By: Deb Cantrell
Photo from GoFrogs.com
College GameDay is here, which means everyone needs to be on their best behavior — especially the TCU football team, which seems to have nothing but hype on its back, being undefeated and in the Top 10.
With the bye week over, No. 8 TCU has yet another Top-25 matchup against No. 23 West Virginia. Kickoff is 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium (or FS1, if you’re catching it on TV). “Western Virginia” jokes aside, this game could get interesting if the Frogs are not careful.
Here are five things to watch out for.
West Virginia has the No. 2 offense in the country (second to Big 12 rival Oklahoma), averaging 594.8 yards per game and 48.8 points per game. Its quarterback is pretty good too — Will Grier transferred from Florida and has since been shaping up to be one of the best passers in the conference, averaging 9.54 yards per attempt. While there’s a possibility he could be all over TCU’s pass defense, which has shown vulnerability in past games, Grier may also face a challenge against TCU’s solid defensive line, which seems to have a thing for pressuring the quarterback.
And you thought the Frogs ran the ball a lot. Well, they do. In fact, TCU leads the Big 12 in rushing offense with an average of 232.2 yards per game. But the team that comes in second? West Virginia, averaging 231 yards per game. This could be a long day...
One of TCU’s top running backs, Kyle Hicks, is expected to return for the game against West Virginia. He's been a bit on again/off again due to injury, but in his absence, the Frogs haven’t seemed to miss him that much, with Darius Anderson picking up much of the slack.
That being said, West Virginia has the second-worst rushing defense in the Big 12, allowing an average 226 yards per game. In its last game, West Virginia allowed Kansas running back Khalil Herbert to run for a career-best 291 yards — the most yards West Virginia has ever allowed an opposing rusher. West Virginia still won though, 56-34.
The Frogs may look like they have the upper hand, and they probably do — so long as nothing crazy happens, like an untimely interception or a wide receiver losing control of the ball. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill has thrown an interception at every game except SMU. The Frogs will need to keep the ball under control in order to avoid an upset.
Life is good when you’re 4-0 and College GameDay is on your campus. But West Virginia could creep up on TCU. While the Mountaineers did lose their season opener to No. 21 Virginia Tech, it was still a close game that wasn’t decided until the fourth quarter. If anything, TCU must control the ball, play good defense and avoid falling off a ladder it’s already climbed so high.
Especially in front of College GameDay.
By: Deb Cantrell