The Horned Frogs welcomed back preseason all-Big 12 quarterback Casey Pachall last week after he missed five games with a broken left arm. They're still ranked No. 114 nationally in total offense, No. 92 in scoring offense, No. 102 in rushing offense and No. 99 in passing offense.
Patterson's defense ranks No. 102 in total defense, No. 85 in scoring, No. 91 against the run and No. 100 against the pass.
In the spotlight, though, will be what happens on third down. TCU converts only 28.57 percent of the time to rank No. 114. Since going 7-for-13 against LSU in the opener, the Horned Frogs haven't converted more than 39 percent of the time and have been below 19 percent three times.
WVU allows opponents to convert 44.09 percent of the time, which ranks No. 111. In its lone Big 12 win, WVU held Oklahoma State to 6-for-20. In the three-game losing streak that's followed, Baylor was 11-for-16, Texas Tech was 9-for-15 and Kansas State was 8-for-13.
Patterson said he and his players were spooked across the final seven third downs against the Wildcats. The first two were the same play call, but both times the blitz missed. On the first, linebacker Isaiah Brice arrived a tick too late. On the second, Bruce was rerouted when a defensive lineman went the wrong way and forced Bruce to take a longer route.
On the third, a third-and-goal at WVU's 9-yard line, Patterson called a new play and cringed when Bruce jumped out of a position to track a running back and safety Karl Joseph moved out of his spot to cover up Bruce's move. It allowed quarterback Daniel Sams to find receiver Tyler Lockett open in the back of the end zone.
"Karl probably would have intercepted it because it went right where he was," Patterson said. "From then, it just went south. You could see it in their eyes. 'Here we go again.' You could see it."
Aware that everything was working against the Mountaineers again, Patterson said he ended up calling different plays on the final five third downs. It was a deviation from his philosophy because Patterson wants to force his style on the defense and not cater to the offense.
"What shakes your confidence is when you call something and it doesn't work," he said. "Then you become a little hesitant sometimes to go back to it. You probably second-guess yourself on the call, but when you're clicking and you've got confidence, if I'm having success I'm going to keep it up until they show me something.
"But when all of a sudden you sit there and go, 'Uh oh, that's two in a row they converted,' and then you decide to try something else, that's all confidence."
Contact sportswriter Mike Casazza at mi...@dailymail.com or 304-319-1142. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/wvu.