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#KeysToTheGame: Mountaineer defense needs to step up against TCU rushing attack

Gold and Blue Nation

The Mountaineers were close at Texas but as coach Brown said they’re not in it to be close…  One of the most frustrating parts of WVU’s loss at Texas their performance in the red zone. The Mountaineers were just 2-5, with only one touchdown. Twice the Mountaineers were turned away on 4th and 1 on incomplete passes into the end zone.

The running game will also need to perform better against TCU. WVU could only muster 43 yards on the ground last week, though that was with an injured Leddie Brown. In their win over Texas Tech, TCU only yielded 77 yards on the ground.

Speaking of running the ball, WVU will have to focus on Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan — he loves to run the ball. Just a week ago, he only threw for 73 yards but ran for another 154 yards and three touchdowns in their win over the Red Raiders. Including a TD runs of 48 and 81 yards, he is TCU’s leading rusher for the season with 329 yards on 80 attempts. WVU held Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, a dual-threat himself, to 39 yards on 12 carries and no touchdowns.

TCU has the second-best rushing offense in the Big 12, while WVU has the third best rushing D, though they were gashed for a couple of big runs from the Longhorns.

The Mountaineers will need to protect Jarret Doege as the TCU defense had 5 sacks in their win over Tech. The Mountaineer offensive line has allowed just 13 sacks in conference play. TCU however is next to last in the conference, allowing their QB to be sacked 22 times so far this season. But that can be tricky, as we told you Duggan loves to run the ball.

Control of the ball will be critical, these two offenses are second and third in time of possession, so which D can get the others offense off the field on third down.

WVU has won three of the last four in this series and two straight, last year’s win in Fort Worth was key to a successful offseason for the Mountaineers. A win this weekend will ensure the Mountaineers at least a .500 season.

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