TCU put up a fight against Ohio State last week, but ultimately fell short 40-28 after being up 21-13. Texas had a slightly easier time and picked up an impressive 37-14 win against USC. With squads like Oklahoma and West Virginia looking stout, it’s important for both of these teams to get a win in the Big 12 opener. On the road, the Horned Frogs are -3 point favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Texas has been all over the place in its first three Games and that’s why it’s an underdog. It couldn’t put Tulsa away a week after falling to Maryland and then the Longhorns thwarted the Trojans in the second half this past weekend. This is another difficult test and TCU will be hoping to rebound after not having enough against a tough Buckeyes squad.
It should be an interesting matchup even though TCU has dominated the last Four Games, winning all by at least 17 points. That includes last year’s 24-7 win at home in a Game the Longhorns managed just nine rushing yards on 26 carries (sacks included). The Frogs didn’t play that well offensively, yet still controlled the Game. The difference this time around is that Sam Ehlinger is the permanent quarterback after Shane Buechele started last year’s matchup, completing just 21-of-44 passes and getting nothing on the ground.
So far Ehlinger has been a mixed bag at 7.30 yards per attempt, completing 57.6% of his passes. His mobility has been a huge help with 116 yards on the ground and a couple touchdowns. That’s something TCU will aim to keep in check with guys like Ben Banogu on the line after he provided constant pressure against OSU. Maybe the bigger thing for the Longhorns has been their steady ground Game between Tre Watson and Daniel Young. They’re only at 4.1 yards per carry as a team, but that number was at 3.6 last year and it’s kept the offense from punting more. The Frogs only returned a few starters on the defensive side and were gashed by the Buckeyes so it’s logical to think Texas will attack on the ground first.
The other end should be just as interesting as it’s still an area TCU needs work on. New quarterback Shawn Robinson had some issues against the Buckeyes with a couple picks and he’s only been at 6.93 yards per attempt. They won their first two Games by controlling the trenches, but outside of a 93-yard touchdown run by Darius Anderson, they got little against Ohio State. The main reason Texas kept USC in check was because of its run defense that held the Trojans to -5 yards on 16 carries. Expecting that number again is a stretch, but if they can limit Anderson from getting consistent yardage, that’d be a huge advantage for the home team.
The Horned Frogs are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 road Games, but 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. The Longhorns are 9-3-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record. In this matchup, the under is 5-1 in the last six meetings and TCU is 4-1 ATS in the last five played in Texas.
Our Pick – Texas +3.5