Big 12 Previews

TCU vs. Texas: Preview and Prediction

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Longhorns.

GAME INFO

Saturday, November 12, 2022; 6:30 p.m. CT; DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium; Austin, Texas

TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Holly Rowe)

Radio: Horned Frog Sports Network (Brian Estridge, John Denton, Landry Burdine);  Longhorn Radio Network (Craig Way, Roger Wallace, Will Matthews)

Records: TCU (9-0, 6-0); Texas (6-3, 4-2)

Rankings: TCU ranked No. 4 (AP Top 25); Texas ranked No. 18 (AP Top 25)

Last Week: TCU 34, Texas Tech 24; Texas 34, K-State 27

Series History: Texas leads 64-27-1

Last Meeting: Texas 32, TCU 27 (2021)

Favorite: Texas (-7)

Fun Fact: Despite sustained success in the 2000s, this weekend will mark the first time in school history that Texas will serve as the backdrop for ESPN’s College Gameday for a second time in a single season. It will be the ninth time overall that Texas has served as Gameday’s site.

 

KEY PLAYERS

TCU Horned Frogs

WR Quentin Johnston

In last week’s game against Texas Tech, the TCU passing game just didn’t look nearly as explosive as the Horned Frogs scored a season-low 34 points and Max Duggan has a season-low in passing yards in a game that he started, with 195 yards through the air. The difference? Quentin Johnston did not play outside of the first couple of snaps as he tweaked the same ankle that he had rolled a week prior. Johnston had a massive October, racking up over 570 yards receiving and all four touchdown catches that he has on the year. His health going into the Texas game is definitely something to watch.

LB Dee Winters

Perhaps the best overall player on TCU’s defense, Dee Winters has found a way to make an impact on the field in several ways. Winters is fourth on the team in tackles (43), first on the team in sacks (6.5), has one PBU and one fumble recovery on the year, and is the heart of the Horned Frogs’ defensive unit. With Bijan Robinson playing at the level that he is, Winters will have a big task ahead of him in slowing down the All-American talent, but if he can do so, TCU will have a great chance of winning the game.

 

Texas Longhorns

RB Bijan Robinson

Texas running back Bijan Robinson is having one heck of a 2022 season and is a major reason for the Longhorns’ turnaround this year. Robinson ranks fifth nationally with 1,129 rushing yards and is tied for 11th nationally with 12 rushing touchdowns. Robinson also ranks fifth nationally with 160.33 all-purpose yards per game and fourth nationally with all-purpose touchdowns. He will be busy yet again on Saturday and will remain the focus of the Texas offense down the stretch.

LB Jaylan Ford

Texas linebacker Jaylan Ford might have a legitimate claim to the All-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year if he continues playing as he has through nine games. Ford leads the conference in tackles (82), forced fumbles (3), and fumble recoveries (2). He ranks 13th in tackles for loss (7.5) and second in interceptions (2). That kind of play has helped the Longhorns’ defense elevate to some of its best play in years, and while not elite statistically, it is plenty good enough to win.

 

KEY STORYLINES

TCU Horned Frogs

Will Quentin Johnston return for the Texas game and bring the explosiveness back to the TCU throwing game? Johnston’s absence was felt against Texas Tech and it seemed to affect more than just the passing game. When you take away a threat like Johnston, safeties can start to work into the box a bit and help with the running game as well and, as a result, TCU’s offense was much less explosive. They still won the game and scored 34 points, but TCU’s offense has paced the Big 12 through 10 weeks of football and it will continue to do so if the Horned Frogs can get back one of their most dynamic playmakers.

Texas Longhorns

Can Bijan Robinson take over the game for the Longhorns? He is certainly capable of doing it and TCU’s defense will have its hands full with No. 5 getting around 30 touches on Saturday. The Horned Frogs’ rushing defense ranks 70th nationally, giving up 145.9 yards per game. Robinson will be involved in the passing game as well and the Longhorns will get him the ball in any way that they can. Texas QB Quinn Ewers has looked rattled at times over the last two weeks, but having Robinson at his disposal should help to be a calming factor against a top-five TCU team. Texas’ key to the game should be simple: Feed Bijan and let him lead you to victory.

PREDICTION: TEXAS 33, TCU 30

As crazy as it sounds, give me the Texas Longhorns to win this game outright. Ankle injuries can be finicky and if Johnston isn’t able to go or isn’t 100%, the Texas defense will cause the TCU running game some issues. On the flip side, Bijan Robinson is one of the top three ball carriers in the country and is a legitimate NFL-caliber three-down back. If he gets loose a couple of times, and DKR starts rocking, we might see Texas take down its first top-five opponent at home since 1999.

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