MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — Neal Brown’s fourth year has had its highs and it has had its lows. On Saturday at 12 p.m. ET, Brown hopes the season’s trajectory will once again spike when West Virginia hosts No. 7 TCU on ESPN.

The Mountaineers (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) have earned some marquee wins this season, namely trouncing Virginia Tech to bring home the Black Diamond Trophy and edging Baylor to win the first primetime game in Morgantown since 2018.

Then, there are the lows. In fact, the campaign might have hit a new low last week in Lubbock when WVU took a 38-point loss to Texas Tech, tying the biggest margin of defeat for the team under Brown.

“From my chair, the inconsistency is extremely frustrating. Probably the most frustrating thing professionally I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve never dealt with these highs and lows like we are dealing with,” Brown said in an exclusive interview for The Neal Brown Show.

The road gets tougher at Milan Puskar Stadium on Saturday when they line up against the undefeated and seventh-ranked Horned Frogs (7-0, 4-0). Under first-year coach Sonny Dykes, TCU has stormed through the Big 12 and is on a heater, defeating four straight ranked opponents to claim the top spot in the league.

Recent history is on the Mountaineers’ side, however. Brown’s WVU side has won all three of its meetings with TCU since 2019.

Here are the biggest storylines heading into Saturday:

Mountaineers and their individual battles

Not much worked for West Virginia against Texas Tech, but the passing game was especially lackluster in the loss.

Quarterback JT Daniels recorded his first career three-interception game in the loss as both he and the WVU receiving corps struggled to outplay the Tech secondary. Daniels finished with just 194 receiving yards before Garrett Greene led the offense at the end of the fourth quarter.

“We struggled to run the ball consistently and we didn’t win vs. man coverage,” Brown said. “If you don’t do either of those, you’re going to struggle regardless of who you are playing.”

On the ground, WVU mustered just 73 yards on the ground, the second-lowest total of the season thus far. The Mountaineers will look to improve on that number, but it could be difficult as they could be without as many as two of its four running backs: starter Tony Mathis Jr. will be out with an undisclosed injury while Justin Johnson Jr. was deemed questionable by Brown.

Those were just two names on a mounting injury list unveiled by Brown on Tuesday.

Scouting the Horned Frogs

WVU’s schedule hasn’t been easy to this point, but the Horned Frogs will likely be their toughest opponent yet.

TCU boasts the top offense in the league, tying with Oklahoma State to score 44.7 points per game. That unit has plenty of returners, including quarterback Max Duggan, who has started all three of the Frogs’ meetings with the Mountaineers.

Now a senior, Duggan is playing the best football of his college career, leading the Big 12 with 19 passing touchdowns and a passer efficiency rating of 181.8.

“Max Duggan is playing at an extremely high level. I think he’s thrown one interception all year,” Brown said. “He’s a dual-threat, he’s really strong….He’s straight-line fast, he’s had multiple 50-yard runs in his career, but he’s strong so he can run through tackles as well and his accuracy has improved.”

No. 7 TCU at WVU football game information

TCU and West Virginia kick off at noon ET at Milan Puskar Stadium, and the game will be shown on ESPN. Don’t miss an all-new episode of The Neal Brown Show which airs on affiliated Nexstar stations at 9 a.m. ET. That is followed at 10 a.m. ET by a live hour of Mountaineer GameDay, the most fun pregame show in West Virginia, on affiliated Nexstar stations. Another live hour of Mountaineer GameDay kicks off at 11 a.m. ET on AT&T SportsNet.