The Frogs definitely can't be caught being Peeping Toms for Utah this weekend.
I feel like the past few weeks I've really been mailing in these game previews. I mean not that, prior to that, I had anything worth while to say about the games. No, it's just that, even by the low standards I set for myself, the Colorado State, Wyoming and BYU previews really weren't up to par. And you know what? You're getting another weak output this week, so apologies. It's not that I don't want to preview a game where TCU is a five touchdown favorite on the road... well ok, it's exactly that. And I've been out of town all week and just got back today so I'm still a bit out of whack. And I'm heading out to the game tomorrow and have been trying to research how I'm going to beat the sports book this weekend - Utah -7 against Air Force? Don't mind if I do! - so my mind hasn't exactly been in it.
But, for the sake of duty, I should point out the most glaringly obvious reason why we should be a little skeptical about the sure fire outcome of this game and that's because of the one that follows it in Salt Lake. TCU is too good and UNLV is too bad for the Frogs to get caught looking, but this is one of those games where we need to come out, throttle them for three quarters, then move the starters to the bench for the 4th quarter to avoid any potential injuries.
Other than that though? There shouldn't be too many worries. Let's take a look at the 5 games we've played against UNLV since joining the Mountain West, shall we? I think you're all aware that TCU has won every single matchup.
2005: 51-3. Fort Worth.
2006: 25-10. Vegas.
2007: 34-10. Fort Worth.
2008: 44-14. Vegas.
2009: 41-0. Fort Worth.
So, it goes without saying we've had a LITTLE success against the Rebels. "But," you say, "How can you honestly compare year to year results? Each year is a different team!" Fair question. So let's take a look at what UNLV has done to date this year.
Wisconsin - Lost 41-21.
Utah - Lost 38-10.
Idaho - Lost 30-7.
New Mexico - Won 45-10.
Nevada - Lost 44-26.
West Virginia - Lost 49-10
Colorado State - Lost 43-10.
I'm no expert, but that's not very good. At all. If we're talking stats, UNLV features the 108th ranked scoring offense in the country (18.4 ppg), the 99th ranked rushing offense in the country (111.9), the 88th ranked passing offense in the country (195.9) and the 114th overall ranked total offense in the country (283.1). Sorry, Bobby Hauck. I genuinely hope you get this team turned around in the next couple of years, but you're definitely taking your lumps this year. To compare, the Frogs are ranked 8th, 10th, 73rd and 11th in those respective categories.
As for the peeping tom factor? Well, in 2008 we played one of the better UNLV squads we've seen since joining the Mountain West immediately preceding a MAJOR matchup in Salt Lake - you remember the one, no? - and pasted them by 30. And we played the Utes on a short week, giving the guys even less time to prepare following the game in Vegas, so you KNOW they weren't fully focused on the Rebels that week. And this year's Frogs team is better than that year's and the Rebels are worse!
I'm just sayin'- with a full week between games, a significant gap between the quality of the teams, and considering the Rebels losto to WEST VIRGINIA by 39, 5 TDs shouldn't be unexpected.
The Pick: TCU 44, UNLV 7.
I'm not sure how many SpitBlooders are going to be out in Vegas, but of the few I know who will, I can safely say it will be a ridiculously stimulating weekend. Look forward to seeing you all there.
As a bonus for that less than enthusiastic preview, here's a bonus movement watch. I don't have time to go into preview for each game, but I'm using a handy dandy star system so you can visualize what I WOULD have said. 4 stars means MAJOR movement alert.
#1 Auburn @ Ole Miss. **
#2 Oregon @ USC. ****
#3 Boise State beated Lousiana Tech.
#5 Michigan State @ #18 ****
#6 Mizzou @ #14 Nebrasky ****
#7 Alabama OFF
#8 Utah @ Air Force *
Wow, looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue/skimp on the movement watch. With TCU not kicking until 8 PM local, gonna be a BIG day in the sports book for this guy.