ShareThis Page
WVU

West Virginia holds on to knock off No. 14 Iowa State

| Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, 8:00 p.m.
West Virginia's David Long Jr. tackles Iowa State's David Montgomery on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 in Morgantown, W.Va.
Getty Images
West Virginia's David Long Jr. tackles Iowa State's David Montgomery on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017 in Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia's David Sills V catches a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first half against Iowa State's D'Andre Payne on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va.
Getty Images
West Virginia's David Sills V catches a 10-yard touchdown pass in the first half against Iowa State's D'Andre Payne on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia's Justin Crawford rushes against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va.
Getty Images
West Virginia's Justin Crawford rushes against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W.Va.
West Virginia wide receiver Ka'Raun White runs downfield during the first half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W. Va.
West Virginia wide receiver Ka'Raun White runs downfield during the first half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017, in Morgantown, W. Va.
West Virginia's Al-Rasheed Benton (3) celebrates following an interception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Morgantown, W. Va., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Walter Scriptunas II)
West Virginia's Al-Rasheed Benton (3) celebrates following an interception during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Iowa State in Morgantown, W. Va., Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017. (AP Photo/Walter Scriptunas II)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Will Grier threw two touchdown passes, Justin Crawford broke out of a three-game slump with 102 rushing yards, and West Virginia held on for a 20-16 victory over No. 14 Iowa State on Saturday.

West Virginia (6-3, 4-2 Big 12) became bowl eligible and knocked the Cyclones (6-3, 4-2, No. 15 CFP) out of a four-way tie for first place.

Iowa State trailed 20-0 late in the second quarter and never recovered in losing on the road for the first time.

West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen had publicly ridiculed his team for lacking toughness last week in a loss to Oklahoma State, and the Mountaineers started well Saturday on both sides of the ball and their big lead held up.

“I was proud of our guys with the way that they responded with me kind of calling them out,” Holgorsen said. “We ran the ball effectively and played pretty smart.”

The Cyclones got the ball back with the chance to go ahead with five minutes left, but West Virginia's Kenny Robinson broke up Kyle Kempt's fourth-down pass to Marchie Murdock at the Iowa State 37.

West Virginia's Kennedy McKoy then ran for a first down on third-and-17, and the Mountaineers ran out the clock.

“I give so much credit to our kids,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “They just kept fighting and kept playing. They gave themselves a chance to win at the end of the football game. We just came up short. A lot of those had to do with some of our inefficiencies in the first half.”

Grier rebounded from his worst performance of the season last week when he threw four interceptions against Oklahoma State.

He found Ka'Raun White for a 63-yard pass on the game's first series. White would have scored easily except he stepped out of bounds with no one around him at the Iowa State 10.

David Sills caught a scoring toss on the next play to increase his national lead to 16 TD catches.

White made up for his gaffe early in the second quarter with a 55-yard TD reception from Grier between two defenders. Grier finished 20 of 25 for 316 yards, his eighth 300-yard performance of the season.

But West Virginia was held scoreless in the second half, and Iowa State crawled back behind Kempt's 1-yard TD pass to Allen Lazard and three field goals from Garrett Owens.

Crawford had been held to 45, 30 and 47 yards in his previous three games. He was effective in keeping drives going Saturday and had a season-high 25 carries. He left the game after getting up slowly early in the fourth quarter and didn't get a carry the rest of the game. West Virginia compiled 208 rushing yards after averaging 75 in its three previous games.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.