November 9, 2018
Wow, it really felt like fall this morning didn’t it? Put another log on the fire, it’s going to be a chilly weekend.
It’s also going to be chilly where the Frogs are headed. Destination: Morgantown, WV.
It’s raining there right now and tomorrow it’s going to be cloudy at Milan Puskar Stadium. A balmy high of 38.
Coolest game of the year for TCU, but it won’t be nearly as chilly as the reception that Mountaineer fans will give the Frogs on their way down the tunnel. Picture Arkansas with muskets. Mountaineer fans bring it and the Frogs better as well.
The No. 9 Mountaineers are on a roll. WVU’s offense is a machine and defense matches in strength.
The recipe for TCU’s success is to go after quarterback Will Grier and keep tight coverage on Mountaineer wide receivers. Photo by Glen E. Ellman
Will Grier is a Heisman-level talent at quarterback. The only team that he’s lost to is Iowa State, who blitzed and blitzed and blitzed. The Cyclones were in his face so much you would’ve thought Bob Huggins was calling the defense for ISU. That’s the recipe for TCU – get after him. While you’re coming from all angles, make sure to keep an eye on the running backs for WVU. They’re good. #6 Kennedy McKoy is speedy and catches the ball out of backfield as well. Master Blaster Martell Pettaway #32 is what the Mountaineers use to knock down the door. Then there’s the receiving corps: All-American David Sills is a former QB turned uncoverable wide receiver at 6-4. He’s a scoring machine, especially near the goal line. Marcus Simms and last week’s last-minute hero Gary Jennings, Jr. give the Frogs plenty to cover.
One of the most improved parts of the WVU team is the defense — in the top four of all Big 12 defensive stat categories that count: rushing defense, pass defense, total defense and what they allow opponents to tack on the scoreboard. The Mountaineers run an interesting 3-3-5 scheme that’s designed to confuse, combat and confound. And they do it well. Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson had to rebuild in the offseason and his personnel decisions have been spot-on. They’ve also stayed healthy through the first eight games. That helps.
The Frogs need a fast start as WVU loves to jump on opponents and run away. West Virginia averages 27.7 FIRST HALF points at home this year. Again, a fast start for the Frogs is a must. Sustain drives, eat the clock, play keep-away. Throw in a trick play.
I’m looking for the usual slobber-knocker that we always see when the Frogs and Mountaineers tee it up. It seems there’s a healthy rivalry between these two junior members of the Big 12, who both joined in 2012.
Joe D. Denton was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Courtesy of John Denton
Also, before I run, a shout-out to all our veterans on this Veterans Day weekend. Veterans are different. Special. They’ve been places and done things that most of us haven’t done. More than anything, they are there for us and the U.S. I have several family members who served, including my dad, Joe Denton, U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s. I love this photo of him — it says so much about him and that time when nothing was guaranteed in the 1940s. Thanks, Dad, for the guarantee. He’s 94 now and part of that special group that served proudly without second thought.
We’re on the air Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. Join Brian, a chilly Landry Burdine on the field and me on the TCU Sports Network.
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John Denton has been the color analyst for the TCU Sports Network from IMG since 1988. A former standout for the Horned Frog football team, Denton went from walk-on to a four-year lettermen as a kicker and punter for the Purple and White from 1981-84 and completed his career at the 1984 Bluebonnet Bowl. Shown here with his former coach, the late Jim Wacker, Denton currently serves as the Director of Major Gifts for TCU Athletics.
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