TCU head coach Gary Patterson has had good luck against one school since being inducted into the Big 12—the Texas Longhorns. Since joining, the Horned Frogs have won seven of nine games against the Longhorns. However, making it eight of ten is not going to be easy.
TCU is coming off its first loss of the season against SMU (42-34). It was not all bad, of course. The offense moved the ball well, recording 446 total yards (276 passing, 170 rushing). They opened the game with three touchdown drives but only managed 13 points in the second half.
The offense sputtering in the second half was only part of the problem—the defense had no answer for the SMU offense (595 total yards of offense; 245 passing, 350 rushing; six touchdowns). It was the second game in a row where the defense struggled; Cal passed for 309 yards the week before.
After the game, Patterson took the blame for his team’s defensive struggles saying, “There’s only one person in charge who takes blame on that. That’s me right now. I’m the one that’s supposed to fix it.”
With Texas coming to town this week, it is not going to get any easier. The Longhorns are coming off a 70-point effort against Texas Tech, a game in which everything worked on offense for Texas.
Casey Thompson earned Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week honors after throwing for 303 yards and five touchdowns. Bijan Robinson paced a run game that totaled 336 yards with 137 of his own on 18 carries.
Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian has made it clear that the Longhorns will not overlook TCU saying, “We’re not naive to the elephant in the room that we’re 2-7 against TCU the last nine years. We’re also not going to buy the lie that we’re going to play the same TCU that just played SMU on Saturday. We’re going to get a little different animal.”
Texas has not won in Fort Worth since the 2013 season.
While the TCU defense will have its hands full against the Texas offense, the Horned Frogs offense could keep them in the game. TCU ranks 29th in the nation with 460.7 total yards of offense a game and has a somewhat balanced attack (206.3 yards rushing, 254.3 yards passing per game).
It certainly helps that Texas has struggled on the defensive side of the ball, too. The Longhorn defense ranks 95th against the run (173.2 yards/game) and 79th against the pass (235.0 yards/game). Teams are averaging 23.2 points a game (T-67).
So, it looks like this one could come down to who can get the running game going and keep the other’s offense off the field.
Texas is a five-point favorite at DraftKings.