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Ludwig: WVU Cannot Afford an Eighth Straight Away Loss Tonight

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West Virginia doesn’t win many road games under head coach Neal Brown, going 3-10 during his tenure and winning none over the last season and a half, but WVU must win a road game against TCU tonight.

Falling to 2-5 (0-4 in the Big 12) would be unacceptable. The only team worse in the conference would be a Kansas team that nearly beat No. 3 Oklahoma today. (Shoutout to the Jayhawks for allowing fans in for free)

TCU is a solid football team. They’re a 3-3 team (1-2 in the conference) that scores a lot of points and gives up a lot of points. Their quarterback, junior Max Duggan, is having a great season and is coming off a great game in a close loss to Oklahoma.

It’s not going to be an easy game for WVU, especially playing in Fort Worth, Tx., but the Mountaineers cannot leave with a loss — especially when Iowa State and No. 8 Oklahoma State are on the schedule next.

The time for taking moral victories in close losses is over. It’s about tangible results, and if WVU can’t beat a mediocre TCU team, what’s the point?

Brown is likely going to run it back with redshirt senior quarterback Jarret Doege, try to string together enough wins to reach that six win platform and sneak into the Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl against Army once again.

A great recruiting class and moral victories are meaningless at this point. If anyone is to “Trust the Climb”, WVU needs to actually start climbing. With a winning season in 2020, a bowl win and the alleged growth of Doege, the optimism around WVU was bountiful.

That optimism was all for naught at this point in the season.

An opening loss to Maryland, complete with four turnovers and a poor performance from Doege, was deflating, but it was only one game. Seasons aren’t over in one game. A blowout over a barely Division I Long Island team meant nothing, and an upset win over a Virginia Tech that lost four of its last five — and possibly its coach — now means very little besides a trophy.

A very solid showing against pre-Caleb Williams Oklahoma, a game in which WVU should have won, in all honesty, gave fans hope. At 2-2, WVU just needed to string together a couple of wins as the schedule rolled into conference play. Instead, the Mountaineers lost at home to Texas Tech and got obliterated by Baylor on the road.

Halfway through the season, sitting at 2-4 while winless in the conference, WVU has to win four of six against TCU, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas State and Kansas. And honestly, it’s hard to even narrow down three strong chances. According to ESPN’s FPI, WVU is only favored to win the Kansas game. There isn’t another close chance.

WVU cannot lose to TCU. And in all honesty, it’s probably already too late. Unless consistent seasons of just sneaking into bowl games are acceptable now.

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