Five Answers: TCU vs. West Virginia

Five Answers: TCU vs. West Virginia

1. Which team will want to redeem itself more?

Answer: TCU jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but allowed 21 points in the second quarter and trailed by a touchdown at halftime. The teams traded scores in the second half, but the Frogs ultimately mounted a comeback from a ten-point deficit. As TCU head coach Gary Patterson said after double-overtime thriller, the team “has to go take ballgames” sometimes. And that is exactly what the Frogs did. A call like the one Patterson made to go for the two-point conversion when trailing by one is a gutsy call, but shows a lot of confidence in his team. Patterson and the Horned Frog squad showed they have some fight in them, and they can take a lot away from their performance in Morgantown.

2. Can TCU’s defense avoid “mistakes” on Saturday?

Answer: TCU surrendered 21 points in the first half, with one West Virginia touchdown being set up by a muffed punt deep in Horned Frog territory. In the second half, the defense stood strong. It was the special teams that made one mistake in letting Tavon Austin take a punt 76 yards for a touchdown. The Horned Frog defense held the Mountaineers to only 338 yards of total offense Saturday. The defense was a difference-maker in the game, as Jason Verrett came up with an interception and a crucial blocked field goal in overtime.

3. Will the Frogs be able to contain Tavon Austin?

Answer: No. Austin reeled in 11 catches for 101 yards and a touchdown, and added the aforementioned 76-yard punt return touchdown. Austin sparked the Mountaineer offense in the first half with a 43-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. However, Austin was the only one of West Virginia’s offensive weapons to have a big game. Stedman Bailey, who leads the nation in touchdown receptions with 15, was held to just two catches for 30 yards. A majority of that production came on a 25-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the second overtime.

4. Can Trevone Boykin bounce back from last week’s disappointment?

Answer: Boykin’s stat line from the game doesn’t suggest a stellar performance by any means. He threw for 254 yards on a pedestrian 12-of-29 passing. Boykin did manage the game well enough to keep the Frogs in position to win the game. He threw one interception late in the third quarter and fumbled twice, but didn’t lose either fumble. Boykin stayed strong in the pocket after taking a few big hits, and wasn’t intimidated by the road environment. The redshirt freshman kept his head in the game and came up big when TCU needed it (i.e. a 94-yard touchdown to Josh Boyce at the end of the fourth quarter) and didn’t make mistakes that took any wind out of TCU’s sails. Boykin added only 28 yards on the ground, but was able to create chances with his feet that set up scoring chances late in the game.

5. Can the Frogs stay healthy during the game?

Answer: Defensive tackle David Johnson left the game with an undisclosed injury, but the game plan for TCU on both sides of the ball remained intact for four quarters. A notable player returning from injury was Stansly Maponga, who recorded three tackles and a forced fumble in the game.