Week Ten College Football Picks: TCU Horned Frogs at #21 West Virginia Mountaineers
Texas Christian Horned Frogs at #21 West Virginia Mountaineers
Saturday, November 3, 2012, 3:00 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
Mountaineer Field – Morgantown, West Virginia
Opening Line: West Virginia -7
Current Line: West Virginia -4
Opening Total: 71
Current Total: 68
Opening Money Line: WVU -240 / TCU +200
Current Money Line: WVU -205 / TCU +175
The two newest members of the Big 12 conference meet for just the second time ever as the West Virginia hosts TCU Saturday. The Mountaineers won the only previous meeting 31-14 in the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl.
TCU is 5-3 this season and 2-3 in the Big 12 under coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs are tied with Iowa St for 4th place in the conference, but 6 teams are ahead of them. TCU has losses at home against Iowa St 37-23 and Texas Tech 56-53 in triple overtime, along with a road loss at Oklahoma St last week 36-14. After a 4-0 start, TCU has gone 1-3 since after quarterback Casey Pachall was kicked off the team after being arrested for DUI. TCU has home wins over Grambling 56-0 and Virginia 27-7, along with road wins at Kansas 20-6, SMU 24-16, and at Baylor 49-21. The Horned Frogs are 3-5 ATS and the total is 3-4 this season. TCU was a 6.5 point underdog last week at Oklahoma St and the total was 63.
TCU is averaging 429.5 yards per game, including 263 passing and 166.5 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are outscoring teams 33-22 this season. TCU is +2 in turnovers despite having 20 turnovers. The Horned Frogs are averaging 71.2 penalty yards per game, and have allowed 13 sacks. TCU is 53/131 on third and fourth down conversions and 29/40 scoring in the red zone including 22 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs are allowing 333.1 yards per game, including 234.2 passing yards and 98.9 rushing yards. TCU is in the top 25 nationally in total defense and against the run. The Frogs have forced 22 turnovers and 19 sacks. TCU opponents are 34/117 on third and fourth down conversions and 19/23 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns.
TCU quarterback freshman Trevone Boykin took over as the starter from Pachall. Boykin has completed 101 of 164 passes (61.6%) for 1,122 yards with 11 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, and also has 66 carries, 252 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He is probable with a knee injury. If he can’t go Matt Brown will get the start. He moved from quarterback to wide receiver in the off-season, but became the back-up QB when Pachall left. Running back B.J. Catalan has 71 carries for 362 yards, along with 16 catches for 129 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Tucker has 75 carries, 320 yards, and 2 touchdowns, along with 7 catches, 64 yards and a touchdown. Aundre Dean has 48 carries, 218 yards, and a receiving touchdown on his only catch of the season. Running back Wayman James is out for the season with a torn ACL. Laderice Sanders only has 3 carries, but has 2 touchdowns. Receiver Josh Boyce has 44 catches, 507 yards with 5 touchdowns, and also has a rushing touchdown. Brandon Carter has 28 catches, 446 yards, and 4 touchdowns. He is doubtful for undisclosed reasons. Skye Dawson has 27 catches, 377 yards and a touchdown. LaDarius Brown has 20 catches, 291 yards and 5 touchdowns.
West Virginia is 5-2 this season and 2-2 in the Big 12. The Mountaineers are coached by Dana Holg0rsen. Three weeks ago the Mountaineers were undefeated and ranked in the top 10. Quarterback Geno Smith was the Heisman frontrunner, and the Mountaineers were a BCS contender. Both of those came to a screeching halt as West Virginia was crushed by a combined score of 104-28 in games at Texas Tech (49-14) and at home against Kansas St (55-14). WVU is coming off a badly needed bye week. The Mountaineers have home wins over Marshall 69-34, James Madison 42-12 (at Landover, MD), Maryland 31-21, and Baylor 70-63, along with a win at Texas 48-45. West Virginia is 2-5 ATS and the total is 3-3 this season. The Mountaineers were 3 point favorites in the Kansas St loss and the total was 73.
West Virginia is averaging 500.7 yards per game including 352 passing yards and 148.7 rushing yards. The Mountaineers are #13 in total offense and #5 passing nationally. West Virginia is outscoring teams 41-40 this season. The Mountaineers are # in scoring offense, but #118 in scoring defense out of 124 teams. The Mountaineers are +5 in turnovers with 5 giveaways. West Virginia has allowed 12 sacks this year. The Mountaineers are 55/111 on third and fourth down conversions and 26/31 scoring in the red zone scoring in the red zone with 23 touchdowns. While the West Virginia offense is one of the best in the country, the defense is one of the worst. The Mountaineers are giving up 493.6 yards per game including 360.1 passing yards and 133.4 rushing yards. West Virginia is 118th in total offense, against the pass, and in scoring defense. The rush defense is #35, but when teams can do so much damage through the air they really don’t have to run against the Mountaineers. WVU has forced 10 turnovers and 16 sacks. Mountaineer opponents are 60/114 on third and fourth down conversions and 32/37 scoring in the red zone with 27 touchdowns.
West Virginia quarterback Smith is having an incredible season with some video game type numbers. Smith has completed 217 of 92 passes (74.3%) for 2,417 yards with 26 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, along with 35 carries, 56 yards and a touchdown. Running back Andrew Buie has 115 carries for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns, along with 18 catches for 231 yards. Shawne Alston has 30 carries, 185 yards and 3 touchdowns. Alston is questionable with a thigh injury and has missed the last 5 games. Dustin Garrison has 26 carries for 138 yards and a touchdown, along with 6 catches fro 37 yards. If Alston can’t go, Garrison should get most of his carries. Receiver Stedman Bailey has 59 catches, 800 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tavon Austin has 74 catches, 788 yards and 9 touchdowns, along with 8 carries for 90 yards. Austin also has 1,413 all-purpose yards, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. J.D. Woods has 37 catches, 372 yards and 2 touchdowns.
TCU is 8-1 ATS after a straight up loss, 11-4 after allowing more than 280 passing yards, 19-7 after failing to cover, 14-6 in November, 1-4 after allowing 450 yards or more, 1-4 overall, and 1-5 in conference games.
West Virginia is 4-0 after gaining less than 275 yards, 4-1 after a straight up loss, 6-2 in November, 5-2 after passing for less than 170 yards, 2-6 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 1-4 on fieldturf, 1-5 in conference games, at home, against teams with winning records, and overall, 1-5-1 after allowing 280 passing yards or more, and 2-12 at home against teams with winning road records.
Both of these teams won their respective conference titles last season, TCU in the Mountain West and West Virginia in the Big East. After promising starts this season, the wheels have come off both bandwagons. TCU has a good defense, despite being shredded by high-powered Texas Tech and Oklahoma St the last two weeks. West Virginia is just awful on defense. Still, I see the Mountaineers winning a shootout at home.
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