Fearless Picks: West Virginia Mountaineers - TCU Horned Frogs

West Virginia needs a win to break a three-game losing streak, but a road contest at Top Five TCU provides a most difficult of hurdles to overcome in getting off the skid. How do our panelists see the Thursday Night Throwdown in Fort Worth shaping up as the Mountaineers complete one of the most difficult schedule stretches in their history?

Chris Richardson Last Week: W Season: 6-0 Point Differential: 118
It doesn't get any easier for WVU, not even after a week off. Yes, the Mountaineers played TCU to the wire last year in Morgantown. But that means nothing this year. TCU is the better team, playing at home, with hopes of a berth in the playoff. A win would bring a much-needed boost to what once looked like a promising season in Morgantown. But it's not happening this week. The downward trend continues as the Mountaineers fall below .500.
  TCU 44-24  
Andy Easton Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 109
The Mountaineers have their work cut out for them in Fort Worth, TX on Thursday night.  TCU has won 13 straight games overall, 11 out of 12 games coming off an open week and its last 11 Big 12 games.  With three key defensive backs missing the TCU game, WVU will be hard pressed to keep the game close.  Thrown in the fact that the Mountaineers seem to turn the ball over or get called for penalties and the most inopportune time, it could get ugly quick.
  TCU 50-31  
Connor Murray Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 109
WVU comes into this game with a beat up, patch work secondary, which is not ideal when taking on on offense like TCU's. Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson hook up for a couple scores and the Horned Frogs pull away in the second half.
  TCU 52-41  
Greg Hunter Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 119
Despite its unusual defensive struggles (26.6 ppg), which are understandable in the face of all its defensive injuries, TCU still is finding a way to win, primarily because it has one of the best offenses in the country (50.1 ppg). WVU has the ability to give TCU a very tough test, but if West Virginia has any chance at an upset, it has to eliminate the mistakes that have been disastrous recently.
  TCU 37-33  
Matt Keller Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 121
There's a part of me that believes West Virginia can play this game close and potentially win, but the Mountaineers have simply made too may mistakes and been unable to compete against the upper echelon of the Big 12. This contest plays out the same, as TCU remains unbeaten with superior execution and talent.
  TCU 38-27  
Jonathan Martin Last Week: W Season: 5-1 Point Differential: 125
Life in the Big 12 continues to be tough for West Virginia – as the Mountaineers prepare for a Thursday night showdown at No. 5 TCU. Expect the Mountaineers to continue to fight, but it’s not going to be easy. With three top defensive backs out, I anticipate the Horned Frogs to score lots of points both on the ground and through the air. Can WVU match them offensively? Can they keep from turning the football over? Before I can say yes, they need to prove they can – and they haven’t yet.
  TCU 48-27  
Jane Donovan
Last Week: W Season: 4-2 Point Differential: 108
Thursday night represents WVU's last chance to avoid an 0 for October, but it's certainly a challenging assignment. TCU QB Trevone Boykin is putting together a superb season and will provide the Mountaineer D with all sorts of, um, shall we say, opportunities to shine. Yeah, that's it, opportunities to shine. Kwit, Shaq, Jared 42, and Jarrod 22, this game is almost certainly in your hands. My head says no but my heart says yes. P. S. Best wishes to Baylor QB Seth Russell for a full recovery. Hearing the words "fractured" and "neck" in the same sentence is never good, but glad your injury wasn't far more serious. Hope to see you back on the field in all good time.
  West Virginia 34-31  
Brian Jolliff Last Week: W Season: 4-2 Point Differential: 117
I'll make this as painless as possible. The slide unfortunately continues at TCU with the Mountaineers falling to the Horned Frogs. The issues are wide and varying but include WVU's offensive line's inability to protect the quarterback by giving up a conference tying 19 sacks for the season, which again will be an issue this Thursday. Playing away from home against a team that is averaging over 58 points at home this season is just too many cards stack against the Gold and Blue.
  TCU 52-38  
Roger "C.J." Harvey Last Week: W Season: 4-2 Point Differential: 129
More players on the offense will need to step up if the Mountaineers plan to dethrone No. 5 TCU. The bye week gave ample time for WVU to recover after its loss to Baylor and continue to develop. But TCU is no ordinary opponent. It will take a perfect performance for West Virginia to slow the Horned Frogs. A damaged defense could make it tough stopping TCU's high powered attack. West Virginia will start strong, and keep it close late. Still, the Mountaineers will finish 0-4 in the month of October.
  TCU 37-31  

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