Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keys to Victory

Here we are, on the eve of the biggest conference game at Amon G. Carter Stadium since the fall of the Southwest Conference. Tomorrow night the Frogs play host to the first Top 10 team to come to Fort Worth since the Aggies back in 1993. Here's what needs to happen for the 24th-ranked Frogs to take down the 8th-ranked BYU Cougars:

-Limit turnovers. This is pretty obvious, and applies to every football game ever played, but it's especially true for the Frogs right now. They fumbled five times against Colorado State and threw an interception. Although they were able to recover 4 of those fumbles, they all killed offensive momentum in an already less-than-productive day. BYU will be far more opportunistic if the Frogs give them chances at the ball tomorrow night.

-Both QBs need to be healthy & ready to lead the offense. Dalton has been out the past two games with a bum knee, but appears ready to return. He is by far the more accurate passer of our two quarterbacks, but Jackson has shown he can move the ball with his feet- he is TCU's leading rusher on the year. The Frogs will need the collective strengths of both to keep the ball moving.

-Stick to the game plan. As much as some of you would like to see the Frogs come out with a brand-new offensive scheme, that just isn't going to happen. If they can effectively run the ball (that means more Aaron Brown!!!) and move the sticks with smart passes, they will eat up clock and keep Max Hall & company off the field. Maybe stick in a deep ball or a reverse (or both on the same play?) here or there to spice things up, but ball-control is the name of the game with this offense. So far, it's worked, even if it's not the sexiest football to watch.

-Stop the run. So far this hasn't been even close to a problem for the Frogs, but BYU has an absolute bruising beast of a RB in Harvey Unga, who is the best back TCU will have seen all year (and yes, that does include OU's DeMarco Murray).

-Pressure the QB. Again, this hasn't really been an issue with the Frogs this year, but it will be especially important tomorrow night. Our secondary, while still a strong one, has shown that it can be beat when the opposing QB has time to go through his progressions. Against an elite passing team like BYU, you have to be very cautious about calling blitzes- the OU game was a perfect illustration of this. Panfil, Hughes, Moore and Vess need to be in Hall's face as much as possible tomorrow, so that the LBs can be utilized in pass coverage.

-Jere-my Ker-Ley! Clap-Clap Clap-Clap Clap! Alright let's be honest, even those of us that approve of Schultz's ball-control scheme know that this team lacks the firepower to simply outscore a higher-end team like BYU. That is where our favorite Hutto Hippo comes in. By shortening the field with good punt returns, Kerley can give our offense the boost it needs to get a W.

Alright, I'm glad you've read over my game plan. How about this, though- I don't know shit about football, so let's leave that up to GP & his coaching staff and the players to execute. The only thing on us is to provide a bona-fide Home Field Advantage. Word is that ticket sales are going well, but you have to believe that part of that is the huge contingent of Mormons living in Texas (that's a whooole 'nother topic of discussion) that are coming to see their Cougars play. You Frog fans living out of state or in Austin, Santone or Houston ought to do everything you can do get out of work/school on Thursday and Friday and get to this game. If you live in Dallas or Fort Worth, you have no excuse not to be in the stadium tomorrow night. And we don't just need bodies in the stands, we need energetic, enthusiastic, VOCAL fans to get the place rocking. When BYU has the ball, it should be so loud they can't think.

GO FROGS

Morning Dump

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TCU not shy about taking on ranked foes Star-Telegram

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BYU-TCU and the BCS AP

Top 25 preview capsule AP

Most compelling story lines ESPN

How long has TCU been waiting for BYU? Scout.com

BYU-TCU football odds and picks Betfirms.com

Don't bet on it Dawgsports

Tomorrow's Opponent

TCU's defense ranks first in the nation Deseret News

Cougs unbeaten but not perfect at midway point Salt Lake Tribune

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Cougars, Horned Frogs and Ute mail KUTV

Ninth ranked BYU takes BCS quest to TCU Seattle Times