There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that this is a must-win for the Longhorns. Texas has not won a game in Fort Worth since 2013, and this one is not going to be easy for an injury-ridden defense and an offense that is facing one of the best defenses in the conference. Texas currently sits as a 1-point favorite, but it certainly does not feel like it. There is no telling how this game is going to go, but we are here to try out best.
Texas has lost 4 of the last 5 to TCU and last won at Amon Carter Stadium in 2013. The Horned Frogs have been a thorn in the side of the Longhorns as of late, and a loss in Fort Worth on Saturday would prove detrimental to a program already reeling from poor defensive play, decommitments and apparent internal strife. Looking at the schedule a few weeks ago, this is a game Texas should win. Looking at the schedule today, this is a game Texas can’t afford to lose. Forget the Big 12 Championship (which is still in sight)…. this game is about the team’s character and ability to respond to adversity. It rests on the shoulders of the coaches and players alike, and Saturday will paint a clearer picture. Todd Orlando’s unit has trended downward week after week, and in the end I don’t see the Texas defense being able to make the necessary adjustments to leave Fort Worth with a win.
Prediction: TCU 37, Texas 34
Gary Patterson has a strong dislike for Texas. He mentioned to a reporter several years ago that he spends extra time in the offseason prepping for the Longhorns, and the results have shown on the field. Patterson will again bring a stout defense into Saturday’s matchup. Sam Ehlinger and the Texas offense will have their work cut out for them, but it is the Texas defense that will be the main story. The Horned Frogs have been bad offensively for most of the season, but the Longhorns defense is playing at a historically bad level. The secondary is banged up, the defensive line can not generate pressure and the linebackers look lost at times. If there was any sign of life defensively, I would pick Texas, but it is beginning to look like the defense may be beyond repair.
Prediction: TCU 31, Texas 24
The worries are mounting after a poor performance against Kansas last week, but after a week to evaluate and reassess, I like this team’s chances to respond. TCU has many offensive weapons in Sewo Olonilua and Jalen Reagor, so this defense will be tested, but I like the Texas defense to answer to the challenge on key possessions when faced with adversity. A matchup to keep an eye on is the battle in the trenches between the Texas O-Line and TCU D-Line. A Texas victory in that department will certify a quality offensive showing.
Prediction: Texas 41, TCU 31
If you don’t have any hope left for Texas’ defense, Saturday’s matchup in Fort Worth is arguably their best opportunity left on the schedule to gain confidence. It’s also a chance for the team overall to re-gain some mojo, cruise into the bye week and get healthy before a tough stretch to end the year. Like we discussed prior to the game against West Virginia, it’s imperative that Texas is focused and aggressive on the road against an underdog, and doesn’t leave the door open. It feels as if we’re standing at a crossroads where the outcome of this one could determine how the rest of year shakes out. Gary Patterson loves this game, and I expect yet another close, white-knuckled contest, but UT finds a way to get it done.
Prediction: Texas 38, TCU 34
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