I had the "keys to the game" for TCU against Iowa State all planned out and ready to go. I had thought really hard about it... Then the news this morning comes down and I had to completely readjust just like the Frogs will have to do. I’m adjusting on the fly, but here are the keys to the game…
Establish the Run: I’m confident in Trevone Boykin, but he is young. To help take some of the pressure off of him, TCU needs to establish the running game from the opening whistle. The Cyclones are stingy against the run, so this will be a big game for the offensive line.
Give Boykin Time: The TCU offensive line has struggled establishing the run at times but protecting the QB on passing plays has been a strong point. Casey Pachall had only been sacked three times through four games. The more time the offensive line can give Boykin to scan the field, the better the outcome will be. If Iowa State gets pressure on Boykin, it could be ugly.
Score on Defense or Special Teams: TCU will need to score as much as possible so getting points while the offense is on the sidelines will be key. The Frogs will need at least one score from the defense or special teams units to win this game.
Protect the Football: I know I say it every week, but it becomes more important every week as the schedule gets tougher. Iowa State has forced 6 interceptions this season. Their defense isn’t bad and is the best defensive unit TCU has seen to date. The Frogs cannot turn the ball over and allow the Cyclones to gain momentum.
I really do not know what to expect from this game. Going into this game I thought TCU would win a close game by 7 points or so. Now, I really think it’s a tossup. All off the pressure is now off this team so they should just go out and let it rip.