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Matchups to Watch: LA Tech vs. TCU

The Horned Frogs will play their first nonconference game of the season after finishing 5-4 in the Big 12.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 05 Oklahoma State at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Horned Frogs concluded their Big 12 schedule with an upset over Oklahoma State this past weekend. Now riding a two-game winning streak and taking four of their last five contests down the stretch, TCU will close out the regular season with a Saturday evening nonconference game against Louisiana Tech at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

LA Tech features former Horned Frog wide receiver Isaiah Graham, who spent 2016 with TCU before transferring from the program. Despite ranking ninth among Conference USA teams in yards per game, LA Tech fields the third-best scoring offense in the league at 31.8 points per game. The Bulldogs have struggled defending the pass this season, allowing over 250 yards per game through the air, second-worst in C-USA.

Quarterback Max Duggan led the TCU rushing attack against Oklahoma State, carrying the football 19 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman Quentin Johnston’s return to the lineup boosted the Horned Frog passing attack, as the 6-foot-4 wideout hauled in three catches for a season-high 114 yards. It was Duggan’s first time throwing for over 200 yards since the Oklahoma game on Oct. 24.

Could the newfound success in the passing game aid TCU against LA Tech this weekend? Here are three matchups to watch when the Horned Frogs battle the Bulldogs.

Derius Davis vs. Cedric Woods

Davis had arguably his best game as a Horned Frog against Oklahoma State, catching six passes for 139 yards including a 71-yard touchdown reception. Davis had primarily been a special teams threat this season, but his emergence in the wide receiving corps could bode well for TCU this weekend. Davis, who hadn’t caught more than two passes in a game until last weekend, will look to take advantage of a matchup against freshman cornerback Cedric Woods, who returned against North Texas this past weekend after missing over one month.

Max Duggan vs. Tyler Grubbs

Duggan surpassed 500 rushing yards on the season and 1,000 career rushing yards against Oklahoma State this past weekend. The sophomore quarterback now has 18 total touchdowns this season, and his wheels have helped TCU become arguably the best rushing offense in the Big 12. He’ll see plenty of freshman linebacker Tyler Grubbs, who leads LA Tech with 75 total tackles, including 47 assists, this season.

Nook Bradford vs. Smoke Harris

Bradford has shined in the secondary since taking over the starting strong safety position form La’Kendrick Van Zandt. Bradford now ranks fourth on the Horned Frog defense with 42 total tackles, 33 of them solo tackles. He’ll be tasked with slowing down LA Tech wide receiver Smoke Harris, whose shiftiness at 5 feet 6 inches have made him a top offensive threat for the Bulldogs this season. Harris has 263 yards and four touchdowns this year.