5 Keys to Victory vs. Kansas State

The #6 TCU Horned Frogs are ready to square off with the #7 Kansas State Wildcats on Saturday night at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Find out what they'll need to do to pull out the victory in this one.

5. Force Turnovers to give the offense a short field

I’ts been well documented just how fundamentally sound the Kansas State Wildcats program is. They don’t beat themselves, at least that’s all we’ve heard all week. Well, TCU might have something to say about that on Saturday as TCU comes in ranked #1 in the country by forcing 26 turnovers (15 interceptions and 11 fumble recoveries) through their first 8 games. Take away the Baylor debacle, and this TCU defense has actually played well through the course of the season. The Frogs will have the biggest stage yet to show the nation their physical style of defense and if they can force multiple turnovers, their chances of winning the game go up exponentially.

4. Contain Jake Waters

It’s no secret that TCU has struggled at times in the past with dual threat quarterbacks and Jake Waters will provide a tough test for the Horned Frog defense. On the season, Waters has thrown for 1,878 yards and 11 touchdowns through the air and amassed 404 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. TCU will need to force Waters in to uncomfortable situations by hitting him early and often. The TCU defensive line will be counted on to create havoc in the backfield, forcing the improved quarterback in to making mistakes.

3. Feed off of the crowd

Early indications are that Amon G. Carter will be rocking like it’s 2009. For those that were there that night, TCU routed Utah in a pivotal game that thrust TCU in to the national spotlight. The crowd was so electric that night that you could feel it coursing through your veins, even as a reporter down on the field. It made me want to suit up and take the field. My point is, the crowd can have a significant impact on a game and I think they will for this one too. Late in the 4th quarter, when your legs are tired and you’re wondering where you’ll get that extra energy boost to finish that next block, or finish your run in a physical manner, the crowd will come in to play. With what should be a raucous Amon G. Carter stadium, the Frogs will have that extra man on the field in the form of a loud, supportive crowd. This could be a big pick-me-up at the end of the game.

2. Live in the moment

One thing the Frogs can’t do is let this game be too big for them. They have an incredible opportunity in front of them, they just need to play the way they have all season. The leadership of this team will need to step up and lead by example. While nobody knows how a team will respond when the spotlight is shining the brightest, you have to feel good about TCU’s mindset and their ability to go win a game of this magnitude. All of their focus should be on the task at hand and not on the media blitz that’s swirling around the program right now. Focus on your opponent, focus on your 1/11 and play to your potential. Do these things, and TCU will walk away with the victory.

1. Control the line of scrimmage

Kansas State is a very physical team. They’ll load up and hit you in the mouth and their defensive line is one of their strengths. With their philosophy of playing their safeties deep so that TCU can’t get by them with the deep ball, it will be imperative that the offensive line takes control of this game. If the Frogs can control the line of scrimmage and run the ball effectively, Kansas State will gradually begin to bring their safeties up in run support. When that happens, TCU can and must capitalize by hitting them with the deep ball. The same holds true on the defensive line for the Frogs. If their front four can pressure Waters in to making bad decisions, it opens up big play opportunities for the secondary and linebackers. This will be a very physical game and with TCU coming off of their most physical game of the year with their win in Morgantown, the Frogs will have to dig deep to win this one and rise to the physical challenge in front of them.

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