdy was sensational. David Montgomery was marvelous, after sitting out last Saturday’s victory at Oklahoma State. Hakeem Butler … there’s no more words remaining to describe what the 6-foot-6 receiver means to the team and to Purdy. Throw the ball in his direction, and he’s catching it or drawing pass interference.
But the veteran assistant coach wearing the sunglasses on the sideline was the real story of Iowa State’s sixth win in its last six October games.
And all this happened with his best player — lineman Ray Lima — out because of concussion that happened a week ago.
Three-man front or four? Pressure or no pressure? Blitz or play your position?
In West Virginia’s case, the result was running scared in the end zone to the extent that a holding penalty created a game-sealing safety.
Will Grier met his match, and then some.
Heacock & Co. kept West Virginia’s offense guessing throughout this game, just like it did on a very important third-and-2 play late in the third quarter from the Mountaineers’ 31-yard line. On this down, Heacock sent in a fourth lineman. Tendencies showed that Grier hands off in situations like this.
Third-down defensive success. Fourth-down punt.
The Mountaineers’ eighth punt of the game, in fact, after having a total of 12 kick-aways in the previous five.
That’s how good Heacock’s defense played on this night — and has played this entire season, for that matter.
It had seven sacks with 4 minutes left in the game, including two each by Spencer Benton.
Talk about bringing heat.
These Cyclones sackmasters had seven by seven different players last Saturday at Oklahoma State. That’s 14 in two games.
Now, back to this crazy Iowa State October statistic.
Last October, Iowa State’s wins were against third-ranked Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas Tech and No. 4 TCU. In 2018, the October wins so far have been against then-21st-ranked Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
It’s not like Iowa State has played a bunch of Big 12 pumpkins; half of the wins were on the road, too, so hold all those patsy comments.
This night was simply the latest in the Cyclones’ October onslaught.
Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2018/10/13/iowa-state-upsets-west-virginia/1636511002/