Week 14 Preview: Texas vs. (5) TCU

The No. 5 ranked TCU Horned Frogs will travel to Austin, Texas on Thanksgiving Day to play the Texas Longhorns with the opportunity of keeping their playoff hopes alive. TCU is 9-1 overall, losing only once to Big XII opponent Baylor. Heading into week 14 of the college football season, TCU is still competing against Baylor and Kansas State for the Big XII Title as well as other Top-10 teams for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

TCU has a lot on the line heading into their last two games of the season against Texas on Thursday and Iowa State on Dec 6. The Horned Frogs need to dominate both games in order to make a statement and further prove they are worthy of a Final Four spot in the College Football Playoff.

The only problem is three out of the four teams in front of TCU which include Alabama, Oregon, and Florida State all have an opportunity to play in their respective conference championships. No. 4 Mississippi State will not be able to play in the SEC championship–if Alabama defeats Auburn–due to the fact that they lost to the Crimson Tide, who reside in their division. However, the Bulldogs have defeated three Top-10 ranked teams this season. Furthermore, the Big XII Conference does not have a championship game at the end of the season which could end up being a huge disadvantage for TCU when looking at these other top teams. TCU is going to have to win big over Texas and Iowa State if they want to prove to the College Football Selection Committee why they should be one of the teams in the playoffs.

It isn’t going to be easy for TCU to run all over Texas. Longhorns’ head coach Charlie Strong are turning their season around coming off of three consecutive wins against Texas Tech, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. The Longhorns are looking to finish their season on a high note by upsetting No. 5 ranked TCU. Texas is now bowl eligible after beating OSU on the road and an upset against a Top-5 team like TCU would give them much better bowl positioning.

Keys to a Texas upset over TCU:

Contain TCU’s offense: The Longhorns will have to contain TCU’s fast-paced and high-powered spread offense that has given many teams trouble this season. The Texas defense will have to dissect, slow down and rattle TCU’s spread offense if they have any hopes of keeping the Horned Frogs from putting a lot of points on the board.

QB consistency: Texas sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes will have to have a big night for the Longhorns. Swoopes has been consistent in the Longhorns’ last three wins including on the road against OSU where he threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns. The young QB will have to have a successful game if he wants to put up points against TCU’s powerful defense.

Produce big plays: Defensive tackle Malcom Brown and wide receiver John Harris will be the key players to help lead Texas to a victory. Malcom Brown leads the Longhorns with 6.5 sacks and will have to put pressure on TCU QB and potential Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin in order to contain their offense. Fifth-year senior WR John Harris leads the Longhorns this season in receiving yards and touchdowns and will need to come up big on the offensive end for Texas. The two superstars will have to have standout performances against an impressive TCU team.

It isn’t going to be an easy win for TCU and it isn’t going to be an easy upset for Texas. The Big XII match up and Thanksgiving showdown will take place on Thursday, November 27 at 7:30 ET on Fox Sports 1.

 

*Section Photo credit to; Featured Photo (above) credit to Tom Pennington, Getty Images.