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Texas vs TCU Game Preview

Photo: Brendan Maloney, USA TODAY Sports

Texas vs TCU Game Preview

The Texas Longhorns travel to Ft. Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs, ranked #8 in the College Football Playoff Rankings. Texas will be vying for just its second win against the Frogs since TCU joined the Big 12 Conference in 2012. The Horned Frogs have now won three-straight prior to Saturday’s matchup.

Gary Patterson’s team is looking to bounce back after a disappointing loss to Iowa State in Ames, and if the Frogs have College Football Playoff aspirations, they must not only win out but do so in convincing fashion. TCU has yet to play Oklahoma, and they cannot afford a slip up against the Longhorns.

But Texas won’t go quietly.

The Longhorns hope to win their second-straight after handily beating a winless Baylor team last week, and they will be looking to keep that momentum going as they are two wins away from bowl eligibility with four games left to play.

Both teams will be playing with high stakes on the line, as both have post-season aspirations, but TCU is in the College Football Playoff picture and cannot afford another loss.

The Frogs rank #10 nationally in total defense, which poses problems for a Texas running game that averages just 154 yards per game.  TCU has gone 4-1 against the Longhorns and outscored them 129-26 in the meetings since the Frogs joined the Big 12.

Whoever starts at quarterback for Texas, they will have to pass early and often. The Horned Frogs will look to shut-down the run game, forcing the Texas offense into predictability – a pass-happy unitse against an elite secondary. And that is exactly what TCU wants.  RB Toneil Carter will not play due to a head injury sustained in the Baylor game, which means the remaining Texas running backs must be ready to fight for every yard they can.

In 2015 the Longhorns lost to the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, 50-7. Texas can’t afford to take that kind of beating again.

TCU quarterback Kenny Hill had a rough game last week in the 14-7 loss to Iowa State, and Tom Herman and Todd Orlando will have to dial up the pressure if they want to force Hill into making bad reads and throws. It’s a risk bringing pressure and more so with Hill being a fierce dual-threat quarterback, but its a game plan that gives Texas a chance at pulling off an upset win.

For the Longhorns to leave Amon Carter Stadium with an win, they will need dominant performance in all facets of the game; offense, defense, AND special teams.

If TCU wishes to keep their playoff hopes alive, they must win, and win convincingly. Kenny Hill and the offense must return to their winning ways, and the defense will have to play solid to contain a Texas offense that shows flashes of greatness at times.

The game kicks off at 6:15 P.M. on ESPN.

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Ross Labenske is a student at the University of Texas studying journalism with a focus in sports. He graduated from Allen High School and has a passion for his hometown teams in the Dallas area; the Mavericks, Rangers, and first and foremost, the Dallas Cowboys.

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