Greetings, Gentle Readers! After a bye, several extra days for rest and practice, Texas travels to Ft. Worth to take on the TCU Horned Frogs. You will recall, with some distaste, perhaps a visceral reaction, that last year TCU rolled into Austin on Thanksgiving Day and ruined everyone’s tryptophan coma by upsetting Texas, 20-13. Blergh. Here’s hoping Texas can return the favor on Saturday.
I checked the weather forecast, and it looks like there is a 40% chance of rain in Fort Worth at kickoff, with high temperatures in the mid-70s. Is it too much to hope that the purple fur coat brigade will be out in full force? It’s one of the benefits of playing at Amon G. Carter stadium.
By the way, I can’t resist sharing this. The TV is on. A character just said, “Yes, I asked her to marry me. It would have given her standing in the porcine community.” And that, folks, is what you get with quality British programming.
Back to football!
Vegas bookies have TCU as a 1.5-point favorite. LOLWUT? Texas is tied for first in the Big 12, managing to go undefeated in conference play. TCU is 1-3 in conference. That’s right, one win, three losses. But they’re the favorite. Let’s review how the Horned Frogs have fared so far this season.
Their first game, against LSU, was a fairly promising showing. B.J. Catalon is a potent weapon on the TCU offense, and he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. LSU is no shrinking violet. Even losing 37-27, TCU put on an impressive show. The Horned Frogs went on to lose to Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Okie State. That’s no easy start to the season, there. But none of those wins was a blowout of the variety Texas has experienced. Tech won by 10, OU by 3 (!), and Okie State by 14. Not huge margins. But, it does leave TCU with a losing conference record.
Who were the wins against? Hint: they were not top-25 teams. At the time TCU played SE Louisiana, the Horned Frogs were ranked #24. During this game, TCU lost its starting QB, Casey Pachall. Not because he got arrested again! Because he was hurt and required surgery. Trevone Boykin came in and got the win, 38-17. TCU also went on to beat SMU and Kansas. Their season thus far reads like a checkerboard—alternating wins and losses. Maybe they are using witchcraft? Numerology? Do they have a sorcerer on retainer? Hopefully Texas will break this trend, because otherwise TCU has a W on tap for this weekend.
Do we believe the oddsmakers in Vegas? Well, they really blew it with the OU game. My Magic 8 Ball gave a better prediction than that—“Concentrate and ask again.” Unfortunately, I promptly lost my 8 Ball and wasn’t able to ask until hours later. It was better not knowing.
So, what to expect on Saturday. I honestly have no idea. The various websites where you can go to read about sports and other diversions seem to be split. There will always be the “I HATE TEXAS BLARGH BLERGH” contingent. Ignore. The more thoughtful folks are pulling on their beards while cogitating. Or, if you’re a ladyperson, placing your hand to your chin and looking off into the middle distance pensively. It’s like getting presents on your birthday. What could it be? What a nicely wrapped box. Who is it from? Your grandmother with fabulous taste? Awesome! Oh, it’s from your uncle who thinks you collect taxidermied rodents? Not so awesome. So Saturday, we either get the team that whipped the snot out of OU (cashmere sweater!) or the team that was blown apart by BYU and Ole Miss (squirrel nailed to a plank, playing a tiny banjo).
You probably know by now, but David Ash continues to suffer effects from his head injury and won’t play on Saturday. As I’ve said before, he doesn’t owe us his healthy brain. He’s allowed to keep it intact. Case McCoy seemed to benefit greatly from the few extra days of practice between the Iowa State and OU games. Last week with the bye, he had even more time under center to continue making improvements. I am firmly, 100%, on the Case McCoy bandwagon. Rock on with your bad self!
We were all encouraged by the game plan against OU. Simplify, execute, run the ball. McCoy did his job surprisingly well. Exceedingly well. The balanced offense made all the difference from what we saw vs. Iowa State. TCU’s defense is first in the conference against the run, with opponents only averaging 115.3 yards per game on the ground. Texas has to challenge their defense, early and often. Johnathan Gray, Malcolm Brown, do your thing. Run, run, run, run, run!
Greg Robinson is some kind of football whisperer or something. By simplifying the defensive schemes as well, the players are keeping assignments, making tackles, blocking holes, pressuring QBs. All the things we expect the Texas D to do. TCU’s offense has been its weakest link. Inconsistent playing, no real big-play makers. If the Texas D that rammed the ball down OU’s throat shows up, it could be a lovely evening for us.
So, in short, your guess is as good as mine. I have renewed confidence in the Texas coaches, and I am willing to believe they will bring an even further improved team to Fort Worth, and put a proper beat-down on the Horned Frogs.
Texas by 100! OK, two touchdowns. It should be exciting! Hook ‘em!
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