Big 12 Previews

West Virginia vs. TCU: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Christian

Here is everything if you need to know in the upcoming Big 12 match up in our West Virginia vs. TCU preview and prediction.

Game Info

11:00 a.m. CST, Saturday, November 14th, 2020; Milan Puskar Stadium; Morgantown, West Virginia

TV: FOX (Joe Davis, Mark Helfrich)

Radio: WBAP 820am (Brian Estridge, John Denton); Mountaineers Sports Network (Tony Caridi, Dwight Wallace); Sirius 108, XM 199

Spread: WVU -3

Fun Fact: The first three Big 12 meetings (2012-14) between TCU and West Virginia were decided on the game’s final play, including two in overtime, with TCU winning in 2012 and 2014, while WVU won in 2013.

 

Key Players

TCU Horned Frogs

QB Max Duggan

Duggan has his stiffest test yet going up against the No. 1 defense in the Big 12 and a Top 5 defense in the country. Duggan is third in the Big 12 and 33rd nationally in completion percentage at 65.2, a mark that ranks fourth for a season in TCU history. But it was his legs that propelled TCU to a win over Texas Tech last week with 19 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns. His dual-threat ability will need to be on full display this weekend against the Mountaineers.

LB Dee Winters

Of course we could pick fellow LB Garrett Wallow every week. But Winters is coming in strong in recent weeks. He has tied for the team lead in tackles in each of the last two weeks against Baylor and Texas Tech. Last week vs. Tech he had 2.5 tackles for loss as part of seven stops, one shy of a career high. He’s now second on the team with 38 tackles. That’s not too bad for a former high school wide receiver who was ranked by 247Sports as the No. 40 athlete in the nation in the Class of 2019.

West Virginia Mountaineers

RB Leddie Brown

Brown is the engine of the WVU offense. He’s second in the Big 12 with 105 rushing yards per game, along with nine rushing touchdowns. However he’s struggled in two of his last three games. He had 21 carries for 77 yards against Texas Tech on October 24th, and then last week in a loss to Texas, Brown only managed 47 yards on 15 carries. Brown needs to get back on track.

DL Akheem Mesidor

Who is leading the Mountaineers in sacks? It’s not one of the Stills brothers. It’s freshman Akheem Mesidor, who has four sacks on the season. He was ranked as the No. 26 strong-side defensive end coming out of high school and picked WVU over Georgia Tech, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Ole Miss and others.

 

Key Storylines

TCU Horned Frogs

The Horned Frogs offensive line needs to step to the plate and have its best game of the season. Gary Patterson has recently mentioned being encouraged by the unit’s improvement, but they’ve still given up the second-most sacks in Big 12 (22) and they’re going up against the Mountaineers who are third in the Big 12 in sacks (21). TCU has to show some balance on offense, but if the running game stalls and Duggan is running for his life most of the day, it could be a long afternoon for TCU’s offense.

West Virginia Mountaineers

The Mountaineers’ offense needs to get back on track after their loss to Texas last week. WVU had six trips in the red zone and walked away with just 13 points in this game. Neal Brown clearly still doesn’t trust his offense as he didn’t kick a field goal with 12 minutes left in the game, didn’t score points on the drive, and then later in the game WVU had to go for it on 4th down and could not convert, ultimately costing them in Austin.  

Prediction

West Virginia 24, TCU 21

The Mountaineers are back home where they always play better. TCU has won two in a row, but it’s been against mediocre competition in Baylor and Texas Tech. WVU brings in a top 5 defense in America and gets a TCU offense that is still trying to find its identity. Plus, as noted above, the TCU offensive line is going to have major problems with this WVU defensive line. TCU’s best hope is to win a game that is really, really ugly where both teams combine for less than 40 points. I don’t see that happening.

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