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Big 12 Championship: Picks to Click

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Here are four guys who need to step up on Saturday.

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not often that college teams get an opportunity for a revenge game, but here we are at championship weekend with five rematches on the slate. Stanford-USC, Georgia-Auburn, Memphis-Central Florida, Boise State-Fresno State, and TCU-Oklahoma are all repeats of games that have taken place once this season. It’ll be interesting to see how many improve to 2-0, and how many move to 1-1 on the season matchups.

For TCU, they’re looking to ensure a shot at a New Years Six bowl, but it’s an uphill battle. However, if these key guys can step up and play big, the Frogs will be in a good position to take home some hardware.

Jalen Reagor | WR

Reagor was just named the Big 12 co-Offensive Freshman of the Year, with his team-leading six touchdown receptions, to go with 26 catches for 377 yards. With some young talent in Oklahoma’s secondary, it’s important for TCU to be able to stretch the field a bit.

Reagor’s speed and ability make him that deep threat for this offense, and we’ve seen the playbook open up a bit in recent weeks, sending him further downfield and having Hill/Robinson air it out a little more.

Ross Blacklock | DT

TCU’s defensive line was absolutely shut down in the first matchup with Oklahoma, but I don’t think that happens twice. While they may not have a game like they did against Baylor, the defensive line gets more pressure on Baker Mayfield, and Blacklock leads the way from the middle of the line.

Blacklock is at his most effective when he’s giving double-teams problems, because it draws attention away from Ben Banogu and Mat Boesen, who are absolute killers when they’re one-on-one with a tackle.

Kenny Hill | QB

If no one is able to get Reagor the ball downfield, it doesn’t matter how fast he is. If no one is keeping linebackers honest in the passing game, the running game is going to suffer.

Kenny Hill looked like early-season Kenny against Baylor last week, completing over 72% of his passes for 325 yards and three touchdowns, while running for another TD. Oklahoma’s defense has been a soft spot for their team all season, and if Hill can take advantage this go-around, TCU will be in it late.

Travin Howard | LB

Rodney Anderson absolutely murdered the Frogs in the first matchup, and it’ll take a fully-healthy Howard to stick with him. Anderson isn’t normally a big threat to catch passes, but he lit TCU up on the ground and through the air three weeks ago.

Howard has been banged up since the end of the Texas game, but Patterson commented that this is the healthiest his team has been in a while. Howard is a big part of that, and if he’s ready to go, expect Anderson to have a quieter day.