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Three Things We Learned: West Virginia

Refs, refs, refs

NCAA Football: Iowa State at West Virginia Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports

The defense isn’t immortal

This was one of the most shocking and unexpected aspects of any game this season: the defense got cooked. It wasn’t pinned on any particular player or unit, because no one played exceptionally well. West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege threw for 370 yards on 30 of 46 passing with three touchdowns while taking zero sacks, yes zero sacks. Leddie Brown eclipsed 100 yards on the ground with five yards per carry. Bryce Ford-Wheaton and Winston Wright Jr. both surpassed 100 receiving yards while the Mountaineers hung a 38 -spot on the Cyclones.

Granted, they were without Mike Rose, but Iowa State didn't get any pressure, missed a million tackles, got burnt deep and was a step slow nearly the entire game. It was an embarrassing performance and is the ultimate reason that Iowa State lost. Give West Virginia credit, they had a game plan and executed it perfectly, but this was an uncharacteristic game from a Jon Heacock-coached defense. It showed that despite being the best defense in the Big 12 for the last three seasons, it can still be exploited if the right game plan comes along with a lack of execution from Iowa State’s athletes.

The system is broken

Objectively, the officiating and replay system cost Iowa State a 21-point swing on Saturday. The first costly mistake comes on this play where the West Virginia receiver didn’t get a foot down in the end zone.

The next play came on 4th and 3, West Virginia scored on a play where they snapped the ball with the play clock at zero.

Finally, on the most crucial play of the game, this was called a fumble with West Virginia recovering for a touchdown.

All in all, the system that allowed all of this to happen. Both touchdowns, or lack thereof, were reviewed, yet they still got the calls wrong. The fact that anyone went behind a screen, watched those plays and thought that they should stand shows the corruption of a broken system.

Even though there wasn’t conclusive evidence, there should still be a way to make the call with common sense, because if any of these plays went Iowa State’s way, the game probably would’ve been a different story.

Expectations have reset

The Big 12 Championship is probably out of the picture. Same with a New Years Six bowl. That’s incredibly disappointing for a season that was supposed to be the best in school history. Now, the expectations have to be to win every single game they play from here on out. This team is still very good, Saturday doesn’t change that, but this team won’t be able to achieve the goals set in front of them. Now they have to set new goals, and it starts with sending Texas home in brutal fashion.