TCU Hopes to Exploit Boise State Weaknesses

Big 12-bound TCU will provide a stern challenge to Boise State Saturday. In many ways, they are a mirror image of the Broncos, with a smart quarterback, bruising runners, athletic receivers and a tenacious defense.

Boise State and TCU are set to meet Saturday in a key Mountain West Conference matchup that very well could decide the league champion. In the past two meetings, Boise State has scored a combined two touchdowns against this defense, and cracking the Horned Frog D will be something that offensive coordinator Brent Pease will have to do for the Broncos to be victorious. TCU plays a 4-2-5 defense but will often bring a weak safety to the line of scrimmage. They started the year with admittedly an atypical performance against #25 Baylor in which TCU surrendered 50 points to Baylor.

In that game, the young Horned Frog secondary was burned several times on long passes but they've tightened up those mistakes and are playing much better. They're still a little vulnerable at the corner position on man-to-man coverage. Against Air Force, TCU was a little susceptible to the option pitch to the outside but in general carried out their assignments well. Defensive end Braylon Broughton is quick on the outside and shuts down the outside very well. Seeing the success UNLV had last week, no doubt TCU will do some stunting on the line to confuse the Bronco blockers.

Offensively, TCU has not had to grow--quarterback Casey Pachall has stepped in nicely for Andy Dalton from the beginning. He' smart, he makes good decisions and can make the throws. TCU does a great job of mixing up run and pass and keeps defenses off balance. Pachall likes to use wide receiver Josh Boyce on post patterns over the middle but will also use short passes to his running backs and the tight end is a favorite target near the goal line. Of course, senior Antoine Hicks is an amazing receiver with great athleticism who can go up and get jump balls as well as come up with circus catches on less than perfect throws.

The consistent running game led by Waymon James, Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley not only picks up the tough yards but also sets of Pachall for play-action passes. The young offensive line is big and opens up holes but also blocks tremendously well for Pachall to give him the time he needs to pick apart the defense. Boise State will have to get pressure on Pachall or continually run downfield to set up for the next play after a TCU first down. Against Air Force, Pachall opened the game by hitting 14 out of his first 15 passes.

Boise State has some tough games coming up, but right now, they'll focus on TCU, and they'll have to play their best football of the year Saturday to come up with the victory. Kickoff is set for 1:30 in Bronco Stadium.

Bronco Country Top Stories