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Oregon State vs. TCU

Week One Prediction

Pointspread - TCU -13 O/U 50.5

9/4/10

Texas Christian University and Oregon State don't have reputations as powerhouses of college football, but recent history suggests anyone who crosses their respective paths in 2010 should be wary of them. They can play football with the best teams around. The Oregon State Beavers ended 2009 with a record of 8-5 after losing the Las Vegas Bowl to BYU. They narrowly missed a trip to the Rose Bowl when they lost to rival Oregon in the regular season finale. TCU had a magnificent run going 12-0 in the regular season before losing to fellow undefeated Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. 16 starters are back for TCU and 15 are returning for OSU. Let's take a look at this matchup and see who will come out on top!

The TCU Horned Frogs have a great program. The players at this school are not only strong, but also fast. They are solid on both offense and defense. The offensive attack is led by senior QB Andy Dalton. He passed for 2,756 yards and 23 TDs last year. His best WR was Antonio Hicks. The junior Hicks had 6 TDs, and 478 yards on 23 recs. The Horned Frogs lose top rusher Joseph Turner, but they get back Matthew Tucker, and Ed Wesley who combined for 1,314 yards in 2009. Tucker had 8 TDs. QB Dawson is also capable of scrambling for yards as he managed to get 512 last year.

The defense for TCU losses Jerry Hughes who had 11.5 sacks last year. That won't be easy to replace, but the defense line is still rock solid. DE Wayne Daniels and DT Cory Grant will have to pick up some of the slack. Both are very capable of doing so and the Horned Frogs aren't likely to fall back much from last year in this respect. They are more than capable of hanging with the Beavers in this area. The LBs at TCU are some of the best in the FBS. Tank Carder is a force at MLB. The DBs are very good, but not as good as last year's top 10 finish.

Leading the offensive charge for the Oregon State Beavers is Jacquizz "Quiz" Rodgers. The junior running back rushed for 1,440 yards and 21 TDs last year. He averaged 5.3 ypc. Quiz has to have a huge game if OSU is going to compete. This won't be easy with the stout TCU defense breathing fire the whole game. It will be pivotal to try and soften the defense with a pass attack. That won't be easy in the absence of Sean Canfield who graduated after passing for 3,271 yards last year. Ryan Katz is a smaller QB and something an unknown commodity.

The defensive line is anchored by senior DT Stephen Paea. He recorded 3 sacks and 5.5 tackles for a loss last year. Throw in DE Gabe Miller, and DT Brennan Olander and this is the most experienced and solid defensive line that the Beavers have fronted in years. The defensive backs should improve thanks to the experience of a senior CB and all junior S's and a junior CB. The key for this Oregon State defense will be stopping the rushing attack of TCU. If Paea comes out with a big game then OSU's chances of winning will be increased.

The current betting line on this game has TCU favored by as many as -13 at some offshore sportsbooks. We think that may be showing TCU a tad too much respect. We can't knock the program. They win. The knock on TCU is always going to be schedule strength. But they did beat Clemson, BYU and Utah last year and gave Boise a game. None of those teams are pushovers. But then again, neither is Oregon State. This is an Oregon State team many feel can contend for a PAC 10 Title. They are loaded with returning starters from last season, not unlike TCU, and play a tougher schedule week in and week out.

Oregon State lost one game last year by more than 13 points and that was in their final game, a Bowl game in which they had no interest in playing, having hoped to be playing in the Rose Bowl. Rarely do you find a 13 point underdog in college football that can conceivably win the game straight up. Such is the case here. The gap between these two is less than 13 points. We'll bite - Oregon State +13

 

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