TCU Football is going bowling.
After the craziness of the 2020 season, Gary Patterson’s program will be rewarded with a postseason game, and will get to play an interesting opponent in the process. The Frogs will face a to-be-named SEC opponent in the Mercari Texas Bowl, taking place at NRG Stadium (home of the Texans) in Houston, with kick-off scheduled for 8:00pm on New Year’s Eve. The game will be allowing fans in a limited capacity.
Can confirm it will be TCU vs. Arkansas in the Texas Bowl.— Drew Davison (@drewdavison) December 20, 2020
After starting their season 1-3, the Frogs won five of their final six contests to get to six wins on the year. The team improved dramatically on both sides of the ball, but the defense was the difference — they allowed just 20 points per game over their final six outings.
Now Max Duggan and the red hot offense (one that scored 140 points over the last three games) will get to face off with an SEC defense, something that used to be tough, but recently seems far less intimidating these days — depending on the opponent, of course.
UPDATE: TCU will face off with Arkansas in the Texas Bowl. The Hogs are 3-7 this year under first year coach Sam Pitts, with wins over Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and Tennessee. Their offensive coordinator is Kendal Briles, son of some guy named Art, who Patterson is known to not be particularly fond of. But, not every coach on the staff is a subpar person; former TCU DB Sam Carter serves as Arkansas’ cornerbacks coach, and is a fast riser in the young coaches ranks. The Hogs’ offense averages 25.7 points per game under former Florida QB Feleipe Franks, who has completed over 68% of his passes for 210 yards per game, with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. The defense allows 35 ppg, nearly 200 yards on the ground and 260 through the air to opponents.
This could be fun.
This is the Horned Frogs’ first appearance in the Texas Bowl since 2007, when they beat Houston 20-13. TCU has appeared in a Houston bowl game four other times, twice in the Bluebonnet Bowl, losing to Clemson in 1959 and West Virginia in 1984. There was the GalleryFurniture.com Bowl in 2001 — a loss to Texas A&M — and a win over Iowa State in the Houston Bowl in 2005. The Frogs have played Arkansas twice recently, in 2016 and 2017, with each team winning on their opponent’s home field. The Hogs own the all-time series, going back to the Southwest Conference days, with a 23-43 advantage — a rivalry that is nearly 100 years old.
The Frogs will be at least without Pro Wells for their bowl game, as the tight end — and recent TCU graduate — is opting out to pursue his professional career as a likely mid-round NFL Draft pick this spring. Many are also speculating that star safety Trevon Moehrig will forgo his final season of eligibility as well, and could elect not to participate in the bowl game either. Senior linebacker Garret Wallow has not made an announcement on whether or not he will play in the Frogs’ final game of the year.
If you’re wondering how the players feel about the matchup, I give you Carter Ware:
Limited tickets will be available at www.mercaritexasbowl.com