Pony Stampede TV: Football Friday Preview
What to Watch on Offense for SMU
The running game. To allow Gilbert to get comfortable against the solid TCU defense, SMU will need a running game from Prescott Line and K.C. Nlemchi. SMU will need to also work the screen game with the running backs, something that they've had success in the past with as well. Line will need some help from the offensive line though, which struggled against the Aggies to open any holes. Line and Nlemchi will need to also help out in pass protection, but if they can rip off a few strong runs, SMU will get some early momentum going on offense.
What to Watch on Offense for TCU
Trevone Boykin. Boykin was inconsistent against Texas Tech, throwing two interceptions and having a QB rating of 28.6, but also running for 101 yards on 20 carries. Gary Patterson doesn't want to have Boykin be the main source of the running game and he wants him to be able to settle down. If Boykin again is the main source of yardage for TCU on the ground, SMU could pull the upset. Boykin is not good enough to have the entire offense ran through him so he'll need help from all of his playmakers. If he doesn't use them, SMU may be able to force some turnovers.
What to Watch on Defense for SMU
Randall Joyner. It's his final game against TCU and expect him to make it a memorable one, even if he is on one leg. I don't think Joyner is by any means 100 percent, but he plays with such passion and emotion that any time he is on the field, he can make game changing plays. Joyner will also be huge for communicating on defense since he knows where everyone needs to be and can dissect plays quickly. 'Rambo' will look to make his last trip to Fort Worth the most memorable.
What to Watch on Defense for TCU
Pass rush. With Devonte Fields out for the game with a foot injury, SMU can let out a huge sigh of relief that the SMU offensive line won't have to deal with Fields and his pass rushing skills. In his place though, SMU will have to watch for Jon Lewis and Jon Koontz along the line, who have three sacks between them. The offensive line will also have to be wary of blitzes from the secondary, since TCU's Chris Hackett and Jason Verrett both have a sack on the year. SMU got a big load taken off of their shoulders with Fields out, but TCU still has a good enough defense to get pressure if SMU can't pick it up right.
Key to the Game
Pass rush. If SMU can get pressure on Boykin, he's bound to make some poor decisions and throws that could fall into the hands of an SMU player. If SMU wins that turnover battle, things will be looking up.
Prediction: TCU wins, 24-10.
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