Horned Frogs Need a Win from Texas

October 25, 2019

Happy Homecoming, everyone!

The Frogs and Texas will kick it off for the 90th time Saturday in a storied series that dates back to 1897. While UT holds a 63-25-1 advantage, the Frogs won five of the last seven and dominated the series in TCU’s Big 12 tenure.

From Dana X. Bible to Dutch Meyer to Abe Martin to Darrell Royal, there’s tons of history in this one:

  • Darrell Royal called the Frogs “cockroaches” after TCU’s 6-0 upset win in 1961.
  • TCU’s 1967 win in Austin when Frog Hall-of-Famer Bubba Thornton returned a punt 67 yards for the win in a 24-17 triumph.
  • Then there’s the long streak of dominance by Texas that saw the ‘Horns win every year from 1968 through 1991. It wasn’t pretty. Many Frog fans still bristle at the memory of an 81-16 loss in 1974 when Texas poured it on. Bristle.

The Horned Frogs and their fans need to carry that same rage against UT into Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday.

It really doesn’t matter who the opponent is – the Frogs need a win. This opportunity just happens to be Texas.

And I like the Frogs’ chances.

TCU defense has given up some big plays at inopportune times, but is capable of throttling and offense. The stats bear that out. Containment is the biggest component this weekend, along with finding a way to generate a pass rush. Head Coach Gary Patterson has been in the laboratory and the test tube is bubbling. Pass the beaker.

Max Duggan is coming into his own and is beginning to blossom. His gutsy performance last week against Kansas State was amazing. And reassuring. When he gets his arm sighted-in, it’ll be open season on secondaries. The run game gives the Frogs two key components for this one: 1. Opportunity to control the line of scrimmage and, thereby, the game and, 2. The ability to control time of possession and limit UT quarterback Sam Ehlinger’s chances with the football. Kansas ran for 259 yards on UT last week. There are more yards to be yielded. Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua and Duggan are all capable of doing great damage and TCU’s offensive line needs to be in sync from the start.

Mac Duggan breaks tackles against Kansas State Oct. 19. So far this season the Frogs are 3-3, but Duggan is improving. Courtesy of TCU Athletics

Texas likes to rack up points. The Longhorns post an average of 41 points per game and 481 yards per contest. It’s a run-pass option scheme that loaded with talent. Aside from Ehlinger, keep an eye on #6 Devin Duvernay, a multi-purpose weapon who can take over a game. Duvernay doesn’t get enough credit — he kept Texas in the game with OU for a while. #9 Collin Johnson should be playing WR in the NFL right now but he elected to come back to UT for one more year. The secret weapon on this side of the ball for Texas may be #2 Roschon Johnson who has rushed for 409 yards and has come on of late, swerving for 121 yards against West Virginia and ripping off a 57-yarder against OU on his way to 95 yards.

Defense is where Texas struggles. The team’s last two outings against OU and Kansas exposed some trouble spots. Injuries and underperformance have not helped. The ‘Horns lead the world in missed tackles. Texas’ 3-3-5 scheme features three huge down linemen including nose tackle Keondre Coburn at 340 pounds. The linebackers are led by #46 Joseph Ossai, but it’s a beat-up group. The secondary is athletic, but young. Safety Brandon Jones is the best player in the back half.

This would be a huge, re-railing win for the Frogs but they need to get off to a fast start – the Frogs have shown that they don’t play well when they’re behind. Losses to SMU, Iowa State and Kansas State all saw the Frogs trip coming out of the blocks. Big plays early could light the fire. On defense, it’s about containing Ehlinger and playing field position. TCU has to keep UT out of the Red Zone. (UT is 26-28 in Red Zone scoring opportunities.)

Chilly weather is supposed to give way to a beautiful day on Saturday with highs in the upper 60s at kickoff.

We’re on the air at 1:30 p.m. CT on the Horned Frogs Sports Network. Join us on WBAP 820 AMKTCU-FM 88.7, the Riff Ram App (Google PlayApple), TuneIn App, Sirius 111 and XM201.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!