Doege, Brown lead West Virginia over No. 22 Iowa State 38-31

Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
0 Comments

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia finally put together a solid effort after blowout losses to No. 22 Iowa State the past three seasons.

Jarret Doege threw three touchdown passes, Leddie Brown ran for two scores and West Virginia upset the Cyclones 38-31 on Saturday.

West Virginia (4-4, 2-3 Big 12) came alive on offense after averaging 20 points in its first four conference games.

“We wanted to make a statement of how good a football team that we actually are,” Doege said.

Iowa State (5-3, 3-2) was missing leading tackler Mike Rose because of an undisclosed injury and the league’s top defense gave up a season-high 492 yards. The linebacker had started all 45 previous games in his career. The Cyclones had kept their seven previous opponents under 350 yards.

Iowa State’s chances of reaching the Big 12 championship game for a second straight season took a huge hit.

West Virginia “played a great football game,” Iowa State coach Matt Campbell said. “From my standpoint, a lot of credit to coach (Neal) Brown and his kids. We have respect for who they are and what they are.”

Breece Hall rushed for 167 yards, including a 70-yard TD on Iowa State’s third play from scrimmage. But he fumbled reaching for the end zone in a pile of players for the potential tying touchdown with about 6 minutes left and West Virginia’s Alonzo Addae recovered. The play held up upon review.

West Virginia punted on its next series to give the Cyclones one last chance.

Brock Purdy ran for 14 yards on third-and-15 to the West Virginia 25. A false-start penalty then pushed Iowa State back. With no time left, Purdy threw into a crowd in the back of the end zone and the ball was batted away incomplete.

West Virginia, which had lost twice in the final minute on field goals to No. 4 Oklahoma and Texas Tech, finally got a close game to go their way.

“We finished on defense,” Neal Brown said. “If you think about it, we’ve been in that scenario that we just went through.”

Purdy, pressured around the pocket all game, finished 16 of 27 for 185 yards. He threw for one score and ran for another. Iowa State fell to 12-3 with Purdy in October and 16-3 during the month dating to 2017.

Doege completed 30 of 46 passes for a season-high 370 yards. He threw two interceptions, one on a deflected pass.

“I think the last two weeks I’ve just been throwing it really well, the best I’ve been throwing it this season,” Doege said.

Leddie Brown finished with 109 yards, including a pair of 2-yard touchdown runs. West Virginia improved to 9-1 when Brown surpasses 100 yards rushing over his career. He was held under 50 yards in two previous meetings against the Cyclones. Iowa State had not allowed a 100-yard rusher this season.

A year ago, West Virginia was held to 54 rushing yards against the Cyclones.

“I just feel like I had a little chip on my shoulder from last year,” Leddie Brown said. “I just wanted to come out and run as physical as I can.”

Tied at 17 at halftime, the teams took turns trading big plays on both offense and defense.

After Bryce Ford-Wheaton was flagged for pass interference and the Mountaineers were penalized for a delay of game on consecutive plays, linebacker Jake Hummel then intercepted Doege and went 24 yards untouched into the end zone to put the Cyclones ahead 24-17.

Ford-Wheaton made up for his gaffe on the next series, reaching high to catch a 23-yard pass and tapping a toe in the back of the end zone for a touchdown that held up under review.

Hall swung the momentum right back to the Cyclones, going through a huge hole and dragging defenders with him on a 53-yard run that set up Purdy’s 1-yard scoring run for a 31-24 lead late in the third quarter.

Doege hit Winston Wright with a 22-yard scoring dart on fourth down on the next series and, after an Iowa State punt, Ford-Wheaton made a 45-yard reception to set up Brown’s 2-yard run for a 38-31 lead with 9:25 left.

THE TAKEAWAY

Iowa State: The Cyclones converted just two of 12 times on third down. Big 12 receptions lead Xavier Hutchinson, coming off a 12-catch performance against Oklahoma State, had six catches for 51 yards against the Mountaineers.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers have won two straight since a bye week and have turned their season completely around following a three-game losing streak.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

Iowa State Will Likely fall back out of the AP Top 25 poll after rejoining the rankings last week.

UP NEXT

Iowa State: Hosts Texas next Saturday.

West Virginia: Hosts No. 15 Oklahoma State next Saturday.

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

MINNEAPOLIS — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program.

The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused of being sex offenders. The players, who were identified in the lawsuit as John Does, sought unspecified damages for willful and malicious discrimination.

A woman alleged up to a dozen football players raped her or watched and cheered at an off-campus party in 2016. None of the players were ever charged.

The university found that 10 football players committed sexual misconduct. Five of them were expelled or suspended for violating student conduct codes, and the others were cleared on appeal.

In their lawsuit, the players alleged that the woman initiated the sexual encounters with players and an underage recruit.

U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the lawsuit last week, saying the former players did not prove any of their claims, including allegations of bias by university investigators or pressure from Athletic Director Mark Coyle and former President Eric Kaler, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.

David Madgett, an attorney for the players, said Tuesday that they are considering an appeal but have to determine if it makes sense financially and in terms of letting the former players get on with their lives. He said it was disappointing that the outcome was determined by the judge’s version of events and not decided by a jury.

“It’s disappointing to see disputes decided in this way,” Madgett said. “That’s the way things are decided more and more these days. … It’s disappointing you don’t get your day in court.”

When the allegations became public in 2016, players threatened to boycott the team’s trip to the Holiday Bowl. But after a graphic report of the investigation was released, the players agreed to play in the game.

University of Minnesota spokesman Jake Ricker said the school appreciated the judge’s decision affirming the actions taken in the case. He said the university would continue its work focusing on sexual misconduct awareness, prevention and response.

Frank dismissed the lawsuit in 2019, but an appeals court reinstated part of it in 2021 and returned it to Frank.

The players, all of whom are Black, also initially claimed racial discrimination, but that claim was previously dismissed.

The only remaining claim alleged Title IX gender discrimination. The former players noted that they never faced criminal charges, but Frank’s ruling said that “is certainly not evidence of a judicial adjudication or that plaintiffs ‘were proven innocent.'”

The men also claimed that an investigator for the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action used “manipulative tactics” with them in interviews and that their accuser helped draft the report. The players also alleged that “prior failed investigations motivated” the the school to punish them.

Frank said all the claims were unsupported by the evidence and “no reasonable jury could find that the University disciplined plaintiffs on the basis of sex.”

Michigan State player who swung helmet gets probation

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A Michigan State football player who swung his helmet at a Michigan player in a stadium tunnel expressed regret Tuesday and said he’s “just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue” on the field.

Khary Crump, a defensive back, was sentenced to probation. He was one of seven Michigan State players charged in a skirmish that followed a loss at Michigan Stadium on Oct. 29.

Crump was the only Spartan facing a felony, but that charge was dismissed in an agreement to plead guilty to misdemeanors. His record will be scrubbed clean if he stays out of trouble while on probation.

“Unfortunately, an exchange of words (took place), I felt attacked and unfortunately I did what I did,” Crump said of the tunnel altercation involving Michigan’s Gemon Green. “I’m not proud of that. I’m looking forward to moving forward.”

Crump was suspended by coach Mel Tucker. In addition, the Big Ten has suspended him for eight games in 2023.

“I had difficulties trying to stomach my actions … on that fateful day, but it happened. I can’t take it back,” Crump told MLive.com after the court hearing. “Honestly, I’m just looking forward to wuppin’ some maize and blue in the future — on the football field, of course.”

At least four other players charged with misdemeanors Will Likely have their cases dismissed in exchange for community service and other conditions. The cases against two others are pending.