First one to 30 wins?
Collins had an impressive game against KU two weeks ago with 351 passing yards, but regressed against K-State last week. Collins finished 17-for-33 (51.5 percent) for 218 yards with one touchdown.
TCU needs Collins to have a more KU-esque game if it is going to hang with West Virginia. The Mountaineers have a solid defense, ranking third in the Big 12, but have struggled to contain a few of the better receivers in conference play.
Iowa State’s Hakeem Butler had 107 receiving yards on six catches, Texas Tech’s Antoine Wesley had 110 receiving yards on eight catches and Texas’ Lil’Jordan Humphrey had 143 yards on nine catches.
Butler, Wesley and Humphrey are all taller receivers, so we’ll see if TCU tries to get a player such as freshman John Stephens Jr. (6-foot-5) more involved.
The Frogs are beyond banged up on the defensive side of the ball, and facing one of the best offenses in the country. This should be fun.
This year, TCU is still one of the top defenses in the Big 12 and is allowing less than 20 points per game in roughly half of its matchups this fall. Star senior West Virginia quarterback Will Grier is going to have another tough battle on his hands with a very fast TCU defense on tap this week.
While the Mountaineers put up points in the triple digits combined in the past two weeks, TCU is going to be a tough test if the offense isn’t prepared for what lies ahead. TCU is allowing less than 200 passing yards per game and well under two passing touchdowns. If anything spelled letdown for West Virginia, it’s this game after putting up two massive performances including an emotional road win over Texas.
TCU’s defense has been really good despite being really thin, and Holgo respects the hell out of the head coach.
In the high-scoring Big 12, TCU has held opponents under 20 points three times in its last five games. Despite the injuries, the Horned Frogs have the Big 12’s best pass defense, allowing 194 yards per game.
“It doesn’t matter who plays these spots in a Gary Patterson defense,” Holgorsen said. “This will probably be the stiffest test that we’ve had to date for our offense.”
And conversely, one of the toughest defensive challenges for Patterson. West Virginia’s Will Grier has thrown for 28 touchdowns, including three in a 42-41 win last week at No. 15 Texas. He’s averaging 327 yards per game.
“I don’t know if we’ve played anybody at this point that throws like they do,” Patterson said.
Will Grier share’s Holgo’s respect for Coach P.
“I have the utmost respect for Gary Patterson,” Grier said of TCU’s 18th-year head coach. “He gets those guys ready to play. He makes it tough on offenses. It’s a huge challenge and it always will be. It doesn’t matter what year it is – it will always be a challenge to play one of his defenses.”
With the exception of 2013, TCU has ranked in the top four in the Big 12 in passing defense and scoring defense each year since it joined the conference with West Virginia. Patterson’s 4-2-5 scheme has helped put the brakes on spread offenses throughout his tenure.
“There’s so many moving parts that go into it,” Grier said. “They make adjustments on the fly and they match very well. They’re not just dropping and sitting in open grass. They match guys and they get hands-on. They make you earn everything you get.”