Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

After TCU coach Gary Patternson saw his team lose 30-7 to Texas last week, how pumped will the Frogs be for West Virginia?

 

FORT WORTH, Texas —It’s a tad revisionist, the spin West Virginia’s coaching staff applied to last week’s loss at K-State, but when you’re head over cleats in a three-game losing streak it’s human nature to cling to anything that keeps you afloat.

As the company line goes, WVU’s defense was a mere seven plays away from a near-shutdown performance—those seven plays, coincidentally, being K-State’s 7-of-8 conversions on third downs during the second half. Those seven plays (out of 64 the Wildcats ran) transformed a game WVU led into a game it lost badly, 35-12.

“Maybe one of the strangest games I’ve been associated with,” said defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. “To feel like you’re in such control … It’s frustrating that we didn’t execute basically the last four possessions of the game.”

Those four possessions, and the 28-point late-game shelling they yielded, proved yet again that WVU—in it’s current yearlong malaise—is never in control. Leaking confidence, forgoing discipline and averting its eyes from each week’s impending doom, the Mountaineers defense (and, indeed, the entire team) has descended into a state of fragility that prohibits winning football.

“We need to play to win, don’t just play hoping to win,” Patterson said. “Go out and take it.”

Fortunately for West Virginia, Saturday’s opponent possesses a similar complex. And in TCU’s case, the crestfall may sting even worse, considering how Big 12 title projections were heaped upon the Frogs during the offseason. Like WVU, Texas Christian gave a respectable effort at Oklahoma. Like WVU, it lost to Texas Tech by 10. Like WVU, it can only cling to hope of becoming a middling six-win team selected for one of those bowl games we’ll watch over Christmas leftovers.

Unlike K-State, however, TCU hasn’t shown any offensive pop during conference play. The Frogs are as notoriously bad on converting third downs as WVU is at stopping them. And that gives the Mountaineers a chance at the superbly remodeled Amon G. Carter Stadium, especially against an underachieving Frogs team favored by 12.

After TCU made and squandered a significant emotional investment in last week’s 30-7 home loss to Texas, WVU might actually have the better mindset of the two. Ponder that.

Pick: West Virginia 23-21

Ranking the rest of the week’s Big 12 games:

1. No. 18 Oklahoma State 40, No. 15 Texas Tech 34: (Cowboys -1) Consider this an elimination game in the Big 12 championship chase.

2. Kansas State 33, Iowa State 27: (Wildcats -17) After two blowout losses, Paul Rhoads’ team is once again contractually obligated to have a near-upset nixed by a ref’s blown call.

3. Texas 45, Kansas 15: (Longhorns -27) The Mack Brown Old-Tyme Revival Tour continues in a game so one-sided that UT officials have scheduled AD interviews during the second half.

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Comments

  • Wes

    Continuity and vision are the keys to any great organization. The universities vision and commitment to our athletic department has never been stronger. We are marketing and building a department that is meant to be sustainable over the long-run. Wins and national exposure will come in time as long as the people of our great state stay committed to the vision.

    Also, success breeds success. As we improve the quality of our infrastructure, gain more game level experience in our new conference and begin to receive the full financial benefit of Big XII , more gifted athletes and coaches will want to call Morgantown home. WVU did not per se "transition" into the Big XII, but rather was thrown into a really hot skillet. TCU's transition has been as equally painful. We as fans need to concentrate on the positives (W over OK ST, Woman's Soccer, new Baseball stadium..etc) and help our university build on the momentum.

    I'd love to be good now but am savoring the idea of being great for a really long time! Patience and baby steps are the only way to get to the top!

    Go EERs'
    'Class of 04'

    • Jock Strap

      Thank you great post. Just be prepared though there will be some uproar because you forgot to " fire the coach" .

    • WVWho

      Thanks Dr Phil!

  • Mike

    Joe, just saw a photo of the crowd at TCU. It was a game vs KU during the 4th qtr, which TCU was clinging to a 24-17 lead. The place looked like a ghost town! I don't think we will ever sink that low.

  • Mike

    I heard their attendance has been down. It's not going to matter though, if we don't play ball like I know we can. Leave it all out there on the field guys!!

  • Joe

    Morning guys.

    Quick question. What is tne TCU home field environment like. Loud? Traditional tough place to play, good crowds, etc?

    Thx in advance for any feedback.

    Joe

  • tw eagle

    i'm still trying to digest Holgerson's edict that Trickett won't be making any adjustments at the line of play . . .
    Holgerson wants to get 90 plays a game so he won't spend the extra time / essentially losing plays , to signal a change of play - or Holgerson thinks Trickett is too slow/ dumb to fit into his " three day to learn air raid offense " - in which case , why ain't Trickett on the bench . . .but my favorite theory is that Trickett ain't Holgerson's recruit but Trickett's his best ticket and still won't work to help him and WVU succeed . . ."i'll let Trickett swing on his own and Ford will come to the rescue "

    I didn't like RR's philosophy on recruiting but his handling of Rasheed Marshall showed
    me how a coaching staff can and did succeed with a QB of limited skills reading a Defense . . .let's perk up your coaching game Holgerson , YOU'RE KILLING the MOUNTAINEERS . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !

  • Marty

    Why not bash the pitiful offense . The d is on the field to much cause o is 3 an out

  • JaneM

    WVU in a dog fight WIN by 3