Since TCU joined the Big 12, the Texas Longhorns are just 2-6 against Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs. In last season’s matchup at Amon G. Carter Stadium, TCU took advantage of Sam Ehlinger’s 4-interception game to send the Longhorns home with a 37-27 loss.
It’s no secret that Gary Patterson’s teams typically rise to the occasion when playing the Longhorns, but can they pull off the upset over a Top-10 ranked Texas team on Saturday?
The HornSports Staff give their predictions on the outcome of the game, which is slated for an 11:00 am kickoff at Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium.
To begin, any Gary Patterson coached team has the shot to upset anybody. The defensive-minded coach has always been able to limit his opponent’s scoring production, and the Horned Frogs defense forced Sam Ehlinger to throw four interceptions in last year’s game. However, this year’s Longhorns offense might give Patterson a real challenge. With the return of Jake Smith, Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger will have a majority of the team’s offensive pieces back in action and at his disposal.
However, the real X-factors will be, once again, Max Duggan and the Horned Frogs defense. Duggan’s dual-threat ability will keep Texas’s defense on their toes, but he will need others to step up. In addition, TCU’s defense is loaded with talent, despite having allowed 37 points to Iowa State last weekend. In order for the Longhorns to win mightily, Texas will have to wrap up on defense and Sam Ehlinger will have to take what the Horned Frogs defense gives him. With all that being said, I would not be shocked if Texas’s offense had another high scoring game.
Score Prediction: Texas 45, TCU 31
To be honest, I have no real feel for how this game is going to go. The Horned Frogs showed more cracks defensively last week then I expected to see, but Gary Patterson knows how to get his team ready to play Texas. He strongly dislikes the Longhorns and doesn’t care who knows it. Texas had a ton of things this past week they needed to clean up after their win in Lubbock. I expect both offenses to score so it will likely come down to who can limit turnovers and get key stops. I will take Texas in a very, very close game.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, TCU 31
I mentioned last week predicting early season games are a crapshoot, and Texas had to deliver one the most statistically improbable comebacks in program history to beat a double-digit underdog. Texas resembled the 2019 squad for much of the Texas Tech game, and the time is now for that to be a thing of the past with a difficult October ahead that will likely determine this season’s fate. Starting with TCU, Texas’ offense has to be sharp and aggressive out of the gate because: 1.) Gary Patterson is notorious for finding the Longhorns’ weaknesses and holding them to well under their scoring average. 2.) quicker tempo may benefit Sam Ehlinger who is dealing with quad and hand injuries 3.) you don’t know what kind of support the defense and special teams will provide. I’m going against my gut a bit and looking for Texas victory, but TCU covers in another close game.
Score Prediction: Texas 34, TCU 31
Texas has survived and it now gets to host the TCU Horned Frogs. The good news, Sam Ehlinger is playing lights-out and looks like one of the best quarterbacks in college football. The bad news, is that Tom Herman is 1-2 against Gary Patterson and TCU since he became head coach at Texas. TCU comes in after a 37-34 loss to Iowa State and is still looking for it’s first win in 2020. Quarterback Max Duggan had an efficient day completing 84% of his passes for 241 yards with three touchdowns. Expect him to have similar success against the Longhorns secondary. In both games Texas has played and the lone game TCU has played, the over has hit. Expect that trend to continue. In classic Big-12 shootout fashion, I’m riding with the better quarterback and Ehlinger to keep finding ways to win. TCU covers the 13-point spread but Texas wins straight up.
Score Prediction: Texas 38, TCU 31
It’s no secret that Texas has had trouble with TCU in recent years. Last year’s game in Fort Worth was less-than desirable for Texas, with Ehlinger tossing four picks in the loss while Horned Frog QB Max Duggan shined in the win. Since TCU joined the Big 12 they are 3-1 in Austin and Gary Patterson is diligently planning to try and make that 4-1. The Longhorns’ defense had issues with Texas Tech last weekend, and defensive coordinator Chris Ash has had a week to try and rectify sloppy play. Duggan will test a struggling Texas secondary, and TCU will look to benefit from the same vulnerabilities the Longhorns showed in Lubbock last weekend. In the end I think this game is won by senior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, a hot Josh Moore and Brennan Eagles in the receiving corps. We know Texas has the offensive power to score a lot of points, but all eyes will be on the defense to see if last weekend’s play in Lubbock was an anomaly or more of what to expect from Chris Ash’s unit.
Score Prediction: Texas 41, TCU 34
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