BPN: Preveiw of TCU at New Mexico

The Frogs open the 2008 campaign today at New Mexico. Kickoff is 5 p.m.central time and the game will be seen by a national audience on Versus. BigPurpleNation.com's preview, gives you all the answers you need to know for today's game.

The Frogs open the 2008 campaign today at New Mexico. Kickoff is 5 p.m.central time and the game will be seen by a national audience on Versus.

The matchup:

TCU and New Mexico have met 9 times with TCU holding the 6-3 series edge. The Frogs have not lost to New Mexico since joining the MWC in 2005. Last season in front of a home crowd of 28,000, the Frogs destroyed the Lobos 37-0. Ryan Christian and Joseph Turner combined for over 170 yards and Andy Dalton added 2 touchdowns through the air.

Quick Facts

Head coach: Rocky Long

Returning Lettermen: Off. 19, Def. 21, ST 0
Lettermen Lost: 22

Ten Best Lobo Players

1. CB DeAndre Wright, Sr.
2. CB Glover Quin, Sr.
3. RB Rodney Ferguson, Sr.
4. QB Donovan Porterie, Jr.
5. C Erik Cook, Jr.
6. S Ian Clark, Jr.
7. S Blake Ligon, Sr.
8. TE Chris Mark, Sr.
9. OT Byron Bell, RFr.
10. LB Zach Arnett, Sr.

At stake for both teams:

The biggest thing at stake is 1st place in the Mountain West Conference standings for a few weeks. Neither team can afford to fall to bottom of the cellar so quickly. In addition, Coach Patterson has been quoted to say that this game means a lot for recruiting purposes, "It's also about the emotions, the sense of pride and the recruiting ties. We have opened our last couple of seasons against Oklahoma and Baylor, and now New Mexico. They come to Texas to. With all the recruiting eyes that are on those games, you want to make sure you play well."

Keys to the game for TCU:

1.) Pound the ball up the middle. The Frogs need to test the New Mexico D-line that lost all four starters.

2.) The Frogs need to keep Donovan Porterie in the pocket. The junior works best when he is on the outside and has the ability to run. TCU's DE and LB need to be ready to contain.

3.) Last and of course a no brainer, TCU needs to take the New Mexico crowd out of the ball game. The Lobo fans have not forgot what happened to them last season. They will be pumped up early.

TCU's offense vs. New Mexico's defense:

TCU has a veteran offensive line led by C Blake Schlueter and New Mexico is trying to piece together a front line that lost all four starters. If TCU can pound the ball early, it will force New Mexico's linebackers and defensive backs to creep up. That is when New Mexico will be introduced to Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley.

OTHER NOTES: Shae Reagan: Has never been a huge factor in the TCU passing game only catching 11 balls last season. New Mexico does have decent corners in DeAndre Wright and Glover Quin. Look for Reagan to be more involved then ever before.
BigPurpleNation.com Prediction: 4 catches, 41 yards.

Edge: TCU

TCU's defense vs. New Mexico's offense:

New Mexico senior tailback Rodney Ferguson has been a monster in the MWC rushing for nearly 2,500 yards in two seasons. The senior has never had success against the Frogs only running for 28 yards last season. TCU needs to keep him in check and they will. TCU corners Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders should be able to handle the Lobo's inexperienced wide receivers themselves, giving the linebackers and safeties and opportunity to stop the run.

Edge: TCU

TCU's special teams vs. New Mexico's special teams:

This is the hardest area to break down with both teams deciding to start true freshman as their kickers. TCU's Ross Evans has struggled at times in camp, but Coach Patterson has said it was due to fatigue and the kicker is ready. The Lobo's turn to James Aho. New Mexico always gets production out of its kickers, but it's asking a lot of the freshman to replace John Sullivan, who nailed 29 of 35 field goals.

Edge: Toss Up


One of the most interesting match-ups won't be on the field, but on the sidelines. Coach Gary Patterson (62-25) has one more win then Rocky Long (61-61) in three less seasons as a head coach. Rocky Long has said from the beginning that he didn't want to play TCU in its first game. "Everybody wants to play a couple of games to see what kind of team you have," he said. "You can make adjustments early in the season that will make your team better as you go into conference play, but they're not giving us that ability this year. [The Frogs] don't want to play around Thanksgiving. We don't mind. We didn't get our choice; they got their choice."

Coach Long is the most underrated coach in the conference, but he hasn't had the success and big game coaching as Coach Patterson. The Frogs are 5-2 opening the season under the direction of Coach Patterson. Look for that to improve today.

Edge: TCU

New Mexico 2007 Fun Stats:
- 4th down conversions: UNM 14 of 23 (61%) - Opponents 5 of 15 (33%)
- 1st quarter scoring: UNM 81 - Opponents 54
- Rushing touchdowns: UNM 16 - Opponents 9

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