The TCU Horned Frogs took their undefeated record into Morgantown, West Virginia on Saturday to face the Mountaineers, who were looking for a statement win under head Coach Neal Brown. West Virginia was fresh off a blowout road loss at Texas Tech, their second in three games, while TCU was coming off a second-straight comeback victory as they trailed by 18 points before beating K-State at home last weekend.
And while this one came down to the final drive, the Horned Frogs held on for the victory to improve to 8-0 on the season. Here are three thoughts on TCU’s 41-31 win over West Virginia.
1. Kendre Miller Must be a Household Name Now
Coming into this game, TCU running back Kendre Miller was not getting nearly enough attention and respect for the season he has been having. Miller started the day third in the Big 12 in rushing yards per game behind Texas’ Bijan Robinson and K-State’s Deuce Vaughn, while only trailing Robinson in rushing touchdowns.
On Saturday, he was the catalyst of this offense as he finished with 12 carries for 120 yards and one touchdown from 51 yards out to put TCU up 21-14 in the second quarter in a lead they would never against relinquish.
Miller doesn’t get the attention of Robinson and Vaughn, but then again he doesn’t get the attention of his own quarterback Max Duggan, who certainly deserves plenty of love, however it’s time for Miller to be in the conversation with Duggan and wide receiver Quentin Johnston for why this offense continues to produce at such a high level.
2. How Long Can TCU Keep It Up?
When TCU trailed 7-0 and 14-7, that was nothing. This team came back from 17 points down two weeks ago against Oklahoma State and then trailed by 18 points last week against K-State before winning. So when they trailed by a touchdown, Sonny Dykes had the Mountaineers right where he wanted them.
But at some point, something has to give, right? How long can TCU keep falling behind and coming back to win? No doubt this offense is far more explosive than what Gary Patterson had the last few years, but the slow starts need to be corrected for this team to win the Big 12 and potentially have a chance to make the College Football Playoff.
On deck, TCU has to play the other three Texas schools in the Big 12, Texas Tech, Texas, Baylor and then wrap up the season with Iowa State. Slow starts against these four won’t work.
Also, it will be interesting to see what the College Football Playoff committee decides to do with TCU on Tuesday night given how they’ve gone about winning their recent games.
3. WVU Shows Fight, Which is More Than I Expected
I’ll give the Mountaineers this much: While I thought TCU would cover, which they did, I was wrong on the reasons why they would cover.
If we’re being honest, they got a bit lucky with the cover, scoring a touchdown in the final minute after WVU jumped offsides for a free play, which led to Duggan taking a shot to the end zone which resulted in a touchdown to make it a 10-point lead instead of a three-point lead.
But putting that aside, WVU came into this game ready to play on both sides of the ball and did not roll over as they did last week in Lubbock and three weeks ago in Austin. I’ve been very critical of Neal Brown and the coaching staff’s inability to get this team up for every week, but they had their guys ready to roll on Saturday.
However, they still lost. I’m not convinced this game should change much in terms of Brown being on the hot seat, but it was at least a strong performance in front of the home crowd against an undefeated Top 10 team. It’s the least we should expect, and WVU at least accomplished that.