I think this massive matchup between two top 20 teams Saturday comes down to one thing: the trenches. Specifically, the Killer Bs of TCU verses an Oklahoma State offensive line that could be suddenly vulnerable with rumors of a couple key pieces missing due to injury. Let’s take a look at what Mason Rudolph will have coming his way, and who else could give The Mullet fits.
Ben, you have got to bring it Saturday. There is no two ways about it; for the Frogs to have a shot, Banogu is going to have to have a HUGE game. Like Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week big.
And, you know what? If there is one guy on the defense I want to have that burden on his back, it’s the junior defensive end out of ULM.
Banogu is a beast - he’s got the cliche ‘motor that never quits’ and has established himself as a leader despite having only played three games for the Frogs. He has been TCU’s best pass-rusher through three games, and already proven that the big stage doesn’t phase him. I am calling two sacks, a forced fumble, and four TFLs for our dude Saturday afternoon.
The position switch hasn’t gone too smoothly for the Frogs’ leading tackler of a year ago, and one of the top tacklers in the conference. Summers has been dinged up with a foot injury and doesn’t look like himself, and that, combined with learning a new position, has slowed down the relentless player that we have come to know and love. But, with Mat Boesen down a half due to a targeting call against SMU, I think we see some vintage Ty Summers - at least in the first half - Saturday. Summers can be a real problem for OSU, especially if they are out 1-2 starters on the offensive line, which is rumored to be the case. His speed off the edge, as well as an ability to change directions on the fly and wrap up ball carriers, can slow down both the run and pass game of the Cowboys. If he can live in the backfield in the first half and keep Mason Rudolph uncomfortable, then the Frogs can stay within striking distance through the first two quarters.
Oklahoma State hasn’t had to play a second half so far this season, so who knows how they will respond when the heat gets turned up. Hopefully like they generally do against OU.
DA has to have a big game, especially if Kyle Hicks is on the shelf. It will take all hands on deck if that’s the case, but the difference maker in the running game is the guy who has been the Frogs’ best back through the first three games - and that’s Anderson.
The kid is really, really good, and more than capable of popping off for 100 plus yards against an Oklahoma State defense that has struggled containing talented runners over the last several years, including allowing 200+ yards on the ground to powerhouses like Kansas and Iowa State last season. The game plan has to be to use the clock, lean heavily on the run, and pop big plays when the situation avails itself, and for that to work, Darius has to keep beastin.
Turp looked like his old self last Saturday, torching the SMU secondary and linebacker for a series of catches that went for big yards as he ran by would be tacklers and unveiled a series of spins and stop and gos that made the defense look foolish (not hard to do against the Ponies).
My gut instinct tells me that this game will come down to special teams, and I hope that means either a big return or a big defensive play, not a field goal (gulp). If someone is going to change momentum in the return game, it’s Turp.
The Ponies wisely kicked away from the Frogs’ game breaker last week, and hopefully, GP and co have made some adjustments in how to get KT more involved against the Ponies. The choice to have Sewo line up across from him for kickoffs was... interesting... and frankly, I would like to see Snell get that job here in week four, or at the very least, stack Turp and Olonilua and let them make the choice.
However they do it, Turp has to get touches outside of the regular offensive game plan, and if he does, OSU will have issues trying to slow him down.
Remember what I said about Special Teams?
I think this is the week Song gets his first field goal, and his second, and maybe his third.
It’s time for us to see what we have in the kicking game, and unfortunately for the sophomore out of Fort Worth All Saints, it’s going to come in the highest pressure situation TCU has faced this season.
That being said, Song has the leg and he has the accuracy, now, to find out what he has when he has the opportunity.