Except for Derius Davis that is. After Davis returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown to take the early lead and seemingly give TCU momentum, West Virginia would outscore TCU 29-10 the rest of the way, including shutting the Frogs out in the second half. Making it official, TCU head coach Gary Patterson is on the hot seat.
Kendre Miller was averaging 9 yards per carry yet he could not get the ball in his hands. Zach Evans did not look his regular self one week after missing his first game due to a foot injury, and Doug Meacham gave up on the run much too early, leading to the offense scoring a mere 10 points in an entire full regulation college football game in 2021. That is not to say the loss was entirely on the offense as the defense played terribly, and there is plenty of blame to go around. But as KillerFrogs discussed earlier in the week, TCU was going to need to win the battle in the trenches against WVU to come away with the win, and that most certainly did not happen on either side of the ball.
After the initial kickoff return for a touchdown by Derius Davis, TCU could not get the West Virginia offense off of the field. All four of West Virginia's first half possessions ended in points, and there was nothing TCU could do to stop the run game. It was obvious to everyone in the stadium that the run was coming, but TCU still could not stop it. WVU coach Neil Brown could have told Gary Patterson what play he was running, and TCU still would not have been able to stop a run between the tackles.
|Plays||Yards||Time of Possession||Result|
Leddie Brown Touchdown
Leddie Brown Touchdown
After the game, Coach Patterson seemingly referred to the two West Virginia field goal drives as moral victories for TCU. Coach, we love you, but nothing about allowing 70+ field goal drives between 94 and 65 yard touchdown drives is successful. No matter what the current situation or plethora of excuses might be. Coach P also seemingly threw his OC under the bus, stating that you can not win games scoring ten points. While that is true, you do not like to see your head coach deflecting blame and throwing what has been the more successful unit between offense and defense under the bus. Because guess what coach, you can not win ball games when you go an entire first half without a defensive stop either. The TCU defense allowed West Virginia to control and shorten the game, limiting the amount of possessions for and putting a tremendous amount of pressure on the offense right from the start of the game, even with the opening kick return by Davis.
Down by three points with 7:00 left in the third quarter, that pressure would build to a crescendo and eventually Meacham and Duggan would crack. In what was a bit of a de ja vu moment from the OU game, TCU found itself in a 3rd and 4 having run the ball with success on the drive. With Quentin Johnston having already established himself earlier in the game, West Virginia was committed to providing safety help over the top, opening up the run game. The problem, similarly to last week's critical moment, was that Evans had not been effective and did not seem 100%, and Miller, who had been beasting out, had seemingly just hurt his shoulder on a carry. Like last week, Meacham did not have the confidence to plug and play Emari Demercado or Daimarqua Foster in what would have been an obvious two-play situation to pick up the first down on the ground at the WVU 19 yard line. If either Evans or Miller had been 100% in the moment, it seemed like an automatic first down in two plays the way the TCU offense had been running on the series with WVU overly concerned with Quentin Johnston. But like last week, Meacham did not go with the run but tried to force the ball to QJ when he was in man coverage with help over the top, allowing the defender to jump the route underneath which resulted in an interception and big return.
Leddie Brown would punch in his 3rd touchdown of the day three plays later, and West Virginia would control the game and the clock the rest of the way. With the defense unable to get off the field, the pressure would only continue to mount for Meacham and the TCU offense who would turn the ball over two more times and go on to get shutout in the second half.
It was a must win game for TCU, and with the loss Gary Patterson's seat is reaching the boiling point. Unfortunately, there does not seem to be a remedy for what ails TCU moving forward, and Frogs fans will have to get used to their opponents running the ball down their throat for the remainder of the season.
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