TCU, Duggan visit WVU today
MORGANTOWN (AP) — Max Duggan pulled out his old bag of running tricks in TCU’s last game to give the Horned Frogs even more momentum in turning around their season.
The mobile sophomore was impressive with his arm over the first month while averaging under three yards on the ground. Then came a rushing burst a week ago, and that’s put the Big 12’s top defense at West Virginia (4-3, 3-3 Big 12) on alert as the Horned Frogs (3-3, 3-3) try to reach an elusive winning record today.
Duggan set career highs with 19 carries for 154 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-18 win over Texas Tech last week. He has six other games with 70 or more rushing yards, but five of those occurred last season.
“Whether they’re running the ball efficiently or not, I think he is a factor in their running game, and he’s elite at it,” said West Virginia defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae. “The kid’s a good football player.”
The Mountaineers limited Duggan’s effectiveness both with his legs and arm in pulling out a 20-17 win in the 2019 regular-season finale. West Virginia is much stronger on defense this season, holding opponents to a league-low 271 yards, including 109 on the ground.
West Virginia also has a league-high nine interceptions and possesses two of the Big 12’s top tacklers in linebacker Tony Fields and cornerback Alonzo Addae — Jahmile’s cousin.
They’re just not exactly sure what to expect this time out of Duggan. And Duggan’s teammates simply trust him no matter what he decides to do.
“We know he can run if things aren’t going good in the passing game,” said TCU center Steve Avila. “We always have that option, and it’s expected from him.”
TCU has won two straight after losing three of its first four games. The teams have split their eight meetings as conference foes since both joined the Big 12 in 2012.
Some other things to know about TCU and West Virginia:
LEDDIE BROWN’S STATUS
West Virginia coach Neal Brown said he’s hopeful running back Leddie Brown will be ready today after he was hurt while blocking on the first play at Texas. The junior stayed in the game and finished with 47 yards on 15 carries, including a touchdown.
If the Big 12’s No. 2 rusher is unable to go, Alec Sinkfield would get the start. Sinkfield ran for 123 yards in the season opener against Eastern Kentucky.
West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege has the solid backing of his coaching staff despite being unable to get the Mountaineers into the end zone on both fourth-quarter drives from inside the Texas 20 last week. Both times, Doege’s passes fell incomplete on fourth-and-1.
Doege is a close second in the Big 12 to Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler with 287 passing yards per game and his 184 completions leads the league. The junior has completed at least 64 percent of his passes in five of seven five games. Doege threw for 317 yards in the loss at Texas.