Football on the 40: Tech Recap, TCU Prep

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UT Longhorns take the field at Darrel K. Royal Stadium | Image by RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL / AMERICAN- STATESMAN

This column is brought to you by the Football on the 40 podcast, a group of Texas football fanatics and close friends who release a Texas football podcast every Thursday. We are informed by nearly a decade of heartbreaks, and our expectations tend to be somewhere between “We’re back!” and “Fire {insert head coach at the time’s name here}!”. The cast of this entertainment delight includes Bowen Cai – Texas BBA ‘16; Andrew Harris – Texas BS ‘16, SMU MSF ‘17; Kevin Mathis – Texas BBA ‘16; and, Jake Robinson – Texas BS, BA ‘16. The podcast is edited and produced by Hamilton Leiser – Texas BBA ‘16, SMU JD ‘20.

As we reflect on last week, we want to thank the Texas Tech Red Raider fans for coming down to visit us in Austin. Tech fans are always more than welcome to sit atop the nosebleeds in DKR Memorial Stadium, squinting to experience the pain of a loss. Full disclosure, some of us at Football on the 40 were concerned about playing Tech. The Red Raiders rolled into Austin as a 3-0 team with plenty of offensive weapons and determined rushing defense.

In the end, our defense was satisfactory, and the Texas offense put up near record numbers scoring 70 points for the first time since the Vince Young era. Steve Sarkisian’s play calling was masterful, Casey Thompson secured Big 12 Player of the Week, and the offensive line looked much improved under the direction of Kyle Flood.

In preparation for the TCU matchup (Saturday, 11am on ABC), we painfully remind ourselves of how TCU has had their way with Texas since joining the Big 12 ten years ago. To say we here at Football on the 40 are nervous would be an understatement. Here’s what each of us will be looking for this weekend and what our expectations are for the result of the game.

Bowen: As you can tell from all of our segments, we’re all terrified of Coach Patterson. He always seems to have our number. From a gambling perspective (which is the perspective that I bring to the preview every week), since joining the Big 12, TCU is also 7-2 ATS (Against The Spread) against the Horns. Going into Saturday’s game, the line opened up Texas -4 as Vegas seems to think we’ll win by four points. This will be our lowest projected spread thus far this season, and we’re 3-1 on the spread and have only covered at home… so I’m hoping we don’t make that a trend this weekend. I have 44-35 Texas. Hook’em! 

Andrew: TCU has not had an impressive showing to the start of the year. You know what? They have played poorly in other years and still have beaten us. TCU has won seven out of the nine meetings since they joined the Big 12. You want to know their record the week prior to playing Texas each of those nine Years? 2-7. Now with the loss to SMU, they are 2-8. So go ahead and throw out the SMU game from your mind. TCU will be ready to play. Will we? I think we will. That said, I’m not expecting a blowout by any means. As long as we win by at least 1 point, I will be riding high into the best week of the year. Hook’em.

Kevin: This weekend I’ll be focused on the high powered running back matchup of Bijan Robinson versus TCU’s Zach Evans. Both sophomores, Bijan and Zach were the top two running back recruits in the nation during the 2020 recruiting class. And let me tell you, these guys are special players. Although Bijan has more rushing yards, Zach is averaging 7.9 yards per carry to Bijan’s 6.2. Get ready for a physical game to be decided at the line of scrimmage. I’m picking TCU in a narrow win 35-38. It will be disappointing for the Horns, but we haven’t yet shown that we can get it done on the road.

Jake: Talent-wise, Texas is superior. From what I have seen on the field in production this year, we are better. Yet for me this week, it still all comes down to coaching. If the right Texas shows up, it’s a lock. Having traveled to Arkansas earlier this year, I saw firsthand how one team desperately wanted to win while the other was just there…not a good outcome. I’m picking Texas 28-TCU 17. I expect a lower-scoring affair due to the weather forecast (which shows the potential for rain all week and into gametime Saturday on TCU’s grass field). And finally, my answer to the great State Senator Lois Kolhorst (former TCU athlete and completely biased homer) infamous inquiry of whether we’d rather lose to Alabama than TCU…yes. Exactly that. I fondly look forward to the day when we stop playing this below average team that seemingly always beats us.

You can check out our weekly podcast on Spotify or Apple. This week’s episode may be found here: https://spoti.fi/2Y92uUM

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