West Virginia has been quite good at home this season, while TCU has yet to lose on the road in 2020.
Looking to improve to 5-0 at home, the Mountaineers are also trying to keep the Horned Frogs from going 3-0 on the road in Saturday’s Big 12 contest at Morgantown, W.Va.
After West Virginia (4-3, 3-3 Big 12) lost all four of its home games against Big 12 opponents last season, the Mountaineers have responded by winning their first four at home in 2020, including three against conference foes. They aim to rebound from last week’s tough 17-13 loss at then-No. 22 Texas.
“We’re getting better, there’s a ton of evidence of that,” coach Neal Brown said this week.
West Virginia nearly beat the Longhorns despite rushing for a season-low 43 yards. The Mountaineers average just 67.3 yards while losing all three road contests, but have ground out 218.3 yards a game at home.
Running back Leddie Brown has averaged 128.3 on the ground at home, compared to 76.0 away. However, TCU has yielded just 152 total rushing yards while winning its last two games.
“I think (TCU coach) Gary Patterson’s the best defensive coach in the country,” Brown said Monday during the Big 12 conference call, “if you look at the defensive results he’s had over a long period of time.”
The Horned Frogs (3-3, 3-3) opened the season losers in three of four, but the past two weeks took advantage of struggling programs Baylor and Texas Tech (a combined 2-9 this season). TCU two conference games on the road so far have been the 33-23 victory over the Bears on Oct. 31, and their 33-31 victory at then-No. 9 Texas on Oct. 3.
TCU last opened a season with three consecutive road wins in 2017. Last weekend at home, the Frogs jumped out to 10-0 lead and beat the Red Raiders 34-18.
“We are pretty excited to get back to 3-3,” Patterson said. “This team does not want to lose. We’ve got to play a good West Virginia team, so we got to get ready to go for that.”
Versatile TCU quarterback Max Duggan has thrown for 1,113 yards this season, but his legs did most of the work against Texas Tech. The sophomore rushed for a career-high 154 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.
“Rushing, you know, that is one of his strengths,” Patterson added of his quarterback, whose 329 yards leads the team. “When you have a guy who outruns the secondary, you know he is pretty athletic.”
Last season against West Virginia, Duggan managed only 23 yards on eight carries while throwing for 144 without a touchdown and two interceptions during the Horned Frogs’ 20-17 home loss.
The Mountaineers’ Jarret Doege threw a 35-yard, go-ahead touchdown with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter of that contest. It was one of Doege’s two touchdowns on the day, but he was also picked off three times while passing for 158 yards. Brown rushed for just 47 yards on 15 carries and had six receptions for 41 yards and a touchdown.
–Field Level Media