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West Virginia-TCU Preview Capsule

West Virginia (3-3, 0-3 Big 12) at No. 5 TCU (7-0, 4-0), 7:30 p.m. (FS1)

Line: TCU by 14.

Series Record: Tied 2-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

TCU has a school-record 15-game winning streak, second only to Ohio State’s 21 in a row, and the Horned Frogs have to keep winning to stay in playoff contention. West Virginia is still looking for its first Big 12 victory this season after losing in consecutive weeks to the league’s other Top 25 teams — No. 2 Baylor, No. 12 Oklahoma State and No. 14 Oklahoma.

KEY MATCHUP

Wendell Smallwood and West Virginia’s running game vs. TCU defense. Smallwood is the Big 12’s third-leading rusher at 113 yards per game, nearly half of the Mountaineers’ 216 yards per game. One way to try to slow down quarterback Trevone Boykin and TCU’s quick-strike offense is to control the ball and keep them off the field as much as possible.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

West Virginia: QB Skyler Howard went to high school at Fort Worth Brewer, only about 15 miles from the TCU campus. Howard has thrown for 1,566 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions. He has at least three TD passes in five of his eight starts, including four scores in a loss at Baylor in the last game.

TCU: Linebackers Travin Howard and Montrel Wilson, a pair of converted safeties and TCU’s top two tacklers. Howard, a sophomore, has 50 tackles and freshman Wilson has 46 tackles with 2 1-2 sacks.

FACTS & FIGURES

The three Big 12 games between the Mountaineers and Frogs have been decided by a combined five points, two in overtime before TCU won with a field goal on the final play of regulation last season. … TCU has won 11 Big 12 games in a row. … The Mountaineers have had at least 350 total yards in 27 consecutive games, the nation’s longest such streak. … The Frogs are playing a Thursday night home game for the first time since 2008, when it defeated ninth-ranked BYU.

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