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TCU-Iowa State: Keys to the Game

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The Frogs may feel like this game can be overlooked. That is not the case.

Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

TCU should know by now that they cannot overlook any opponent if they want their record to remain unblemished, but that might not stop them from leaning back in their chairs a bit as they prepare for tomorrow's matchup against Iowa State.

Surely they won't lean too far back after last week's wakeup call in Manhattan, but nonetheless, it can be easy to let your mind wander when you're prepping for a team that got it's first Big 12 win since 2013 a few weeks ago. Here are a few things TCU can do to ensure they come away from Ames with a win.

1. Slow Down Mike Warren

Mike Warren is the true freshman running back that has burst on to the scene for the Cyclones. He's accumulated 546 rushing yards in the past three games, averaging 8.8 yards per carry. Linebackers Montrel Wilson and Travin Howard absolutely MUST stay in their lanes if they want to have a shot at slowing Warren down. The Frogs have allowed 1,098 rushing yards and 16 rushing touchdowns on the season to this point (that's an average of 183 yards and 2.66 touchdowns per game), something that needs to change, starting with the game against the Cyclones this weekend.

2. Get out to an early lead

Iowa State's defense will be overmatched by TCU's offensive weapons. It's essential that Boykin and Co. jump on the Cyclones early and get out to a big lead. This will, ultimately, help the defense, as Iowa State will be less likely to continue to feed Warren the ball if they're down by 17-20 points. The Frogs need to jump on Iowa State like they jumped on Texas two weeks ago. If they can do that, it will be smooth sailing. If not, well, go buy some blood pressure meds.

3. Hold on to the ball

TCU has been obliterated in time of possession this season, which isn't terribly uncommon for teams with a high-speed offense. This doesn't become an issue until the team finds themselves down and unable to get the ball back. If it wasn't for Derrick Kindred's pick-six against Kansas State, TCU may have run out of time and seen themselves sitting at 5-1 instead of 6-0. Getting out to a big lead then using Aaron Green to pound away at the Cyclones and burn some clock is a great way to maintain a lead and prevent a comeback.

4. Force a few turnovers

TCU hadn't forced a turnover in two games (SMU, Texas Tech) prior to the Kansas State matchup. Iowa State has a -4 turnover margin on the season, and if the Frogs can force a few errant passes from Sam Richardson, or cause a fumble, it will go a long way to taking care of business and getting to 7-0 on the season.