TCU knew what it was getting into at Iowa State last weekend and that still didn’t help. The Horned Frogs lost their first Game of the season and still have a trip to Oklahoma next week. In an almost must-win situation against Texas, the Frogs were -7 point home favorites early in the week at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Texas already has Four losses, but is much better than a Four-loss team. Three of its losses came by five points or less against squads that have been ranked in the top 25 all season (USC, Oklahoma, OK State). Already with a win at Iowa State (who TCU just lost to), this is going to be another Big 12 battle. TCU has been good this season with the win at OK State standing out, but still hasn’t looked like a completely dominant team. That was seen last week when the Horned Frogs were held to just seven points against the Cyclones.
With how the Texas defense has looked in recent Games, this could be another difficult matchup for TCU. The Longhorns have been great against the run since the Maryland Game and are allowing just 110 rushing yards per Game. When TCU’s offense struggles, it’s usually because the ground Game can’t get going, although Darius Anderson and Kyle Hicks still combined for 175 yards last week. Those two will get a heavy workload in this Game, but finding room won’t be easy. If that’s the case, it’ll fall to Kenny Hill to open things up and his former self showed up against ISU, tossing two picks while completing less than 50 percent of his passes. Hill had been safe with the ball prior to that Game, so this one will be a good test to see if he can return from a bad outing. So far, the Texas pass defense has been its main flaw allowing more than 260 yards per Game.
TCU’s defense is the best unit in this Game, allowing less than 15 points per Game and only 77 rushing yards per contest. While the Frogs lost last week, they still have allowed only 20 points total in the last three Games. Then again, none of those offenses are elite. They gave up 24 points to WVU and 31 to OK State the weeks before that.
Texas has been all over the place in terms of offensive efficiency this season and that’s mostly due to a quarterback duel between Sam Ehlinger and Shane Buechele. Buechele was back under center last Game because Ehlinger had a concussion and Buechele looked fine for the most part, although it was an easy matchup against Baylor. The good news is that Ehlinger returned to practice this week and will likely return as the starting quarterback. Ehlinger’s ability on the ground (265 rushing yards) gives the offense another level and more explosiveness that Buechele doesn’t provide. That’s also key because the Longhorns have struggled all season to run the ball with Chris Warren the top back with just 310 rushing yards.
Tom Herman has gotten Texas to remain competitive no matter the opponent this season and that could be the case here, especially with a seven-point spread. The Longhorns are 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven Games and 4-1 ATS in their last five road Games. The Horned Frogs are a miserable 1-11 ATS in their last 12 home Games. In this matchup, TCU has covered in Four of the last five Games, but the road team is also 4-1 ATS in the last five.
Our Pick – Texas +7