It might seem like it's kind of late for the senior leadership of this team to step up and provide a positive spark, but it's not. A win over #9 Baylor not only gives the Frogs their signature win of 2013, it sends the team into the offseason on a positive note with a promise of a brighter 2014. There's no love lost between TCU and Baylor and it's up to the seniors to instigate this blood feud on Saturday and Casey Pachall will lead the pack. The talented, yet troubled Pachall will have one last stage to show TCU fans what he's got. He's already a success story due to his amazing tale of recovery but a win over Baylor puts a nice shiny bow on a solid, yet checkered career at TCU. He needs to lead his team to victory on Saturday.
4. Finish Strong
Looking back on the 2013 season, the schedule is full of what if's. A 20-17 loss to OU in Norman, a 30-27 OT loss to West Virginia in Fort Worth and a last second 33-31 heartbreaking loss in Manhattan, Kansas have dampened what could have been a solid second season in the Big 12 for TCU. They've been in every game, sans the second half of the showdown with Texas, but it hasn't translated to wins. TCU will need to finish strong and not wilt down the stretch if they hope to pull the upset.
3. Jump out to an early lead
When TCU was making their impressive run in 2009 and 2010, one thing stood out more than any other to those who watched. Those Horned Frogs jumped on teams early then suffocated them with swarming defense. In 2013, TCU has had trouble getting an early lead. In every game but two (SE Louisiana and Iowa State), TCU fell behind early. Playing from a deficit with an already hobbled and thin offense, TCU set themselves up for failure all season long. They must come out attacking at take the fight to Baylor if they hope to send the seniors off in style.
2. Get pressure on Bryce Petty
Bryce Petty has put up staggering numbers this season . 3,351 yards passing with a 64.1% completion percentage to go along with a 26/1 TD to INT ratio is flat out ridiculous. Add 10 rushing scores to that stat line and the picture becomes even more clear. The junior from Midlothian, TX is enjoying a season players only dream of. Does that mean he's invincible? Not at all as Oklahoma State proved last week. TCU needs to blitz and bring pressure to keep Petty from getting too comfortable in the pocket and force him into bad decisions. He hasn't dealt with much pressure in 2013 and that's one of the main keys to derailing the Baylor offensive machine.
1. Slow down Baylor's run game
Lache Seastrunk was having a tremendous season, averaging nearly 9 yards per carry until an injury slowed him down. For most teams, losing their All-American caliber running back would shut their running game down. Not for Baylor. Former TCU commit and freshman sensation, Shock Linwood, stepped in and picked up where Seastrunk left off. After gashing Kansas for 106 yards on just 9 carries, Linwood shredded OU and Texas Tech to the tune of 182 and 187 yards respectively. Then came Oklahoma State. The Cowboys showed the blueprint for shutting down the explosive Bear offense (holding Linwood to 29 yards on 14 carries) and just like it's always been in football, stop the run, make a team one dimensional, and you have a great chance for the victory. TCU specializes in stopping the run and they'll need to turn in their best performance of the season on Saturday in order to slay the Bears.