West Virginia (3-5, 1-4) travels to TCU (3-5, 1-4) for a matchup of two teams on a similar trajectory that are battling for bowl eligibility.
The Horned Frogs have gotten off to a slow start this season in large part due to issues up front combined with the fact that senior quarterback Casey Pachall has been injured for most of the year. However, the signal caller is back for this weekend's tilt and head coach Dana Holgorsen expects to see both of the Horned Frogs signal callers.
"It's a little easier to prepare because they are both doing the same thing," he said.
However, things begin on the defensive side for TCU as Gary Patterson's squad returns nine starters from a season ago including all five of their options in the secondary.
Because of the strength of the secondary, West Virginia will be forced to make plays with the ball in the air and convert opportunities that will be covered.
"They're as good of a secondary as there is in college football," he said.
The pride of the TCU program has been sound defense and it's no different this season as the coaching staff has been together for the better part of a decade. The Horned Frogs are great against the run, but are equally impressive rushing the passer, however, the staple of the group is the effort that they play with on each play out of their unique 4-2-5 alignment.
The Mountaineers are still searching for an identity themselves and have struggled to play winning football on the offensive side, while making critical plays on the defensive side, something that eluded West Virginia last week.
"It's not a winning performance and not progressing like I want it to progress," he said.
West Virginia must win three of their last four in order to become bowl eligible and Holgorsen said that the team is mindful of that number and is putting its best foot forward down the stretch.
On the injury front West Virginia had 13 players out for the Kansas State game and Holgorsen provided an update on the various statuses. Ford Childress continues to recover from a torn pectoral muscle but is still a couple weeks away from playing. Holgorsen did not rule out him returning sometime during the regular season but will continue on a throwing program.
"In my opinion he didn't do anything to lose the job," he said.
Dustin Garrison will miss the TCU game with a hamstring injury, while Wes Tonkery is out for the remainder of the season due to shoulder surgery. As for those players that are day to day, Holgorsen listed Doug Rigg (concussion), Daryl Worley (shin), Dontrill Hyman (ankle), Ricky Rumph (foot) and Pat Eger all will be monitored throughout the week.
West Virginia pulled a redshirt on Darrien Howard in the Kansas State game and Holgorsen expects him to see even more time moving forward.