TCU travels to Lubbock tomorrow to face off against 4-5 Texas Tech. Whether they come away with a win or a loss will rely on a few things breaking the Frogs’ way. It’ll also depend on if they take care of some fundamentals. Here are five keys to a TCU win tomorrow:
Win the Trench Battle
Texas Tech’s defensive line has had similar struggles to TCU’s this season, in that they’re not getting as much pressure as fans would hope. If TCU’s offensive line, which continues to adjust after Lucas Niang’s season-ending surgery. Senior David Bolisomi has plugged in at right tackle in Niang’s absence, and while the rest of the line has stayed constant, they’ve struggled keeping the pocket clean consistently for Max Duggan.
On the flip side, TCU’s defensive line needs to continue some of the momentum they built off their best game of the season last week. Altogether, defensive linemen totaled seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. Something clicked for Ochaun Mathis, who alone had seven tackles, including 2.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks.
Contain Tech’s Receivers
Texas Tech has always had good skill players and this season is no different. T.J. Vasher, who was suspended for the West Virginia game, is Tech’s leading receiver this season. He’s got two running mates in RJ Turner and Dalton Rigdon, both of whom stepped up in Vasher’s absence last week.
TCU’s secondary has struggled against teams with multiple receiving threats this season, and if Tech gets into a rhythm that could be the case again on Saturday.
Jeff Gladney played a great game last week and will need to do so again. Meanwhile, Ar’Darius Washington and true freshman Tre’Vious Hodges-Tomlinson will see extended time at safety, now that Lakedrick Van Zandt joins Innis Gaines in likely being done for the season.
Get Reagor the ball
Reagor had a rough game against Baylor, finishing with just one catch for eight yards, including multiple dropped passes and a trip-and-fall moment on a run that could have been a massive gain.
But he's still this team’s most dynamic threat when the ball is in his hands, and with a Tech defense that’s ranked in the 80s on the season in EPA, he will be able to affect the outcome if he gets the ball in his hands.
Contain Jett Duffey
Duffey has been very good in place of Alan Bowman this season, and he’s coming off of a 354 yard passing performance where he was missing his top target. Throwing him off his rhythm will be important. I’ll refer you back to the first key to see how this can be done, but it will also require guys like Garret Wallow and Ben Wilson staying in their lanes. Duffey has at least five rushing attempts in every game this season, and while he’s not the most prolific runner it’s enough to throw a defense off.
Finish drives with touchdowns
TCU has struggled with this all season, including last week against Baylor. It’s one of the reasons TCU has four losses by seven points or fewer on the season. Field goals only get you so far, and while Jonathan Song has been a revelation this year he can’t be the only one scoring for the Frogs.