The Horned Frogs are 5-2 against the University of Texas since joining the Big 12 in 2012. The wins have come by an average of 34.6-9.2, the losses by an average of 30.5-11.5. Only one game in the last seven meetings between the two teams has been decided by less than 10 points.
There’s a high probability that that statistic remains true as we head into Saturday’s game, although Vegas apparently thinks differently about the matchup.
Either way, the 3-3 Horned Frogs are hosting the 5-2 Texas Longhorns at 2:30pm Saturday afternoon on FOX, and TCU fans probably aren’t feeling very hopeful.
It’s true that Texas’ offense has looked great throughout the season, but their defense is banged up and coming off of allowing Kansas to score 48 points in Austin. So - does TCU have a chance? Always. A big one? Who knows.
The Texas Offense
TCU has struggled this season, and in seasons’ past, with quarterbacks using their legs. Shane Buchele rushed for 30 yards and a touchdown against the Frogs this year, while more mobile QBs Brock Purdy and Skylar Thompson combined for 170 rushing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.
TCU has allowed a rushing TD from the opposing QB in all three of their losses this season. I write that to say that the task gets more difficult this weekend with Sam Ehlinger coming to town. The Texas QB is playing some of his best football this season, in spite of injuries around him. Ehlinger leads Texas in rushing touchdowns with five, and is third on the team with 318 rushing yards.
This threat forces defenses to play him differently, and that allows him to hit his receivers, Colin Johnson, Brennan Eagles, and Devin Duvernay, among other, for big gains in one on one coverage.
Johnson has been banged up a bit this season, missing three games, but Eagles and Duvernay have covered well in his absence, as has freshman Jake Smith. TCU’s secondary, which has struggled against good offenses this season, will have its hands full on Saturday with this receiving corps.
The Texas Defense
Defensively, Texas has actually struggled quite a bit this season. Injuries to key players like safety Caden Sterns have play a factor in the Longhorns giving up more passing yards per game (310) than any other Big 12 school, and allowing 30.7 points per game. The run defense isn’t much better, the fifth best in the conference, and overall the Longhorns are allowing right at 470 yards per game to opposing offenses.
They gave up 48 points to Kansas, 45 points to LSU, 34 points to Oklahoma, 31 points to West Virginia, and 30 points to Oklahoma State.
But TCU’s offense ranks at the bottom of the Big 12 in most offensive categories, so this matchup feels like a bad-on-bad situation. Can TCU exploit what has been a struggling Texas defense? Only if they improve in the passing game, and put Max Duggan in a position to be successful.
I don’t see this one going TCU’s way, but I hope more than anything that they prove me wrong.
Texas 42, TCU 24