The West Virginia Mountaineers will take on the Texas Christian Horned Frogs this Saturday, November 2, at 3:30 p.m. (Amon Carter Stadium).
The game will be televised live on ESPNU and the Mountaineers will be making their first appearance in Fort Worth.
Both TCU and West Virginia have identical records at 3-5 (1-4 in Big 12 play). This game is extremely important in determining which team will eventually make it to a bowl game.
TCU and West Virginia first met in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl in Houston with the Mountaineers taking a 31-14 decision on New Year’s Eve in the Astrodome.
West Virginia is 0-4 on the road. They are better in nearly every statistical category when they play at home.
In four games on the road, WVU has 150 less rushing yards, 350 less passing yards and 515 less total yards than at home. The Mountaineer defense also struggles on the road, giving up 1.8 more yards per carry, intercepting fewer passes and allowing 550 more total yards.
Since 2000, West Virginia is 84-7 when scoring 30 or more points in a contest.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall was back in the lineup last Saturday against Texas, but TCU’s offense still struggled as they have most of the season. The Horned Frogs lost 30-7 at home to the Longhorns, in a game that was delayed over three hours by inclement weather.
Apparently, Pachall was back to form against Texas, but just like fellow TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin for much of the season, he didn’t get much help from his skill players.
West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett played decent enough against Kansas State last week, completing 15-of-28 for 227 yards, but the Mountaineers had trouble punching it in the endzone, which eventually wears on the defense as they have to stay on the field for long periods of time.
Defensively, West Virginia gave up 448 total yards last week against Kansas State, 291 through the air and 157 rushing, while forcing two turnovers and allowing K-State to convert 8-of13 third down attempts.
Running back Charles Sims leads West Virginia in rushing with 120 carries for 600 yards and four touchdowns. Ronald Carswell leads the Mountaineers in receiving with 20 receptions for 413 yards and two touchdowns.
Meanwhile, WVU quarterback Clint Trickett has thrown for 951 yards and only three touchdowns on the season.
Trevone Boykin leads TCU in the passing game with 1,176 yards and five touchdowns. TCU’s leading rusher is B.J. Catalon, with 74 attempts, Catalon has run for 366 yards and five touchdowns.
An interesting statistic going into this game is TCU’s offensive conversion rate on third downs, which is .295, 114th out of 123 Football Bowl Subdivision schools. West Virginia is not much better at .303 percent. Kansas’ .291 is worst in the Big 12.
TCU cornerback Jason Verrett leads the nation with 36 passes defended since the start of last season – eight interceptions and 28 pass breakups. The All-American had the game-saving block of West Virginia’s 36-yard field-goal attempt in the first overtime last season to set the stage for the Horned Frogs win in the second overtime.
TCU is playing its second season in Amon G. Carter Stadium after its $164 million dollar rebuild. The Horned Frogs are 3-1 at home this season. Which might spell trouble for a West Virginia team that struggles on the road.
Both teams are badly in need of a Big 12 conference victory, or just any victory for that matter. The winner will still have a reasonable chance to get to a bowl game, while the loser will be hanging on for dear life.