TCU did exactly what they needed to do against an overmatched FCS opponent on Saturday night. They executed well, swarmed on defense, and sent Jackson State home scoreless.
Now, though, the Frogs head to Fayetteville to take on Arkansas, a team they lost to 41-38 last season. They’ll look to avenge their last minute loss, while proving that they look like a much better team because they are one, not simply because they played Jackson State in week one. Throughout the week, we’ll give you an in-depth at this TCU-Arkansas matchup, but for now, here’s a quick look at the Razorbacks.
1-0 (last week: defeated Florida A&M 49-7) - Arkansas did what TCU did to a lower division opponent: absolutely brutalize them while revealing quite little about who they are this season vs. last season.
As it is with every Bret Bielema-coached team, the offensive line and running backs are critical to offensive success. Specific to this Razorback lineup, running backs Dewah Whaley and David Williams are both extremely talented. They combined for 86 rushing yards and three touchdowns on just 19 combined carries, as the Razorbacks quickly made their way down the depth chart against Florida A&M. Williams also had two receptions for 48 yards.
Senior quarterback Austin Allen is back, and while he isn’t a flashy, elite QB, he’s definitely a more-than-capable game manager. I have a lot of respect for Allen after going to the Arkansas-Texas A&M game last year. He got leveled multiple times in that game, and continued to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball on time to receivers. He’s not someone who gets rattled easily.
Defensively, Arkansas has a mostly-experienced unit, but they’re susceptible to big plays in the passing game. This is even more true after the loss of starting cornerback Ryan Pulley, who injured a pectoral muscle in week one, and will miss the remainder of the season. Freshman Kamren Curl will start in his place. Frog fans should remember Curl, who was long-considered a TCU lean during the recruiting process, selected Arkansas over the Frogs, as well as Nebraska and Baylor.
Biggest Unit Matchup
Arkansas Offensive Line vs. TCU Defensive Line - It’s not secret Gary Patterson has wanted to get bigger along the defensive line. While he’s done that at tackle, with the additions of Ross Blacklock, Corey Bethley, and others, defensive end is still rather small. Frog fans saw guys like L.J. Collier (pray for him, btw) roll out to end, to try and add some beef out there.
The Razorbacks, on the other hand, are massive, but they have a unique situation at right guard. Ty Clary, a true freshman, is the first true freshman to start on the offensive line for Arkansas since 2011. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles a P5 defensive line, rather than the one Florida A&M provided.
Full Arkansas Depth Chart vs. TCU