No. 7 TCU, West Virginia heading in different directions

No. 7 TCU (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) at West Virginia (3-4, 1-3), Saturday, 12 p.m. ET. (ESPN)

Line: TCU by 7 1/2, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: West Virginia leads 7-4.


Two teams that entered the Big 12 in 2012 are going in opposite directions. TCU is alone in first place under new coach Sonny Dykes and is coming off wins over four straight ranked opponents, including a 38-28 victory over No. 22 Kansas State last week. West Virginia, which struggled mightily in a loss at Texas Tech, is stuck near the bottom of the standings, hoping to make a comeback in the second half of the season under embattled fourth-year coach Neal Brown.


TCU RB Kendre Miller against West Virginia’s defense. Miller is coming off a season-high 153 rushing yards against Kansas State and his 731 yards this season are a career best. He’s surpassed 100 yards in four of his last five games and has rushing TDs in all seven games. West Virginia has allowed two 100-yard performers this season, including 107 yards last week by Tahj Brooks of Texas Tech.


TCU QB Max Duggan is 0-3 against West Virginia. He’s completed under 50% of his pass attempts against the Mountaineers with one TD touchdown and five interceptions. But West Virginia’s defense has allowed 15 TD passes along with 33.7 points per game, both last in the Big 12. And Duggan has been spectacular with 19 touchdown passes and only one interception this season.

West Virginia’s CJ Donaldson was the only running back the Mountaineers used in the second half last week after injuries to Tony Mathis and Justin Johnson. Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, is averaging 6.2 yards per carry but was limited to 33 yards against Texas Tech after emerging from the concussion protocol. Mathis will miss Saturday’s game while Johnson is day-to-day.


West Virginia has won four straight over TCU. … The Mountaineers were held to a season-low 282 yards of offense against Texas Tech … Dykes was an assistant coach under Hal Mumme at Kentucky in the late 1990s when Brown was a wide receiver for the Wildcats. … In its last two games, TCU rallied from 18 points down to beat Kansas State and from 17 points behind to defeat No. 9 Oklahoma State. … TCU is among six remaining unbeaten teams in the Bowl Subdivision. Four others will meet in the regular season: No. 2 Michigan and No. 2 Ohio State, and top-ranked Georgia and No. 3 Tennessee.


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