Bits and Bytes: WVU - TCU

From across the West Virginia University campus, we make one last roundup of notes and observations prior to the Mountaineers' game with TCU.

FOR AND AGAINST

Josh Doctson is the only player in TCU history to score a touchdown for and against the Horned Frogs. He is also the lone active player in college football to reach the end zone for and against his current school. Who did Johnson play for while recording a TD against TCU?


GAME DAY RECORDS

TCU is 4-0 when ESPN’s College GameDay is present. The Horned Frogs won at BYU in 2009 and at home versus Utah later that season. GameDay was also at Utah in 2010 and at the 2011 Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin. West Virginia is 0-1, having dropped a home game to LSU in 2011.


ON THE RUN

With the running ability of TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin in play, will West Virginia be able to send all-out blitzes in the manner it has employed over the past couple of games?

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Boykin has run the ball 85 times this year (first on the team) and trails rushing leader B.J. Catalon by just 14 yards for the team lead. While some of those yards come from designed rushing plays, many come from scrambles in the face of pressure or on those occasions receivers don't get open. His ability to take off and find running room far exceeds that of Bryce Petty or Daxx Garman, and presents another huge challenge for the West Virginia defense. Does it sell out on the pass rush again, or employ a more measured approach designed for gap control and lane closure? The latter option can make pass protection easier for the offensive line, but that might be preferable to having Boykin running downfield while the secondary is still chasing receivers.

A year ago, keeping Boykin in the pocket was the preferred approach. This year, it's not such an easy decision. Boykin is completing nearly 59% of his throws, and has suffered just three interceptions this season.


BREAKING CONNECTIONS

West Virginia's linebackers have received criticism over the past couple of seasons for some shortcomings on pass defense, but this year they have improved in that role. Mountaineer linebackers have accounted for eight of WVU's 20 credited pass breakups, with Wes Tonkery's four leading the entire team.


ON THE MOVE

TCU is playing in its fifth league in an 18-year span after participating in just two leagues over an 86-year period.
1909-22 Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association
1923-95 Southwest Conference
1996-00 Western Athletic Conference
2001-04 Conference USA
2005-11 Mountain West
2012-pres. Big 12 Conference

TCU accepted an invitation to the Big East in 2010, but never played a game in the conference and left before becoming an official member, otherwise the number would have been six.


BOLSTERED

At a time when rosters tend to shrink due to the cumulative effect of a season's wear and tear, WVU is actually experiencing a bit of a boost. Dontrill Hyman, who had knee surgery, returned to duty against Oklahoma State to provide valuable depth (and size) to the defensive line. Cornerback Terrell Chestnut and running back Rushel Shell are also expected back this week, further adding to the West Virginia depth chart.


TRIVIA ANSWER

Playing for Wyoming in 2011, Doctson had a seven-yard touchdown reception for the Cowboys. Fortunately for him in his current situation, TCU will won that game, 31-20.


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