West Virginia vs. Iowa State 2012 final score: Mountaineers finally get a win, 31-24

Justin K. Aller

West Virginia snapped its five-game losing streak with a win over Iowa State.

The West Virginia Mountaineers defeated the Iowa State Cyclones, 31-24, to finally reach bowl eligibility on Saturday night. The Mountaineers got a 75-yard touchdown from Tavon Austin to win the game in the fourth quarter.

West Virginia jumped out to an early 10-0 lead when Shawne Alston punced it in from a yard out with 10:34 to go in the second quarter. That capped a quick-strike 70-yard drive that took covered just 1:34. Geno Smith hit Stedman Bailey twice for a combined 50 yards to set up the score.

Iowa State would not go away, as they clawed back to pull within three at 17-14 on a, 18-yard touchdown pass from Sam B. Richardson to Josh Lenz with just 18 seconds left in the half.

The Mountaineers went on a long drive to start the second half, chewing up 7:34 off the clock. However, the Cyclones defense held ground eventually and limited West Virginia to a field goal. That would allow them to take the lead on the next possession.

That go-ahead score would come with 4:56 remaining in the third quarter as Richardson connected with Quenton Bundrage on a 35-yards strike. The extra point would give ISU a 21-20 lead heading in the fourth.

WVU would capitalize on good field position to recapture the lead. The Mountaineers moved 18 yards from the Iowa State 36, resulting in a lead-changing field goal. The lead would continue to exchange hands as Iowa State got a field goal of their own on ensuing possession.

The decisive score would come with 6:31 to go, and the Mountaineers would hold on for the win.

Box Score Hero: Shawne Alston rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Rankings Ramifications: Both teams came into the game with five losses, and neither had a shot at being ranked.

But Did They Cover? West Virginia was three-point favorites, so they covered.

For More On This Game: For more on WVU football, visit West Virginia blog The Smoking Musket, plus SB Nation Pittsburgh.

For more on Clones football, visit Iowa State blog Wide Right & Natty Lite.

Next Week's Schedule: West Virginia faces Kansas. Iowa State waits for bowl season.

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