On a mild New Year's Eve in 1984 inside the Houston Astrodome in 1984, the WVU Mountaineers battered the vaunted TCU Horned Frogs from the powerful Southwest Conference by a score of 31-14. TCU came into the game hungry, having lost back-to-back games to Texas and Texas A&M to end the regular season. But the Horned Frogs also boasted one of the country's best rushing attacks, led by All-American RB , who finished the season with 1611 yards and 15 touchdowns, and a ferocious defense. By all accounts, the home-state team was favored to roll over the reeling Mountaineers.
As Mountaineer Chuck noted earlier this week, though, the Mountaineers came into the game with a chip on their shoulder after suffering three upset losses to end the regular season. So to the delight of the Mountaineer fans, it was Don Nehlen's Mountaineers who would put on a show before a very partisan crowd of 43,260. Bowl MVP Kevin White assaulted TCU's previously staunch defense with a barrage of passes, connecting with 8 different receivers for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns, including a beautiful 62 yarder to Gary Mullen to stake an early 14-7 first-quarter lead. It was all WVU from there, with sparkplug Willie Drewery leading all receivers with 152 yards on 6 catches.
The Mountaineers received the opening kickoff and drove the length of the field on the strength of two long passes to Drewery, then capped the drive on third and goal with a 2-yard White-to-Gay touchdown toss:
After the teams traded touchdowns to open the scoring, the Mountaineers went on a 24-point surge to put the game out of reach before the Horned Frogs tacked on a garbage time score for the final tally. The second drive was quick, with White completing a 62-yard bomb to Gary Mullen for the big play touchdown:
While the balanced offense, which also rolled up 200 yards rushing, was a bit of a surprise, the story of the game was WVU's defense, which held a powerful TCU wishbone attack to just 92 yards, including 19 by TCU All-American Davis, who left the game with an injury at the hands of WVU linebacker Matt Smith.
This year looks to be more of the same, as TCU's best player (QB Casey Pachall) got hurt weeks ago and the Horned Frogs have struggled to drop their last two contests. WVU again boasts a potent aerial assault, set to rain down big-play touchdown after big-play touchdown on a defense that really isn't as good as its billing. Again, WVU has a chip on its shoulder, and we all know the Mountaineers are at their best with a chip on their shoulder. The dominance continues Saturday afternoon as the Horned Frogs won't be able to end the 28-year winless streak against the favored Mountaineers.