Iowa State plays its games in Jack Trice Stadium, which is named for the first African-American athlete to play at the school, which was then named Iowa State College. In just his second game, on Oct. 6, 1923, Trice broke his collarbone against Minnesota, but returned to the game. Just two days later, he died of internal bleeding as a result of the contact he endured in the game.
Several efforts to name the stadium in his honor were unsuccessful, but finally, in 1997, supporters and the student body succeeded in having the facility changed to bear his mane.
Iowa isn’t usually thought of as a hotbed of college football talent, but the Cyclones have made the most of their in-state resources. No fewer than 50 Iowans dot the ISU roster. Florida (21), Texas (17) and California (12), all more traditional recruiting grounds, are the only other three states with appreciable representation on Paul Rhoads’ team.
West Virginia has given up 356 points in Big 12 games. Seven other Big 12 teams have not given up that many in their entire seasons -- and most are well below West Virginia's total. Only Kansas (374) and Baylor (379) have yielded more this season that WVU has in seven league contests.
Iowa State head coach Paul Rhoads’ connection to WVU is well known, as it was his defensive scheme that shut down West Virginia in a rather important game when he was at Pitt. In all, he’s faced WVU nine times, including one game as a defensive assistant at Auburn. However, Rhoads is not the only coach that has had a hand in defending WVU offenses. Assistant coach Curtis Bray was also at Pitt for a long stretch, and defensive coordinator Wally Burnham devised a scheme that stifled West Virginia’s spread attack when he was the defensive coordinator at USF.
While this West Virginia offense is different than that run by Rich Rodriguez, there’s no doubt that the Cyclones have two outstanding defensive minds with which to match wits with Dana Holgorsen.
If Tavon Austin continues to get the bulk of his touches in the running game, Stedman Bailey could pass him on the career receiving yardage chart. Currently, Austin holds the school record with 3,174 yards, but Bailey is just 358 yards behind his former receiving counterpart. Opposing defensive schemes could dictate that Austin gets more future touches through the air, but if he does not Bailey could pass him this year.
Of course, Bailey has another year to play, and would easily take possession of the record in 2013, but that’s assuming that he does not declare for the NFL Draft. That’s a topic for another day.
West Virginia would have to get in a bowl game and Austin would have to have three monster days in order to approach the national record for all-purpose yards in a season. With 2,312, Austin trails record-holder Barry Sanders of Oklahoma State by 938. Baily likewise has some work to do to approach the NCAA single-season touchdown record, currently held by Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards with 27. Bailey has 20, which is far and away the Mountaineer standard.
NO EXTRA TIME
West Virginia has lost four of its last five overtime games, and now stands at 5-5 all-time in such contests.
WHERE IT MATTERS
Iowa State ranks fourth in the Big 12 in scoring defense (27.1 ppg) in conference only contests, despite ranking eighth in total defense (502.9 ypg.). A big reason for that is ISU stinginess in the red zone. In those same league games, the Cyclones have allowed more first downs than any league team (209) yet are first in the league in red zone defense. On 43 opponent trips inside the 20-yard line, only 23 have resulted in touchdowns. Ten times, ISU did not permit a score at all.
BIG PLAY BREAKDOWN
WVU opponents have recorded 52 plays of 20 yards or more from scrimmage. Add in two interception returns and 36 special teams returns matching or exceeding that total, and it’s easy to see why West Virginia ranks at the bottom of most major defensive categories.