Saturday, October 21, 2017

Big 12 Matchups, Looking Behind, Looking Ahead: TCU

The second game of conference play brings a certain set of horned amphibians back to Morgantown for another matchup that will surely keep Mountaineer fans biting their nails through the last seconds of play. TCU and WVU always manage to bring quite the performance, both good and bad. (Let’s not talk about College Gameday several years ago.)

TCU currently has a winning record over West Virginia since joining the Big12, three victories to West Virginia’s two. This fall the Mountaineers will look to win their third conference win over the Horned Frogs and start the dreaded October and November schedule strong. The Mountaineers overcame the Horned Frogs 34-10 last October, giving the Mountaineers a six-game win streak going into the meat of their schedule. Quarterback Skyler Howard threw for four touchdown passes and Tony Gibson’s DAWGS held the Horned Frogs to a scoreless second half in the Mountaineer victory.

This season, TCU will likely look to right that wrong from last fall as they are on their own home turf with several returning players and high hopes for quarterback Kenny Hill. Hill had 38 dropped passes last season as well as 13 interceptions on the year. With the departure of offensive coordinator Doug Meacham, who went to Kansas, TCU’s co-offensive coordinators Curtis Luper and Sonny Cumbie will look to protect Hill and do a better job of having their offense play around their quarterback.

With new leaders calling their plays, this game will be a great chance for West Virginia’s defense to step up and stop TCU’s offense much like they did last fall. The Horned Frogs are always a challenge to the Mountaineers and this game will likely be more of the same.

What makes this game a little more interesting is that at Big 12 media days this summer, TCU was voted to finish fifth in the conference and West Virginia was picked to finish sixth. In some respects pre-season, this game could be seen as a battle of the conference middle ground, allowing the victor to start their climb toward the upper echelon of the Big 12.

The Horned Frogs-Mountaineers matchup will stem from a bye week for the Mountaineers and lead into an away game as the Mountaineers will next travel to Waco, Texas and take on the Baylor Bears.

What’s your thoughts? Will the Mountaineers remove the horns from the Horned Frogs or will TCU pull the wool over West Virginia’s eyes once more?

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