The jury is out on Texas after it escaped Kansas and it’s unlikely it’ll go the rest of the season unscathed. In fact, TCU is looking to break a two-game losing streak and sees this game as a win. The Longhorns were just -1.5 point road favorites with an over/under of 59 as of Wednesday.
All signs point to this matchup being a little different than recent ones. In the last three meetings, the final score hasn’t surpassed 47 total points, including last year’s 31-16 Texas win.
Sam Ehlinger was the difference in that matchup and he likely could be again, though both defenses have had major issues. TCU previously had one of the better defenses in the conference, but already gave up 41 points to SMU and 49 at Iowa State.
They maybe aren’t as bad as those scores indicate, but there is a route for Texas to score close to 40 points.
Sam Ehlinger is the main reason the Longhorns don’t have an extra loss or two. He’s completing 69.4% of his passes for a sub par 8.1 yards per attempt, but a solid 21 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Throw in 318 rushing yards and five more touchdowns and no one can complain about the offense. Devin Duvernay has been awesome in the slot, while Collin Johnson is recently back from a hamstring injury.
The ground game hasn’t been consistent, but Keaontay Ingram and Roschon Johnson are both averaging at least 5.2 yards per carry. Ehlinger and company should be a problem for TCU all game, but the question is if the Texas defense can keep TCU from scoring more points.
The Longhorns have been terrible, allowing 310 passing yards and more than 30 points per game, including last week’s almost-loss to Kansas, a 50-48 result. The problem for TCU is that it may not be able to capitalize.
Max Duggan took over for Alex Delton at quarterback, but neither has done much, combining for a 56.0% completion rate on 6.3 yards per attempt. Duggan has nine touchdowns and no picks, but he threw for 132 yards and no touchdowns in the loss to Kansas State.
The Frogs will try and live by the ground game if possible, whether that’s running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua or Duggan. But if they want to win, they’ll need a little more from Duggan and that likely involves top wideout Jalen Reagor.
Ehlinger is the better quarterback, but the Texas defense is hard to trust at this point and that should lead to some TCU backers. The under is 13-3 in Texas’s last 16 games on grass, while TCU is 3-11 ATS in it last 14 Big 12 games. The Horned Frogs are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings between these schools and the under has hit in the last four.
Our Pick – Texas -1