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Matchups to Watch: TCU vs. Texas

The Horned Frog defense will be tasked with stopping an offense that hung 63 points on Texas Tech this past weekend.

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

The TCU football team had its chances during Saturday’s season-opener against Iowa State. Quarterback Max Duggan shined with 241 yards and three passing touchdowns in the second half, but the Cyclones seemingly had an answer for every Horned Frog scoring drive, ultimately resulting in Iowa State topping TCU 37-34 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

This week, head coach Gary Patterson and his squad will travel to Austin for a showdown against the ninth-ranked Texas Longhorns, who scored an astonishing 63 points and compiled nearly 500 yards of total offense in an overtime win over Texas Tech.

The Horned Frogs struggled to pressure Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy, and running back Breece Hall churned for over 150 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. A strong defensive start on the TCU side was nullified by an offense that couldn’t get on the scoreboard despite recording 119 yards in the first quarter.

But the Horned Frogs have an opportunity to hit the reset button against the Longhorns, who are 2-6 against TCU since the purple and white entered the Big 12 Conference. Here are three key matchups to watch for when these two teams battle on the gridiron Saturday.

Corey Bethley vs. Sam Ehlinger

TCU’s senior defensive tackle and two-time Honorable Mention All-Big 12 was held in check during the season-opener against Iowa State, totaling zero tackles and only one QB hurry. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder will have a tough assignment this weekend in helping contain Texas QB Sam Ehlinger, one of the top dual threats in college football. Ehlinger racked up 331 total yards and six touchdowns against the Red Raiders last weekend.

Taye Barber vs. Caden Sterns

A bad drop leading to an Iowa State interception overshadowed a strong performance from Barber, who finished as TCU’s leading receiver with five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown. The H-slot playmaker made his bread in the middle of the defense, where he’ll likely square off with Texas safety Caden Sterns this weekend. Sterns compiled four tackles and one of three interceptions the Longhorns nabbed against Texas Tech’s Alan Bowman. Barber was big in the TCU-Texas matchup in 2019, going for 94 yards on five receptions.

Dee Winters vs. Keaontay Ingram

After beating out Jamoi Hodge and Marcel Brooks for the starting middle linebacker position in camp, Winters totaled eight tackles and made a handful of key stops on defense against Iowa State. The sophomore will be tasked with helping TCU put the clamps on Texas running back Keaontay Ingram, who averaged 7.4 yards per carry in the Texas Tech game.