Differences Are an Ingredient for an Upset

When the Mountaineers take the field in Ft. Worth tonight, there will be a lot of differences between the two teams and many similarities. Success against a fully hyped Horned Frog team comes from understanding how to play to our strengths and keep TCU working to catch up to us and not the other way around. TCU is going with black jerseys, so the mountaineers chose a clean white with a variation of the Country Roads helmet. But, there are more significant differences than this contrast, let’s take a look at:

  • Passing Defense – Currently, WVU ranks 27th in college football in passing yards allowed per game. The steepest defense TCU faced was SMU (59) in their annual rivalry game last weekend. Establishing a passing attack would be great against the Horned Frogs, as they rank 124th out of 133 FBS teams in passing defense.
  • Rushing Defense – WVU sits much lower on the spectrum with their rushing defense when you do not account for the game against Duquesne. Side by side, TCU is ranked 15th in the country with rushing defense to our 75th. This says that to find success with the run game as we hope, we have to take some successful shots through the air to keep defenders from loading up around the line of scrimmage.
  • Red Zone Scoring – While we have not exactly lit up the scoreboard with anyone except the Dukes, we have found the endzone or made a field goal 77.78% of the time when in the red zone. TCU has a similar margin of success, with turning a red zone into points 73.33% of the time.

Neal Brown has yet to lose a game in Ft. Worth as the Head Coach of the Mountaineers, although he has yet to coach against Sonny Dykes in the setting. His wins came against Gary Patterson before TCU parted ways with the long-time coach. While this is a stout team that is not vulnerable in many areas, a little explosiveness where it is unexpected can be the key ingredient in an upset pie.

Photo Credit: Star-Telegram

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Benjamin Gilbert
Benjamin Gilbert here - panhandle resident and enjoyer of Pitt losses. First and foremost, I am a lifelong West Virginia Mountaineer fan and do my best to inspire that passion in my beautiful wife and talented kids. Unfortunately, fandom doesn't always pay the bills. I have been writing for a decade and a half for various professions and multi-faceted franchises, so writing is what I do. Combining my skills with my passion for the WVU teams, I always seek to provide fair and honest takes on our path to finding the top of college athletics. Let's Go.