The West Virginia Mountaineers expected to have a down year this year. After losing Geno Smith and Tavon Austin to the NFL Draft, everyone knew that an offensive down year was coming. A win against then-undefeated Oklahoma State, a game in which the Mountaineers forced six turnovers, gave fans false hope.
Now West Virginia heads to Fort Worth, Texas to take on a disappointing TCU Horned Frogs team. The Frogs, while under performing to the highest degree on offense, still has an incredibly stout defense, and it will be difficult for West Virginia to move the ball against the Frogs.
West Virginia’s offense ranks second to last in the Big 12, scoring only 22.9 points per game, and relies on a shaky passing game and a mediocre running game to move the ball. Junior quarterback Clint Trickett is completing less than 50 percent of his passes, and has thrown for as many interceptions (three) as he has touchdowns. Running backs Charles Sims and Dreamius Smith have good rushing averages on the season, carrying the ball for 5.0 and 4.9 yards per carry, respectively. However, they’re splitting time in the backfield, and it doesn’t really look like either finds a great rhythm with consistency.
Meanwhile, TCU’s defense is allowing 21 points and under 350 yards per game to opposing offenses, and leads the Big 12 in interceptions with 15 on the year. On the ground, the Frogs are only giving up 124 rushing yards per game, and for West Virginia, that spells trouble.
If the Mountaineers can’t run the ball, and Trickett makes a few mistakes, West Virginia could wind up 1-5 in conference play, and 3-6 overall, putting most of their bowl hopes to bed until 2014.