Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Meet WVU’s opponent: TCU comes to town again

The Mountaineers are 5-0 overall, 2-0 in the Big 12 conference and TCU is coming to town on Saturday. Many Mountaineer fans may remember that fateful fall day the last time TCU was in town. ESPN’s College Gameday was in town, Tent City was alive and we were just so close to victory. Mountaineer fans know who the Horned Frogs are. Mountaineer fans know TCU. And Mountaineer fans are ready for them to come back to Milan Puskar Saturday afternoon.

The Horned Frogs are coming to town off of a bye week, where Gary Patterson’s team has won 12 of their last 13 games post-bye. The Horned Frogs are also coming to town aiming a big target. The Mountaineers are now a top 15 team and a major target within the conference. Needless to say, Saturday’s game is going to be a huge prize to win for both teams.

Coming out of their bye week, TCU is in a position to drastically shake up the Big 12. If TCU could possibly come into Morgantown, a very tough place to win, and beat the Mountaineers, Baylor would be left as the potentially last undefeated conference member (provided they win this week). TCU has lofty expectations coming to Morgantown and the Mountaineers will need to be ready.

The Mountaineer offense and Skyler Howard will have to bring a repeat performance of their Texas Tech game versus the Horned Frogs as the TCU defense has sacked the opposition 22 times this season already. There will be no room for errors for West Virginia’s offensive line; protecting Howard will need to be an at all time priority.

Even though the TCU defense has had 22 sacks on the season, the team has still managed to allow a high number of points scored. Thus far, TCU has allowed an average of 30 points scored per game this season. This is another potential advantage for the Mountaineer offense as they were able to put up 48 points versus the Red Raiders, the Mountaineers can now hope to do the same this week.

When it comes to Tony Gibson’s defense, his “Dawgs” will need to look toward continuing the trend of intercepting Kenny Hill. Hill currently has a conference-high record of eight interceptions thus far in the season. This is a great way for the Mountaineers to attempt to control the game; capitalizing on the fact that Hill has already been intercepted eight times and will hopefully have a few more come Saturday.

TCU has been a highly penalized team this season, and this team could arguably be Coach Gary Patterson’s most penalized team coached. The Horned Frogs have already accrued 50 penalties against them this season, putting them on pace to have 100 penalties by season’s end.

TCU has been a thorn in the side of Mountaineer fans everywhere since both teams joined the Big 12 at same time. Currently, the teams have each won twice since joining the conference and the Big 12 looks strikingly different this season in comparison to years past. The time may be right and the stars may be aligning for the Mountaineers to claim victory over the Horned Frogs this Saturday, as TCU is not quite as dominating as they have been in season’s past.

The Mountaineers look to stay undefeated after Saturday afternoon and make a statement to the conference, and the country really, that the Mountaineers really are the real deal.

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