Ok, so I know we aren’t technically rivals, and I am firmly in the camp of those who would have rather have beat K-State than Texas if I only got to secure one (especially because Baylor ended up being the one to do so) but now that we are down to Texas and OU as our final two conference games, I want this one bad. I have said from the beginning that I thought we would upset OU in the final week, but that’s not the focus for today.
So how do we match up with the Horns and what are the chances of us getting the win in Austin? I think this is a 50/50 proposition, especially because Texas has been as inconsistent as any team in the country, on both sides of the ball. This is a team that was supposed to have the best defense in the Big 12, but the combination of injuries and coaching had made that not the case, at least until the last couple of weeks when they seem to have gotten their act together. And after the stinker of a game TCU’s offense played against K-State, it’s hard to have a ton of faith that the O will put up big numbers against the revived UT D.
Boykin, who has looked somewhat average until the last quarter of games the last couple weeks, will benefit from the extra time between games and show some improved accuracy. But the O-Line, which has struggled to protect him, needs to give him time against a formidable Texas front line that is more than capable of putting pressure on a QB, even a mobile one. I would imagine the focus will be on keeping Boykin in the pocket, keeping our deep threats in front of them, and forcing Boykin to make short, accurate throws. I see him going something like 14/29 for 205 and two TDs, and breaking free for a couple of nice runs to the tune of 60 yards rushing.
The receivers are going to have to continue to make big plays, and there seemed to be some definite frustration against the Wildcats as balls sailed well over them or bounced a few yards in front of wide-open receivers. These are the growing pains that come with a young QB against a good team, but credit goes to Boyce and Carter and company for staying engaged and focused and continuing to come up big when the Frogs are against the ropes. Carter, who has been almost the forgotten man for the past month, will carry the momentum from his ridiculous TD late in the last game and score another impressive one in ATX. Boyce, who is back to being the lead guy, will go over 100 yards. And LaDarius Brown, who is starting to look like the player we all thought he could be, will score on a long TD as well.
The running game has looked much improved, as BJ Catalon has become stronger ad more consistent. Tucker, while still not 100%, has looked better each week, and I think this is the kind of game where he is needed to come up big. Between the two of them, they’ll go over 100 yards and score once.
Defensively, I thought the K-State game was one of the more impressive performances of the season. Time and time again, they had their backs against the wall against a (at the time) Heisman Trophy favorite, and they just kept making plays and held a potent offense down for the most part. The defense is holding up their end of the bargain, and should be considered one of, if not the best, in the Big 12. Maponga and Fields are back to terrorizing backfields together, and will combine for three sacks tomorrow night. Bumpas and GP have turned the guys loose lately, blitzing a little more and taking more chances, and it seems to have worked. Fields pick in coverage against Klein was a pretty gutsy call and worked well (how crazy is it that our true freshman DE made that play?) and mixing up coverages is one way to pull an upset. Verrett is the best DB in the conference, and he will come up with at least one forced turnover. Kenny Cain needs to be a beast against a stellar UT ground game, and the safeties are going to have to help in run support as well. This means our corners will be on an island often, and could spell trouble if Ash, who has played better recently, has time. Keying on WR “Magic” Mike Davis, and not letting that guy beat us, is crucial. Bend, but don’t break will be the key tomorrow, and holding the Horns under 30 is our best chance to beat them. I do think Texas will run the ball down our throats, but again, if the Frogs can hold them to three instead of seven in the red zone, TCU will have a chance.
So, can TCU roll into Royal and ruin a bunch of Texas Exes and T-Shirt fans Turkey Day? It’s definitely not out of the realm of possibility. Will they though? This is probably the toughest pick I have made this season, because I really want to go with TCU, but I very concerned about the offense’s ability to score enough to take the heat off of the D. But, I don’t at all believe in Texas, recent success non-withstanding. Plus, I really hate Texas. And, mostly because I refuse to give all those fake fans the satisfaction, I’m going with TCU. And, despite his recent struggles, I’m picking Oberkrom as the hero, as he kicks a FG as time expires for the 31-30 Horned Frog win.
So what say you? Let’s hear you all on the final score, total number of sacks, and Mack Brown face palms. Let’s ruin a couple hundred thousand Thanksgivings for Horn fans!