Iowa State 52, West Virginia 44 (3 OT)

Bob Hertzel, The Sports Xchange

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Iowa State, ranked 97th in the nation in scoring, came from 31-7 down with a furious fourth quarter comeback and beat West Virginia, 52-44, in triple overtime.

Iowa State won the game on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Grant Rohach to Justin Coleman and Rohach's two-point conversion pass to E.J. Bibbs.

West Virginia's final chance failed on an incomplete pass by quarterback Clint Trickett.

Iowa State won its second straight game to finish 3-9, while the Mountaineers closed out a disastrous 4-8 season.

A crowd of 33,735, second lowest in Milan Puskar Stadium history, saw West Virginia give the game away in the closing minutes.

Rohach passed for 330 yards and four touchdowns while also running for a 54-yard score.

As a season died, a star was born.

Mario Alford, who had been coming on all season as he got accustomed to West Virginia football after playing junior college ball, caught eight passes for 215 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown and senior running back Charles Sims surpassed 1,000 yards rushing.

Sims gained 149 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown run, to become West Virginia's first 1,000-yard rusher since Noel Devine in 2009.

Trickett, who missed the last game because of a concussion, came back to quarterback West Virginia, completing 21-of-37 passes for 356 yards and two touchdowns.

Iowa State had trailed, 17-0 and 31-7, before rallying in the fourth quarter to tie the game, 38-38, as Rohach hit Justin Coleman with a 19-yard touchdown pass.

Iowa State scored 17 points in the final 9:38.

West Virginia gave it one final try, with a Hail Mary pass being intercepted at the gun after the Mountaineers somehow took a delay of game penalty out of two consecutive time outs to kill any chance they had a miracle field goal.

The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, West Virginia's third overtime game of the season.

It is difficult to imagine that West Virginia's offensive outburst really turned on the toe of punter Nick O'Toole, but a strong case can be made for that being the point.

His first punt traveled 68 yards before trickling into the end zone, that coming after Josh Lambert's 50-yard field goal had given West Virginia a 3-0 lead.

O'Toole's second punt traveled "only" 52 yards, pinning Iowa State at its three-yard-line. Moments later, Rohach went color blind for a moment and threw a pass right into the hands of linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski, who took it to the three.

That set up a seven-yard touchdown run by Sims, the Mountaineers and Sims' first touchdown of the day.

More would come.


On the first play after the kickoff, Jeremy Tyler forced a fumble by Aaron Wimberly, with Karl Joseph scooping it up and hustling down the sideline 38 yards in for a score and it was 17-0.

Iowa State had a bit of trickery up its sleeve, as Roharch made a spectacular fake on a zone read and as most of the Mountaineers chased a "ball carrier" around right end, as he turned upfield and went 54 yards for the touchdown that made it 17-7.

But West Virginia was only heating up and as the first quarter turned into the second, Kevin White turned into a touchdown hero, latching onto Trickett's pass for a 17-yard score to make it 24-7.

Iowa State tried to battle back into the game, reaching the West Virginia eight with a first down before throwing it in reverse and missing a 42-yard field goal following a sack by Mountaineer defensive end Will Clarke.

On the play after the missed field goal, Sims broke loose for a 76-yard touchdown run, West Virginia's longest run of the season and a run that lifted him past 1,000 rushing yards for the season, putting the Mountaineers in control, 31-7.

Iowa State narrowed it to 31-14 by halftime with a 10-yard scoring pass from Rohach to Quenton Bundage.

At the half, Sims had 119 rushing yards, Trickett 172 passing yards and Mario Alord116 receiving yards for West Virginia.

As the second half started, Iowa State drove into the shadow of the West Virginia end zone, but on what seemed a sure touchdown pass, safety Jeremy Tyler made a desperation dive and batted a pass down.

Forced to try a field goal, Iowa State was stymied when Avery Fields broke through and blocked it.

The next time Iowa State got the ball, it put together another drive, this one culminating in a touchdown to narrow the margin to 31-21.

But West Virginia's big play offense was back at it in a moment, Trickett hitting Alford over the middle and the junior college transfer took it 76 yards to the end zone for a 38-21 lead and giving Alford 192 yards on six receptions.

Again Iowa State came chipping away, as Bundage scored his second touchdown and Cole Netten hit on a 31-yard field goal to cut it to 38-31 as the clock ticked under five minutes.