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West Virginia snaps 3-game losing streak with win over Iowa State

The Associated Press
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Iowa State defensive back Kenneth Lynn (right) breaks up a pass intended for West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White during the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (right) celebrates with teammate Adam Pankey after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia cornerback Terrell Chestnut (16) intercepts a pass intended for Iowa State wide receiver Jarvis West (1) as teammate KJ Dillon (center) helps defend during the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (right) runs from Iowa State defensive end Cory Morrissey during the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen reacts during the second half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Daikiel Shorts smiles after catching a 15-yard touchdown pass during the second half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard over Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton and linebacker Jared Brackens in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Tad Ecby scores a touchdown past West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Tad Ecby celebrates with teammate Aaron Wimberly after scoring a touchdown in the first half against West Virginia on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski tackles Iowa State wide receiver D'Vario Montgomery in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson throws under pressure from West Virginia defensive lineman Shaquille Riddick in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Mario Alford celebrates with tight end Elijah Wellman after scoring a touchdown in the first half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard jumps over Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton and linebacker Jared Brackens in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia kicker Josh Lambert (right) celebrates with teammate Adam Pankey after kicking a field goal during the first half against Iowa State on Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson (12) runs from West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski (35) during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Daikiel Shorts (6) breaks a tackle by Iowa State linebacker Jared Brackens after making a reception during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State defensive back Kenneth Lynn (8) breaks up a pass intended for West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White (11) during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa. Lynn was called for pass interference on the play.
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West Virginia quarterback Skyler Howard (3) runs from Iowa State defenders Darian Cotton (left) and Jared Brackens (14) during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Tad Ecby (left) catches a 29-yard touchdown pass in front of West Virginia cornerback Daryl Worley (7) during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Mario Alford catches a 29-yard touchdown pass in front of Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton (left) during the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia running back Rushel Shell runs past Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia running back Rushel Shell runs away from Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton on a 54-yard touchdown run in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia linebacker Brandon Golson tackles Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson causing Richardson to fumble in the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Vernon Davis is tackled by Iowa State linebacker Jared Brackens in the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard (right) catches a pass over West Virginia cornerback Terrell Chestnut during the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard pulls in a pass as West Virginia cornerback Terrell Chestnut defends in the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White runs past Iowa State linebacker Brian Mills in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski tackles Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen fist-bumps kicker Josh Lambert after a field goal in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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West Virginia running back Rushel Shell rushes past Iowa State linebacker Jared Brackens in the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State defensive back Darian Cotton tackles West Virginia wide receiver Daikiel Shorts in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State quarterback Sam B. Richardson scrambles under pressure from West Virginia linebacker Wes Tonkery in the first half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.
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Iowa State wide receiver Allen Lazard (right) catches a pass over West Virginia cornerback Terrell Chestnut during the second half Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014, at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames, Iowa.

AMES, Iowa — West Virginia might have found its quarterback of the future in the final game of the regular season.

Backup quarterback Skyler Howard threw three touchdowns, Rushel Shell ran for 146 yards and West Virginia beat Iowa State, 37-24, Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

Howard, a sophomore, was 21 of 40 for 285 yards in his first career start in place of Clint Trickett, who missed the game with a concussion.

Mario Alford added two touchdown catches for West Virginia (7-5, 5-4 Big 12), which finished above .500 in the Big 12 for the first time.

The Mountaineers closed the game on a 30-3 run, going up 34-24 with 9:10 left on a 15-yard touchdown catch by Daikiel Shorts from Howard.

Howard also ran for 69 yards, the most for a Mountaineers quarterback since 2009.

“The one that stands out is that touchdown to Daikiel. A mobile quarterback, a versatile quarterback,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. “Skyler did a great job of, when the protection broke down, extending the play and keeping his eyes downfield.”

Sam Richardson threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa State (2-9, 0-8), which lost its fifth straight.

The Cyclones had their chances.

Iowa State appeared to be poised to at least tie the game at 27-27 after a spectacular catch by freshman Allen Lazard — who juggled the ball about a half-dozen times before corralling it — and a successful fake field goal.

But Richardson floated a pass into the end zone that was picked off by Terrell Chestnut to open the fourth quarter.

Alford then answered Lazard’s catch with a juggling 40-yard reception, setting up the touchdown grab by Shorts. Josh Lambert’s 43-yard field goal with 5:35 left put the Mountaineers ahead 37-24.

Iowa State’s Dale Pierson recovered a fumble with 2:06 left, but the Cyclones turned it over on downs.

Iowa State played without standout E.J. Bibbs, who injured his leg in last week’s loss to Texas Tech. Bibbs entered the weekend ranked first among Power 5 tight ends with eight touchdown receptions.

The Cyclones missed him. They scored just three points on 10 possessions after going up 21-7.

Aaron Wimberly ran for 77 yards and scored two touchdowns for Iowa State, which finished 0-5 at home against league opponents.

“I felt like the second half we got a little bit more pressure (from West Virginia) than we did in the first half. We tried to adjust but just couldn’t do it. Credit their defense. They played well,” Iowa State wide receiver Tad Ecby said.

Iowa State’s losing streak, coupled with Thanksgiving break, made for a lackluster atmosphere at Jack Trice Stadium.

The Mountaineers and Cyclones did all they could to entertain the fans who showed up.

Shell turned a short rush up the middle into a 54-yard scoring run, giving the Mountaineers a 7-0 lead just 2:10 into the game. Wimberly answered with a 3-yard touchdown run on Iowa State’s first possession, and Richardson found Wimberly for a 5-yard scoring pass to give the Cyclones a 14-7 lead.

Iowa State pushed its advantage to 21-7 when Richardson found Ecby along the sideline for a 29-yard touchdown. But Howard responded with touchdown passes of 29 and 4 yards to Alford.

Field goals of 46 and 32 yards by Lambert put West Virginia ahead 27-21 at halftime.

“We just talked about finishing, and we came out and did it. The first half we were a bit shaky — the first quarter, actually — but we came back,” Howard said.

Iowa State’s offensive struggles in the second half ensured the halftime lead would be plenty for the Mountaineers, who allowed the Cyclones to post the biggest comeback in school history in a 52-44 triple-OT win in Morgantown, W.Va., last season.

“It was about proving to ourselves that we were able to finish this year in the appropriate way,” Holgorsen said. “We wanted to prove to ourselves that the last 11 months wasn’t a waste of time.”

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