Tom Herman is Coming to Town

November 3, 2017

It’s the type of weekend we all love.

There’s a big game Saturday night at The Carter and then we all get an extra hour of sleep with the return to standard time – Don’t forget to “fall back” and turn back your clock one hour. Have you ever forgotten and showed up for church an hour early? You can find more info on the time change and history behind it here.

Tomorrow’s TCU-Texas game marks the 88th meeting between the two schools. If not for the breakup of the Southwest Conference, this series would have been played more than 100 times. The Frogs and Longhorns played every year from 1927 to 1995 and then did not play from 1996 to 2006. They played in Austin, Texas in 2007, but not again until TCU entered the Big 12 and the series continued in 2012. Since then the Frogs won four out of five. The only win for Texas recently was the “Storm Game” in 2013, in which the game was delayed three hours and 10 minutes while a chain of storms moved across Fort Worth. It was a late night.

TCU fans cheer at the season opener in September. Saturday will be Tom Herman's first visit to Fort Worth as Texas' head coach. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

TCU fans cheer at the season opener in September. Saturday will be Tom Herman’s first visit to Fort Worth as Texas’ head coach. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Tom Herman will make his first visit to Fort Worth as UT’s head coach. There have been growing pains at 4-4, as there often is when a new coach takes over, but the team is playing better. Especially on defense, where the Horns rank No. 4 in total defense in the Big 12 and No. 2 in rushing defense, allowing 109.6 yards per game. Texas defense allowed just 88 yards a game over their last seven. Texas has speed on defense and is sparked by the play of nose tackle #95 Poona Ford and the resurgent play of linebacker #46 Malik Jefferson, who moved from the middle to outside linebacker. With the move, Jefferson is free to run and make plays – he’s fast and he gets to the ball. The secondary has snagged 10 interceptions and safety Deshon Elliott leads the FBS in picks with six, including a 43-yard pick six on the third play of the game last week at Baylor.

On offense, Texas is a bit of a puzzle. Injuries caused coaches to move players around on the offensive line to put the best five out there. There’s not much depth up front All American left tackle Connor Williams will be sitting out again. Only left guard #77 Patrick Vahe is still playing the position at which he started the season. The presents a key matchup – How will Texas handle the Frog’s “Killer B” defensive line and the pressure TCU brings?

Quarterback is a question mark – Shane Buechele is expected to start but Tom Herman’s not saying. The other quarterback in Austin, freshman Sam Ehlinger, has been battling a concussion and didn’t make the trip to Baylor last week. When he’s been healthy, he’s been good. In five starts he threw for 1,419 yards and ran for another 265. He’s elusive.

Texas employs three running backs with sophomore #21 Kyle Porter and freshman #30 Toneil Carter getting most of the work lately, but Carter will not be playing Saturday. Big, bruising tailback #25 Chris Warren is still in the rotation at 250 pounds, but not as much lately. Another big wide out awaits the Frogs’ secondary tomorrow in the 6-foot-6-inch Collin Johnson, who leads the herd with 36 catches. His dad is former UT All-American safety Johnnie Johnson (1976-79), who went on to play for the Rams for years.

Kicking has been an issue for the Horns with Joshua Rowland just 7-13 on the year. Texas has a cannon for a punter in Michael Dickson.  The big-leg Australian averages 48 yards per punt and has a season-long field-flipper of 69 yards to his credit. He and TCU’s KaVontae Turpin will have huge impacts on the outcome of this game.

This is likely to be a tight defensive battle. The winner figures it out on the offensive line.

Did You Know?

  • Ben Franklin originally suggested daylight saving time in 1784.
  • Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, standardizing the length of daylight saving time for the country.
  • Tomorrow’s TCU-Texas game marks 100 home game for Gary Patterson as head coach of the Frogs.

See you tomorrow on the radio. Brian Estridge, Landry Burdine and I hit the air at 5 p.m. on the TCU Sports Network.

Kick ‘Em High!