West Virginia was ranked fifth in the nation and quarterback Geon Smith was the presumptive Heisman Trophy favorite when Texas Tech dropped 49 points on the Mountaineers on Oct. 13.
Sadly for West Virginia, it wasn't a fluke.
After giving up 63 and 48 points in wins over Baylor and Texas, the Mountaineers have allowed 49, 55, 39, 55 and 50 in consecutive defeats.
Last week, West Virginia suffered a gut-wrenching 50-49 loss to Oklahoma when Landry Jones threw his sixth TD pass of the evening with 24 seconds left.
Nationally, only Colorado has given up more than the 42.3 points West Virginia has allowed per game - and the Buffs are 1-10.
"We are strong willed around here. We have the right leadership in place, and we have the right amount of effort. We all want to win very badly. Guys are not going to hang their heads," Smith said. "We understand that we are in a rough stretch, but we know the only way to pull out of it is to win games."
Though Iowa State and West Virginia have never met, Rhoads is a familiar name in Morgantown.
Rhoads was the defensive coordinator for rival Pittsburgh in 2007 when the Panthers shut down star quarterback Pat Smith and stunned West Virginia 13-9, denying the Mountaineers a spot in the national title game.
But Rhoads said this week that he knows his offense - no matter if it's led by Richardson or Jantz - must put up points to keep up with a West Virginia team that is as prolific now as it was in October.
"They're not any less dangerous. What happened to them was the Big 12. This is a great, great football league and they're a very good football team," Rhoads said. "They are a very dangerous football team."