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Big 12 Football

TCU Preview: Defense

Photo: Scott Sewell - USA TODAY Sports



As expected with any Gary Patterson coached team, the Horned Frogs have one of the best defenses in the Big 12. They offer a mix of experience and a well-designed scheme that allows Patterson to put players in a position to make plays. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the TCU defense:

Defensive Line

TCU will operate primarily with 4 defensive linemen in the game, with the two most talented players occupying the defensive tackle spots. Redshirt junior Ross Blacklock leads the team in sacks with 3.5 and is playing at an extremely high level. He has to be licking his chops after seeing the interior offensive lineman for Texas struggle mightily against Oklahoma. Fellow junior Corey Bethley is a really good player who may not fill the stat sheet but does a good job of plugging up holes and making life uncomfortable for the offensive line.

When it comes to rushing the passer, the Horned Frogs rank in the bottom half of the country in sacks per game. TCU has 11 sacks through 6 games, which is similar to a Texas defense which has 11 sacks through 7 games. Regardless, if Texas is put in 3rd and long situations, Gary Patterson has a history of finding ways to get home.


The majority of time, the Horned Frogs will play with only 2 linebackers. The main one to watch is junior Garrett Wallow. Wallow came to TCU has a safety out of New Orleans, but has been transformed into one of the best linebackers in the Big 12. He is a sure tackler and can move sideline to sideline.

Defensive Backs

Redshirt senior Jeff Gladney is about as close to a lockdown corner as you will find in the Big 12. Gladney ranked #1 in the conference in 2018 in passer rating allowed and will likely find himself on Collin Johnson for much of the afternoon. Fellow senior Julius Lewis occupies the other corner spot and is no slouch. Lewis missed the beginning of the season with an injury but returned several games ago against Iowa State.

Innis Gaines and Trevon Moehrig are the starting safeties and both are extremely active in defending the run.

Overall Thoughts

Texas will have to take advantage of every chance they get on offense. The TCU offense has put their defense in some difficult spots this season, but the overall talent is not a question. The Longhorns will have to find a way to open up the passing game by establishing the run, and it’s almost a guarantee Gary Patterson will have a spy on Sam Ehlinger at all times (see: Kenneth Murray, Oklahoma).

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Jameson McCausland is originally from Frisco, Texas, where he grew up a Longhorn fan. His two favorite sports are football and baseball, both of which he covers for HornSports. He enjoys spending time with family and friends in his spare time. Jameson is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

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