Texas. Oklahoma. Big rivalry games against Texas Tech and Baylor. It’s going to be an absolute battle down the stretch run.
"Win or lose from last week, we control our own destiny," defensive tackle Chris Bradley said when asked what the coach told them. "We have to take each game, same way, same approach and we're got to go out there win each and every week."
Texas is still looking for a signature victory under first-year coach Tom Herman after several near-misses.
Before last week's 38-7 victory at winless Baylor, the Longhorns had consecutive losses to Oklahoma and No. 11 Oklahoma State by a combined eight points. There was that double-overtime loss at then-No. 4 USC in September before a 17-7 win at Iowa State. The Cyclones have since won four in a row, including over Oklahoma and then 14-7 last week over TCU, going from unranked to No. 14 and part of that four-way tie for the Big 12 lead.
This sounds like a truly terrible idea. Go for it, Tom.
Freshman Sam Ehlinger cleared concussion protocol and will be available to play Saturday against TCU. Shane Buechele is about as healthy as he's been since training camp. Jerrod Heard took reps under center at all week given the spate of injuries inflicted upon UT's only two scholarships quarterbacks.
"You're liable to see a wide variety of quarterbacks back there," Herman said. "I would imagine that all three quarterbacks are probably going to play at one point or another."
Nothing in here is ground-breaking stuff... the key is, can Texas execute it as well as Iowa State did?
While the blueprint of an upset might seem relatively easy to follow, the strength of the TCU defense will put tremendous pressure on the Texas offense to execute at a high level and avoid mistakes. Likewise, an increasingly confidence Longhorns defense needs to make plays and keep the Horned Frogs out of the end zone.
In evaluating what wrong in Ames, it’s clear that Iowa State was better suited in some ways to do all of that than Texas will be on the road. Playing with effort and physicality has been enough to keep Tom Herman’s team in games against other highly-ranked opponents, but those qualities alone won’t be enough to win on Saturday.
This is v good for the TCU defense and v bad for Texas’ chances.
Carter played a significant role last week in the Longhorns 38-7 win over Baylor, rushing for career highs with 15 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown, but he suffered a concussion towards the end of the game and has since been evaluated and limited in practice.
In 37 carries this season, Carter has rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns on a team-best 4.9 yards per carry. Carter appeared to be in place to secure the Longhorns starting running back role going forward.
Although Carter is out, quarterback Sam Ehlinger, center Zach Shackelford and running back Kyle Porter will all reportedly be available.
Four teams in the top 15, a four-way tie at the top, and a hectic final month. Who’s got it better than Big 12 fans?
Given its parity, the Big 12 should expect an exhilarating final month of the regular season en route to its conference championship game. But it may be improbable to expect one of the top tier teams – Oklahoma, Oklahoma State or TCU – to hurdle all remaining obstacles to finish 12-1.
For the balanced Big 12, being the nation’s best conference comes with a downside. League coaches can only trust the subjective system to reward the league in December.
“That is one of the reasons we went to the committee, so that they could decide who the four best teams were playing at the end of the year …,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “So we have just got to trust that it’ll get done right.”
This sounds like a blast. Get out there and support the Frogs tonight!
The “Frog Army Scrimmage” starts at 5 p.m., a dunk contest and 3-point shootout follow at about 6, and pizza will be available for students. Jamie Dixon bobbleheads will be given away, and the first 1,000 students get a Frog Army t-shirt.
It’s another sign of the growth of TCU basketball, which has not been to the NCAA tournament in 20 years. Scrimmages, public practices, fan events and alumni games — such as TCU held in August — are the trappings of big-time college basketball programs.
It’s what Dixon was used to at Pitt.
“I’d like to get us playing in front of some people one time before the season starts,” Dixon said. “Felt this was the best way, make it an event for the students, with a pizza party, chance to meet the players after. As soon as the game’s over, we’re not going into the locker room, we’re staying out there, interacting, having pizza, relaxing.”