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TCU Horned Frogs

TCU vs. Texas Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Jackson State at Texas Christian

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 game in Fort Worth, Texas in our TCU vs. Texas preview and prediction.

Broadcast info

Date: November 4th, 2017 | 6:15 p.m. CT |Amon G. Carter Stadium

TV: ESPN | Bob Wischusen (play-by-play), Brock Huard (analyst), Allison Williams (sideline)

Radio: Longhorn IMG Radio Network | Craig Way (play-by-play), Roger Wallace (analyst), and Quan Cosby (sideline)

Radio: WBAP 820 AM/KTCU 88.7 FM | Brian Estridge (play-by-play), John Denton (analyst), Landry Burdine (sideline)

Satellite Radio: Sirius 81, XM 81

Fun fact: Texas looks to snap a three-game losing streak to TCU. The Longhorns’ last win, and also their last win at TCU, came in 2013. Gary Patterson is 4-2 against Texas.

 

Key Players

Texas Longhorns

Deshon Elliott, safety

DeShon Elliott leads the country with six interceptions, which is tied for seventh-most in school history for a single season. Elliott had an interception in three straight games (2 at USC, 2 at Iowa State, Kansas State) and also tallied one at Baylor last weekend.

Malik Jefferson, linebacker 

I went with two defensive players as that is where UT has made its name this season (ever since the Maryland debacle in the opener). Saturday against Baylor, Jefferson tied for the team lead with eight tackles, four of them coming on third downs as UT held the Bears to just 4-of-18. He added 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks in the game. Jefferson leads the team with 76 tackles on the season.

TCU Horned Frogs

Kenny Hill, quarterback

We were all waiting for the other shoe to drop with Kenny Hill and it did on Saturday at Iowa State. Hill had two interceptions and a fumble, finishing 12/25 for 135 yards. Now Hill has to try and bounce back. But he has to play a Texas defense that is playing as well as any team in the Big 12 conference.

Travin Howard, linebacker

We know about Ben Banogu and Mat Boesen, but the TCU defense is going to have to play its very best to keep this a low scoring game. That means getting a great game from the rest of the D as well. Howard is top ten in the Big 12 in tackles and also has 6.5 tackles for loss.

 

 

Key Storylines

Who blinks first?

Texas and TCU are second and third, respectively, in the Big 12 in turnover margin. Texas is +4 on the season, while TCU is +3. But Texas has also done an incredible job of using those turnovers and turning them into points, while also not allowing their own mistakes to hurt them. Through eight games, Texas’ defense has allowed opponents to score just seven points off 11 Longhorn turnovers. In contrast, the Texas offense has scored 58 points off 14 turnovers forced thus far. Kenny Hill and the Horned Frogs need to tighten up after last week’s mistakes because points will be at a premium in this game.

TCU offensive line

The Horned Frogs were sloppy up front last week with severely untimely penalties against Iowa State. TCU finished with 11 penalties for over 100 yards. Ray Lima and the Cyclones front seven gave TCU fits. Now they have to face a Texas front seven that has been just as dominant in recent weeks. Chris Nelson, Poona Ford, Malik Jefferson and Anthony Wheeler have been all over the place and the TCU offensive line has got to hold up to either give Kenny Hill time or create running lanes for Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson. Texas has been more vulnerable against the pass (5th in Big 12) than the run (2nd in the Big 12).

Special Teams

Specifically, the punters. Michael Dickson has been the best punter in the Big 12 and arguably the country so far this season. Meantime, TCU’s Adam Nunez ranks last in the conference in average punt length. Granted that stat doesn’t always tell the whole story, but in a game where field position will be incredibly important and points tough to come by, Nunez needs to match Dickson punt for punt. Also, the Horned Frogs have had the best kickoff coverage in the Big 12.

Prediction

TCU 24, Texas 17

Had the Horned Frogs gone into this game undefeated, I would’ve said it was more likely for an upset to occur. But considering they were stunned by Iowa State in Ames, and now they play a UT team they’ve owned in recent years, this TCU group should be incredibly focused. TCU has to be able to pick up Texas’ blitzing defense and take advantage of man coverage on the outside. That means Kenny Hill, but also his wide receivers of John Diarse, Jaelan Austin, Jalen Reagor, KaVontae Turpin and the rest of the crew needs to play their best football. Whether it’s Ehlinger or Buechele at quarterback, I haven’t seen enough from this Texas offense to believe they will score many points against the best defense in the Big 12.

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