At very few points in that streak, though, can one point to penalties as a decisive factor. But had the Mountaineers lost this game, they would have been a huge element.
"We've been good with penalties all year,'' Holgorsen said. "I guess that's what I get for saying that on my radio show this week.''
Against Iowa State, West Virginia had 11 penalties for 107 yards. In the first 10 games, the Mountaineers averaged 4.7 penalties for 41.2 yards, both ranking among the top 25 in the NCAA. Four of ISU's 24 first downs came because of flags.
The penalties were at times mystifying and at other times ridiculous.
Freshman K.J. Dillon was called for an obvious hold in the middle of the field on a punt that Austin returned for a touchdown. Austin didn't need a block, much less a hold.
Josh Francis made a huge stop on ISU quarterback Sam Richardson on a third-and-8 play in the fourth quarter, but then overdid it after the play and was called for grabbing Richardson's facemask. That kept alive the drive that would have tied the game but for the fumble by Jeff Woody on the goal line.
On that same drive, one play before the fumble, Will Clarke gave the Cyclones a first-and-goal at the 7 thanks to a clear hands-to-the-face penalty on a third-and-10 incomplete pass.
And left tackle Quinton Spain just had an awful game, whistled for back-to-back procedure penalties on the first drive of the game and a hold later. Jeff Braun also had a holding penalty that eventually forced WVU to settle for a field goal and Curtis Feigt had one that ruined any chance the Mountaineers had to perhaps extend a 17-7 lead to 20-7 or 24-7 just before half. When WVU was forced to punt, Iowa State took advantage and scored to get within 17-14.
BRIEFLY: Austin broke his own school record for receptions in a season Saturday. He now has 106 this year, five more than the mark he established as a junior. He has two more games to play now that the team is bowl eligible. ... Not to be outdone, Stedman Bailey broke the record he set for receiving yards last year. He now has 1,342 after gaining 1,279 last year. ... When West Virginia went up 3-0 and 10-0, it was the first time the Mountaineers had scored first since their last win, Oct. 6 at Texas. ... Austin had 261 all-purpose yards and he's a yard short of the single-season school record of 2,573 he set last season.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.