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Big 12 football: Saturday foes West Virginia, TCU finding their way in the Big 12

by Berry Tramel Published: November 2, 2012
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photo - West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith walks off the field after a turnover on downs during an NCAA college football game against Kansas State in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Kansas State won 55-14. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson)   ORG XMIT: WVCJ120
West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith walks off the field after a turnover on downs during an NCAA college football game against Kansas State in Morgantown, W.Va., Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012. Kansas State won 55-14. (AP Photo/Christopher Jackson) ORG XMIT: WVCJ120

Ah, Big 12 football. Oklahoma-Texas. OSU-Texas Tech. Kansas State-Iowa State. Ancient feuds. New rivals. Common histories.

And then there's TCU-West Virginia. The Big 12's newcomers play Saturday in Morgantown, W.Va., and the Horned Frogs and Mountaineers can compare their October wounds.

Both teams left September ranked – WVU No. 8, TCU No. 15 – and unbeaten. But they went a combined 2-5 in October. Of their combined four conference victories, three have come against Baylor and Kansas, both winless in conference play.

“Our group … understood the competition going into the season, and it hasn't been any different," Frogs coach Gary Patterson said. "Usually when you're closer in competition, it's going to be six, eight plays that are going to be the difference in the ballgame. That's held up to be pretty true so far.”

In TCU's defense, the Frogs have been beset by injuries and the loss of troubled quarterback Casey Pachall.

West Virginia's problems have been a season-long porous defense and a suddenly impotent offense. Three weeks ago, quarterback Geno Smith was a Heisman Trophy favorite. Now the Mountaineers have scored three offensive touchdowns total the last two games.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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