The worst thing that could have happened to the Longhorns last week was if TCU would have lost to Texas Tech. I just think that would have pissed off the Horned Frogs to the extent that they would have looked to embarrass Texas to try to get back in the good graces of the CFB Playoff committee, and I’m not sure there would have been much that the Horns could have done about it.
Now, it’s wishful thinking from a UT standpoint, but maybe, just maybe TCU takes their foot off the gas just a bit as they exhale from last week’s crazy finish in Lubbock.
You never know; early start times can be a tricky, tricky thing. Sometimes you can jump on a team early while they’re still wiping the sleep out of their eyes.
You know Texas is going to put its best foot forward. UT is going to be ready to play. They’re licking their wounds right now and are a collectively pissed off group that still has a lot of fight in them.
The Longhorns have to hope that they can somehow establish a run game early and use their big backs to wear out TCU’s smaller linebackers [every Texas RB is bigger than the Frogs’ starting LBs].
Now that’s going to be a tough task with or without Kent Perkins. But Johnathan Gray is eager to prove he’s still the best back on this team.
TCU has had trouble with running quarterbacks this season. I think Jerrod Heard gets close to 100 yards on the ground. Offensively, I think the Longhorns will take a few steps forward.
I’m just not sold on Texas’ defense being able to make enough stops against TCU to pull off the upset. Texas will be 1-4 heading into the Oklahoma game.
TCU 45, Texas 31
TCU and Texas are in seasons where the defense has been an area of concern, which is rare for both Gary Patterson and Charlie Strong. The odds are stacked up against the Longhorns and nobody sees Texas leaving Fort Worth with a win.
This matchup has “trap game” written all over it, but a trap game for TCU. Could 1-3 Texas pull the upset of the year over No. 4 TCU? It's definitely possible but it will take a complete performance. (And, for goodness sakes, special teams not causing detrimental errors to hurt the team.)
While I have a weird feeling Texas could pull off the upset, I cannot put full faith in the Longhorns putting it all together on the road.
TCU 42 Texas 35
I don't know why, but I've had the same feeling this week that I did the week before the Texas-OU game in 2013, when I predicted the Longhorns would beat the Sooners.
As I mentioned in my "Play With A Fed-Up Focus (and FOUR OTHER THINGS)" posted on the message board, there are some eerie similarties between then and now as far as the Horns' mindset approaching a game in which they're a double-digit dog in a Big 12 contest.
I think Jerrod Heard will get loose for some big gains on the ground. I'd run mix in a healthy dose of power running, especially as the game wears on against TCU's thin, undersized, makeshift defense.
Any plays made on special teams (and I feel a punt return for TD coming from former TCU commit Daje Johnson) would be huge in this game to help quiet TCU's crowd and plant some doubt in the Frogs.
The key will undoubtedly be which Texas defense shows up? The one that was gashed for and average of 241 yards rushing the first three games?
Or the one that limited Oklahoma State to 103 yards rushing and finally started to win on third down in the fourth quarter, when it held OSU to 1-of-4 conversions?
I could be dead wrong, and TCU ends up winning big. But something tells me Texas finally comes out with a fed-up focus and puts it all together against a TCU team that might lack a little sharpness after last week's emotional 55-52 escape from Lubbock.
Texas 41, TCU 38