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West Virginia vs. Iowa State 2012: Running game shines to break losing streak

The West Virginia rushing attack was outstanding for the second-consecutive week. As a team, they averaged 6.2 yards per carry in a 31-24 victory over Iowa State.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

West Virginia snapped its five-game losing skid thanks to strong performances from Shawne Alston and Tavon Austin. Alston finished with 130 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Austin had 14 carries for 74 yards, but was also effective as a receiver. He caught six passes for 99 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown reception with 6:42 remaining in the fourth quarter. That ended up being the game-winning play, as the Mountaineers defeated the Iowa State Cyclones, 31-24.

As WVUIE97 of The Smoking Musket writes, "These last two games are clear evidence as to how important the running game is for the entire offense to be effective." Although the Mountaineers lost last weekend against Oklahoma, they scored 49 points, and Tavon Austin ran for 344 yards on just 21 carries.

The win also makes WVU bowl-eligible. In their first season in the Big 12, West Virginia has gone 3-5 in the conference. They are likely to add another conference win next weekend against Kansas.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.