One team stood between TCU and bowl eligibility during the 2019 season. That was the West Virginia Mountaineers, who wrapped an ugly bow on a rather disappointing campaign with a 20-17 victory at Amon G. Carter Stadium that dropped the Horned Frogs to 5-7. Having won each of its last two games, TCU will have a chance at revenge when the Horned Frogs travel to Morgantown for a road contest against the Mountaineers this weekend.
West Virginia has started strong and emerged as a surprise contender for the Big 12 after a 37-10 trouncing over Kansas State. A tough loss against Texas hurt the team’s chances, but the Mountaineers have played well-rounded football all season. West Virginia has won its last two games against TCU, but the Horned Frogs have been solid on the road in 2020, taking down both Texas and Baylor. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers are 4-0 at home.
Both teams are at a critical juncture of their respective seasons, as TCU and West Virginia are both 3-3 in the conference with three contests remaining this fall. Here are three matchups to watch out for when the two Big 12 teams play this weekend.
Garret Wallow vs. Leddie Brown
Alec Sinkfield has run the ball well as West Virginia’s change-of-pace back, but Leddie Brown has the keys to the Mountaineer backfield. Brown’s averaging nearly 106 rushing yards per game and he’s compiled nine touchdowns on the ground thus far. Brown has impacted the passing game as well, recording 176 yards and two scores. It will be up to leading linebacker Garret Wallow to keep West Virginia’s dynamic rusher in check.
TCU secondary vs. WVU wide receivers
The Horned Frogs forced Mountaineer quarterback Jarret Doege to toss three interceptions in 2019, but it didn’t matter much, as the Horned Frogs were unable to find much offensively. Doege is off to a much better start this season, recording 11 touchdown passes in seven games while throwing only three picks and totaling about 287 yards per game through the air. The TCU secondary has forced only four interceptions over six games, but creating turnovers Saturday could bode well for the team’s inconsistent offense.
TCU offensive line vs. WVU defensive front
West Virginia has arguably the best defensive line in the Big 12. The Mountaineers have been racking sacks up this season, compiling 21 over seven games. Ahkeem Mesidor leads the defensive line with four, while Darius Stills and Jeffery Pooler Jr. have combined for 6.5 sacks. Linebacker Jared Bartlett has been heavily involved as well, notching three sacks. The Horned Frog offensive line has struggled in pass protection this season, allowing 19 sacks in six games for an average of 3.2 per game.