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November 2, 2013

Keys to the Game: TCU Edition





Glimpses of Last Year:

In the middle of the second quarter TCU had momentum squarely in their favor. After pinning the Mountaineers to the 13 yard line, West Virginia showed some of the fast paced offense that most had grown accustomed to seeing last year. It only took WVU a minute and two seconds and three plays to go 87 yards for a touchdown. With two nearly 30 yard runs by Sims and an impressive 27 yard reception but Mario Alford and the Mountaineer offense was able to close the gap and make it just a seven point game.

Dodging the bullet:

Down seven point on their own 12 yard line, West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett is picked off by TCU linebacker Paul Dawson and returned to the 2 yard line. All TCU had to do was gain a few feet before putting the game out of reach from the struggling West Virginia offense. On the very next play the Mountaineer defense stood up and knocked the ball out of the hands of TCU's Mr. everything Trevone Boykin.

Redemption:

Both safety Darwin Cook and cornerback Ishmael Banks stepped up on back to back defensive stands to force turnovers that lead to the Mountaineers taking the lead early in the fourth. After West Virginia had just kicked a field goal to cut the lead to 17-13, TCU first snap on the drive was a deep pass by Casey Pachall down the sideline that was baited by Ishmael Banks who caught up to the ball from underneath around the Mountaineer 45 yard line. 56 yards later West Virginia tight end took a 11 yard reception in for a touchdown to put WVU up 20-17. Just three plays later, TCU once again turned the ball over as a trio of West Virginia defensive players sacked and tripped TCU quarterback Pachall and safety Darwin Cook fell on the ball giving West Virginia the ball on TCU's 17 yard line. Once again the West Virginia offense capitalized and put seven on the board to give WVU a ten point lead.

Playing It safe:

With seven minutes left in the game and up 10 points the Mountaineer defense switched up their approach after being successful for the most of the game putting pressure on TCU quarterback Casey Pachall. Late in the fourth West Virginia stopped putting pressure on the senior quarterback and in return Pachall began to find the open holes in the defensive secondary. Pachall went 12 of 15 as he drove TCU down the field twice to score 10 points and force overtime.

Making the Grade:

FINALLY, West Virginia decided they needed to ride the coattails of their most talented playmaker when they fed Charles Sims. The Houston transfer touched the ball 27 times for a grand total of 189 yards, including 154 on the ground and two touchdowns.

Once again the freshman Daikiel Shorts was the leading receiver for the Mountaineers. Shorts made a few big catches that helped move the chains and finished just two yards short of his first 100 yard game of his career.



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