Our Mountaineers are heading into Fort Worth this weekend to take on a TCU Horned Frog team that it is very similar to. Both teams come into the contest with identical (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) records and looking for a semblance of offensive consistency.
TCU, like Kansas State last week, will utilize two quarterbacks in the game. Pachall is the passer and Boykin is the runner. Lucky for WVU is that TCU's coordinator hasn't utilized Boykin to his strengths this season and has been sticking with the downfield passing game with him, even though this year's crop of receivers aren't what they burned WVU with last season. For the season, TCU's quarterbacks only show six touchdowns against nine interceptions.
The receiving corps is led by LaDarius Brown who shows 23 catches for 216 yards and a touchdown. It's not as if WVU can focus on one receiver though as there are seven pass catchers with over 140 yards and all but two of them show double digit receptions.
Where the Frogs could hurt the Mountaineers is in the ground game...if they stick to it. That's the rub. Talking to HawkeyedFrog earlier in the week TCU has consistently abandoned the run game even when working well. Sound familiar? While B.J. Catalon and Waymon James are the leading running backs with 366 yards and 242 yards respectively...the second leading rusher is quarterback Boykin with 271 yards.
TCU still fields a stout defense. They sport an overall ranking of 22nd with the 20th ranked rushing defense. When you start looking at their scoring defense though, they fall to 35th and 53rd in passing defense. They are big and fast up front, but if the Mountaineer offensive line can hold them at bay, passing lanes should open up.
Third downs AGAIN will be key. I think if WVU can get a passing game established, that will in turn open up the run game. TCU is even more woeful on offense than we have shown and is turnover prone. Generate a few turnovers and turn them into points (preferably touchdowns, obviously) and a WVU could be one step closer to bowl eligibility.
At the time of this writing, WVU is shown as a 12 point underdog. The Vegas guys are usually pretty smart, but I think this line is way too big (I've been proven to be an idiot regarding this in the past, though, mind you). I expect us to cover, regardless. Win? WVU has to show improvement across the board or this could be just the beginning of a long offseason. As Priddy has stated repeatedly (and I'm of the same mind)...we're close. Now it's time to put it in gear and get over the proverbial hump.