"Then he gets hurt against Southeast Louisiana, so we didn't have a body of work for what to expect. I just told the kids it was going to be a game of adjustments, but once we got our feet on the ground and started to figure out how they were attacking us, we made our adjustments and figured out how to attack them."
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WVU's OFFENSE made an equally meaningful adjustment in the second quarter. Its first four drives totaled 63 yards and only produced three points because linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski intercepted a pass defensive end Kyle Rose tipped on the first play of the game.
On the first play of the fifth drive, running back Charles Sims ran for 31 yards up the right side. WVU threw a play action pass for 27 yards to Mario Alford on the second play and Sims ran the same running play on the third snap for a 29-yard touchdown up the left side.
The running plays were part of a power scheme WVU uses frequently with an offensive guard leading the way on the outside. The Mountaineers hadn't used it against TCU until the offensive linemen and their coach, Ron Crook, agreed before the key series it would work.
"In the beginning of the game, they were slanting a little bit and playing a little soft trying to read (the runs) and go outside," center Pat Eger said. "We were like, 'Coach, run the power. Run the power.'"
WVU ended the game with 146 yards rushing on 36 carries, but counted 24 yards lost on three sacks. Before Sims' first long run, WVU had run the ball six times for 12 yards, and that included a nine-yard gain by Sims on the team's first snap.
Everything changed once WVU realized TCU's defensive tackles were moving left or right after the snap and the defensive line wasn't pushing the Mountaineers back after the snap.
"We knew they aren't huge fans of playing the run," tight end Cody Clay said. "They were slanting a lot of guys and leaving gaps open and we started pulling our guard around and kicking out. It worked out perfect for us. We gashed them and got on the safety."
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IN ADDITION to Kwiatkoski's interception, the Mountaineers forced three other turnovers in five snaps that bridged the third and fourth quarters. Three of the four turnovers were on the first play of a drive, the sixth, seventh and eighth time TCU has done that this season. The Mountaineers turned the four turnovers into 20 points, including 17 on the three rapid turnovers to take a 27-17 lead.
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STARTING RECEIVER Ronald Carswell did not play. He was suspended for a violation of team rules. Defensive end Dontrill Hyman (ankle) and safety Rick Rumph (foot) also missed the game, while linebackers Marvin Gross (groin) and Doug Rigg (concussion) and cornerback Daryl Worley (shin) played after sitting out previously.