Prolific Offenses Battle

Saturday Spotlight

(23) West Virginia Mountaineers at (8) TCU Horned Frogs

West Virginia: In a conference that’s known for scoring and lighting up the scoreboard, they definitely fit in with the Big 12. They opened their season up against a very tough Virginia Tech team and fell short. Since then, they’ve won three straight games and they’ve totaled 171 points within that span. Now hear me out here for a second: You’re probably reading this and thinking about who they played during this winning streak and that was against East Carolina, Delaware State, and Kansas. You play who you play and you beat who you beat, plain and simple. The most important thing is that their offense has seemed to find itself during this time. Quarterback Will Grier has come in and shown that he was worthy of the university taking a chance on him after transferring from Florida. He’s put up great numbers so far: He is completing just over 65% of his passes, and he’s thrown for 1,374 yards and 13 touchdowns this season, to just three interceptions. Not only is their passing game something to watch, their ability to control the clock and run the football is also something special. They’re averaging 231 yards rushing per game and Justin Crawford leads the way with 451 yards and six touchdowns. The defense is slightly below average if that’s the best way to describe it. They’re allowing 25 points per game and this has always been the makeup of those teams that can score, they always struggle to play defense and their offense in a way is their defense because they have to sustain long drives to keep the defense on the sideline. They’re looking for a fourth straight victory on Saturday to stay in the thick of the Big 12 race and they’ll travel to Fort Worth.

TCU: I can sit here and say that I truly didn’t know what to expect from coach Gary Patterson’s football team this year. After their big win in Stillwater two weeks ago, I’m sold on the TCU Horned Frogs and I gave them no chance to win that game against Oklahoma State. This team can do it all in the three major phases of the game (offense, defense, and special teams). Kenny Hill is a special kid to watch. He has such command and control of his offense and he spreads the football around to the open receiver. He doesn’t force it into double coverage and that’s always a plus for a quarterback, no matter what level you play at. When I watch the Horned Frogs offense, they remind me a lot of the Oakland Raiders offense in so many ways. Just like Oakland, TCU wants to run the ball several times and that will eventually open up the passing game. They may not get a lot of yards on the ground at times, but it works for them and then, Hill is able to throw the football down the field. They are an extremely balanced offense. They average 232 yards on the ground rushing Darius Anderson leads the way with 422 yards and six touchdowns. What really impresses me about them is how they’re able to play defense. As much as they score, they can prevent teams from doing the same thing. I look at how they were able to really slow down the Oklahoma State offense and really get pressure on Mason Rudolph in week four. Defensively, TCU is allowing 18.5 points and 323.5 yards per game. The TCU Horned Frogs can start 5-0 for the second time in three years with a victory here.

West Virginia Player To Watch: Justin Crawford– What’s the key to really stalling an explosive offense and keeping them on the sidelines? A consistent running attack and this is where Justin comes in the picture. He’s a very dynamic back and he’s rushed for over 100 yards in each game this year.

TCU Player To Watch: Ranthony Texada– He’s their best cover corner and he’s returned this year back to form after sustaining an injury last year. This young man can do it all. He runs yard for yard with the receiver, he can play in tight man coverage on the line or off the receiver and he always finds a way to make a play on the football.

Final Analysis: This is going to be a fun one (hopefully). The winner of this game will be in great shape and the loser will be drop down in the standings and their hopes of potentially being in the hunt for the playoffs could possibly diminish. TCU has won every game this season by double digits, and that includes road victories over Arkansas and Oklahoma State. This is the first real test of the season for West Virginia, given it’s a true road game.

Prediction: TCU 45 West Virginia 28