MORGANTOWN-One would think that No. 23 WVU's defense-the most maligned unit for the 5-2 (2-2 Big 12) Mountaineers-would be the last group excited to return to full practice after the team's final bye week of the season.
That's not the case, however, according to junior linebacker Doug Rigg.
"It was actually exciting," said Rigg. "We pretty much had four days off except for a light Sunday practice. It was exciting coming back out there today. Usually, when you have a game on Saturday, you come back Sunday and it feels like the same old, same old.
"Having a little time off and knowing what you have in front of you, it gets exciting again."
And what Rigg and his defensive mates have in front of them for Saturday's 3 p.m. kickoff at Milan Puskar Stadium is an unranked Texas Christian University squad that has dropped two straight games, but put up 53 points in a triple overtime loss to a Texas Tech squad that dealt WVU a 49-14 setback.
"Their (TCU) quarterback can sling the ball," said sophomore linebacker Jared Barber. "He's really athletic and a tough kid. They've got good playmakers on the outside. I think they're going to try to sling it around a little bit.
"They're fast and athletic. Up front, they're athletic. I think passing will be what they're going to try and focus on with us."
And why wouldn't that be the Horned Frogs' strategy after watching the Mountaineers' defense surrender 333 yards passing and 146 rushing yards in a 55-14 loss to then-No. 4 Kansas State.
"(The quarterbacks in the Big 12) are pretty tough," said Barber. "With the quarterbacks in the Big East, they were tough. They were physically and mentally tough, but the quarterbacks in the Big 12 are playmakers."
A word that best describes the Horned Frogs' Trevone Boykin.
The redshirt freshman quarterback, who was thrust into the starter's role when Casey Pachall left the team for personal reasons, has put up some pretty solid numbers since taking over the position against Iowa State-completing 101-of-164 passes for 1,122 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing 66 times for 252 yards and two more scores.
However, a late-game injury in TCU's 36-14 loss to Oklahoma State has placed his availability in doubt.
"We don't know if he (Boykin) is going to play or not," said WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen. "They don't know if any of our guys are going to play or not. You can prepare for what is on tape.
"They have a good quality quarterback behind him who won a state championship in high school. I doubt they are going to be able to change their scheme in a week. Schemes are hard to switch. What you do is what you do."
Which has not been a pretty sight to watch if you are part of the Mountaineers' defense.