TCU head coach Gary Patterson once held the same position in a professional league. Can you name the league or the team?
SPECIAL TEAMS STANDOUTS
TCU's special teams have a number of players to watch. In addition to returner Skye Dawson, who was profiled in our Match-ups feature, the Horned Frogs have placekicker Jaden Oberkrom, who is 14-18 on field goal tries this year, including 6-6 against Texas Tech, punter Ethan Perry (47.2 yards per boot), and excellent coverage teams.
TCU's punt coverage unit has given up just 37 yards in returns this year, while its kickoff coverage team hasn't allowed a return for a score in 212 games. That streak, which dates to Sept. 1, 2003, is the longest current active stretch in the nation.
ENDS OF THE SPECTRUM
West Virginia's struggles in getting opposing offenses off the field have been well documented. The Mountaineers are currently 117th (out of 120) in opposing third down conversions.
Conversely, TCU has been good at making third downs hurt. The Horned Frogs are #6 in the nation in that metric, allowing just 29 successes in 107 opponent tries on third down.
EASTBOUND AND DOWN
TCU is playing its first game in the eastern time zone in more than three years. The Horned Frogs last ventured into the GMT +5:00 zone when it defeated Clemson 14-10 on Sept. 26, 2009.
With a very young team, TCU has tried to keep things simple and under control for its new charges. That includes a ground-based attack that emphasizes ball control, and the results haven been solid. TCU is third in the nation in time of possession, holding on to the ball for an average of 34:07 per game.
TCU is 61-6 in its last 67 games when winning the time of possession battle.
WVU, which hopes to return to its former fast-paced ways on offense, had just 62 offensive snaps against Kansas State. Conversely, the patient Wildcat offense ran just 62 plays of its own against the weak West Virginia defense. All of these factors point to another slow-paced, ball control game – one which will certainly favor the visitors.
In addition to English outlets on the TCU IMG Sports Networks, Horned Frogs' games can also be heard in Spanish on the AM dial in the Dallas \ Ft. Worth Metroplex.
In 1992, Patterson was the short-term head coach of the Oregon Lightning Bolts of something called the Professional Spring Football League. The league folded before the Lightning Bolts played a game.