Key #1 – Don't turn the ball over
The Horned Frogs have dug themselves deep holes in games against Kansas, Virginia and Iowa State because of turnovers. The Frogs have turned the ball over 13 times in their last 4 games and even though they lead the Big 12 in causing turnovers, that trend needs to stop. If that stat continues, expect blowouts to the hands of Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Texas and Oklahoma.
Key #2 – Be ready for Baylor's hurry up offense
The Frogs struggled in the first half against Iowa State when they went to the hurry up. Maybe the Cyclones caught TCU off guard but the Horned Frogs rebounded nicely in the second half to slow Iowa State down. The problem this week is, Baylor isn't Iowa State. The Bears have receivers all over the field that can make you pay if you aren't lined up and ready to go every snap. Baylor reminds me of Oregon and obviously West Virginia, with how quickly they get to the line and snap the ball. If TCU is to have any shot at all to win this game, they will have to match Baylor's tempo and force Nick Florence to get rid of the ball faster than he wants to. A nice mixture of creative blitzes would be a welcome sight in this game.
Key #3 – Run the ball and control the clock
B.J. Catalon and Aundre Dean both ran the ball well last week against a tough Iowa State defense. Add in Matthew Tucker and the Frogs should be able to make hay running the ball. Run the ball and control the clock as much as possible because Baylor is going to score. The key is, hold them to 30-35 points instead of letting them get loose for 50-60 points. If TCU can do these things, the Frogs have a legitimate shot at winning this game. Don't establish the run, and Baylor rolls.
Key #4 – Bring your own energy to a Big 12 road game
The Frogs know this all too well because this is something that Patterson preaches. If you want to win on the road, you have to bring your own energy. Let's face it, it would be easy for the Frogs to be down in the dumps with all that's gone wrong since the calendar changed to show the year 2012 but they've yet to bury their heads in the sand. If Patterson has proved one thing as TCU's head coach, it's that he knows how to motivate his troops. He'll need to show that once again this week because Baylor is expecting to trounce the Frogs in Waco.
Key #5 – Regain TCU's swagger
If there's one thing that seems to be missing this year, it's swagger. The Frogs identity has been built on intimidating defense and overflowing confidence. It's understandable why it hasn't been present this year but to put it simply, the Frogs need to recapture it and they need to do it now. TCU needs to walk into Floyd Casey stadium like they own the place and remind the Horned Frog faithful why they fell in love with TCU football to begin with. If the Frogs can do these things Saturday night in Waco, they'll move to 5-1 on the season and likely back into the top 25.