The Battle for Texas is on full display tonight as the Texas Longhorns (3-1, 1-0) take on the TCU Horned Frogs (0-4, 0-2) in SEC conference play.
The Longhorns travel to Fort Worth for their final road game of the year after dismantling the Florida Gators last week, 48-7. TCU, however, put up a very tough fight in an overtime loss to the Clemson Tigers, 36-33.
Let’s take a look at each team as well as some key matchups.
Another game, another five-touchdown performance by the man they call “voodoo” Ray Tatum. At this point, Ray Tatum has thrown for five touchdown passes in three out of the past four games. Last season, he threw five touchdowns passes in four games. Tatum’s efforts have led Texas to a top-five offense as well as the best passing offense in the league. Recipients of Tatum’s works are wideouts Scooby Lewis, Vincent McCoy, Ray Conley, and Jackson James. Running back Tarraj Walker has been the swiss army knife of the offense with his 405 total yards of offense and three touchdowns.
Defensively, Texas has rebounded well after the embarrassing effort against Notre Dame. The past two games Texas has only allowed two touchdowns and has limited Florida and Michigan to under 300 total yards of offense. Leading the charge suprisingly has been cornerback Terrence Top. Top has two interceptions to go with five pass defenses. Safety Jimbo Smithers continues to roam around the secondary and will be bolstered by Zachary White, Tayshaun Thompson and Jakari June. Richard Davis and Salris Baird look to sack the TCU QB tonight. Howard Cook, Dallas Greene and Pluto Ross look to stop this TCU running game.
TCU HORNED FROGS
TCU is changing its offensive coordinator and for good reason. Kovach and company have struggled out the gate with their offense ranking near the bottom of the league. It will be interesting to see if Jared Tetonis can get going tonight as he has one touchdown on the year through four games. James Kovach looks to improve his numbers as well, as he has tossed six touchdowns to 10 interceptions. Horace Lynch, Bill Volk, and David Collins look to take advantage of the outside and make plays downfield.
On defense, TCU gave Clemson all they could handle. Led by Jabril Jackson up front, Aaron Davis in the middle and Stokely Ferdinand in the secondary, the Horned Frogs can present some problems for Texas. Marlon Davis, Dale Higgenbottom and Seth Maynard round out this opportunistic TCU defense.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Ray Conley makes his return to Fort Worth after transferring this past offseason. Last season Conley caught 65 balls for 833 yards and nine touchdowns. This year with Texas? He has 18 receptions for 320 yards and nine touchdowns. Ray Conley would love nothing more than to burn his former team. Every game that Conley has had multiple touchdowns, Texas has won.
Texas CB Terrance Top vs TCU WR Jared Tetonis
Tetonis is playing in a new offense and will look to improve his numbers. A career leader in almost every wideout category, Tetonis has been pretty quiet this year. He will go up against sophomore cornerback Terrence Top, who has really started to shine in his second season. This key matchup will determine how successful will be in this matchup.
As usual, I find it bad luck to predict my own game. This game is huge for TCU and Texas as they both want to make the playoffs. A loss by TCU ultimately ends TCU’s playoff hopes, as three SEC losses will all but knock them out. Texas will need a win tonight to take claim to more hardware, as the Texas State Champions Belt is on the line. Can TCU and their new offense surprise Texas for the upset? Or will Ray Tatum and company continue business as usual with a blowout?