Time is running out for both teams in this Saturday’s clash at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
TCU (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) and West Virginia (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) will meet Saturday in Fort Worth as both squads scramble to save their seasons. Both the Horned Frogs and the Mountaineers need to win three of their final four games to make it to a bowl game.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson said the Frogs have to maintain a calm approach down the stretch, following the old adage of taking it one game at a time.
“Now it’s four one-day seasons,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to win three out of four to get to six [wins]. That’s what the goal is. It can’t be a last-grasp type of situation. I think [players] sense that. They’ll sense whether you think they have a chance.”
The Frogs will take on a struggling WVU team, which is currently on a three-game losing streak and has yet to win a game on the road this season. The Mountaineers’ last win, however, came over Oklahoma State, which is currently ranked No. 18 in the BCS standings.
Quarterback Clint Trickett, a transfer from Florida State, was the starter for the Mountaineers in their victorious game against Oklahoma State after the team used three different passers in its first four contests. Trickett is completing just 49.7 percent of his passes with three touchdowns and three interceptions, but WVU is scoring an average of 27.75 points per game with Trickett as the starter.
The emergence of running back Charles Sims, who transferred from Houston, has also helped West Virginia this season. Sims has rushed for 600 yards and four touchdowns and has also been a receiving threat out of the backfield, grabbing 33 catches for 265 yards and a touchdown.
Sims and Trickett will be matching up against a TCU defense that is ranked 22nd in the country in total yardage allowed. However, the Frogs gave up a number of deep pass plays in their 30-7 loss to Texas Saturday, including a 65-yard touchdown, and the Mountaineers are good at throwing the deep ball.
“You’ve got to be careful about being too aggressive against this group,” Patterson said. “They’re going to keep taking shots, so you’ve got to manage the game. This kind of offense is not one of those where you stop it, not unless you just have better players.”
“They bring a whole lot of challenges. They can go deep, and [they] just give out different personnel,” said safety Chris Hackett. “We just have to go play our game and just go play as a team.”
The Frogs need to stay positive as they finish out the season, Patterson said, so the problems from this year don’t roll into next season. He said players have to continue to work hard and grow up instead of giving up. Hackett said no one on the team is quitting on the season.
“Nobody on this team is giving up on this team,” he said, “and I don’t think anybody else [on this team] would [say that]. We fight together, and I think everybody is on the same page, fighting together until the end.”