Inside Texas picks: UT-TCU

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By IT Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2012
Copyright © 2018

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Mike Davis

Texas should snatch Thanksgiving win over young, banged-up Horned Frogs. Gary Patterson's team has a talented defense - per usual - but it's a unit that has also been depleted. Longhorns should be able to defend against TCU's first-year quarterback.

Make your TCU game pick!

Bill Frisbie, Inside Texas Lead Writer - Welcome to the New Normal: it’s called Thanksgiving without Texas A&M. 

Just three months ago, replacing the Aggies with TCU on Texas’ Turkey Day menu looked like an upgrade.  These days, TCU looks a lot like Texas did last year.  TCU’s combination of youth, injuries, attrition and lack of depth resulted in a freshman QB thrust into the fray, O-line inconsistencies and running back-by-committee. Coach Gary Patterson’s calling card remains his defense, but that side of the ball took a hit earlier year when off-the-field issues resulted in several dismissals.  Still, this is a fiercely competitive Horned Frog team that will be no push-over. 

Texas’ rear view mirror now includes the league’s up-tempo offenses predicated upon timing and spacing.  TCU and Kansas State are more of the blue collar variety, and that may be a better matchup for a Longhorn defense that is finding its traction.

A Texas win assures it of no worse than an Alamo Bowl invite, probably punches its ticket for the Cotton Bowl and keeps alive its hopes for an at-large BCS bid 

Texas 38 – TCU 20

Eric Nahlin, Inside Texas Recruiting Editor - Thanksgiving. The old in-laws, the ones from the country, have been divorced out. In their stead come the high fallutin pseudo pious folks from TCU.

Meh, and yeah!, at the same time. The change of scenery is welcomed, even if it means ending a long lasting tradition. On second thought, I'm not sure the tradition has changed. I'm used to the Texas Longhorns playing on Thanksgiving in accordance to tradition, and they still are.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

In walks a proud, perhaps over proud fan base, with the type of issues Napoleon would go on to be known for. In comes a Horned Frog program lead by one of the most competent men to don headsets in the state of Texas in quite some time. His team will be ready.

As I watch TCU play defense I marvel at their capacity to stop the run despite a starting eleven in the same weight range as Rice. Not only are they athletic, but they're schematically sound and aggressive. Even in their trademark 4-2-5 formation, or perhaps because of it, TCU flies to the ball. But with the possibility of having to dedicate numbers to the run game comes UT's opportunities to exploit the passing game over the top and down the sideline.

That's where Texas wins this game, 31-24.

Getting that 24 for TCU will be hard to come by. They're not running the ball exceptionally well, and redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin has proven to be just as unreliable for keeping TCU on schedule has he has proven to keep defenses off schedule. He's talented. He's capable of prolonging plays and making a game altering difference, but not yet.

Texas is hitting its stride. Whether you agree with the timing is up to you, I don't, but I'll take it as it comes.

Screw it, Texas 38, TCU 24. Ash just went over the top once more.

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Enjoy your family.

Jesus Shuttlesworth, Inside Texas Special Contributor - TCU brings a defensive group worthy of the cockroach moniker.  This will be the best defense Texas faces all season with the exception of perhaps Oklahoma.  Protecting the football and staying in manageable down and distances will be the order of the day because it will allow Coach Harsin to employ some deep play action and game changing FUNK. The game plan will be to ground and pound then run counters until TCU is susceptible to a gadget or a deep ball.  Anything less allows TCU's talented defensive line to pin its ears back and tee off on the biggest match-up deficiency Texas has--Longhorn offensive tackles vs. Horned Frog ends.

TCU's offense on the other hand is nothing to write home about.  They'll have to play mistake free football if they want to punish a Longhorn defense that has had trouble getting off the field.  The Frogs return just two starters on the O-line and they start a true freshman at one offensive tackle spot.  If the Longhorns can continue the trend of playing more sound in their front 7, it's going to be tough for TCU to move the football consistently on the arm of first year starter Boykin.

I think the Longhorns continue to show improvement on defense and find just enough offense against a salty TCU stop unit to win somewhat comfortably.  Call it 35 to 24 Texas.

Mike Blackwell, Inside Texas Magazine Editor - Where are the Aggies? Where are all of those dudes in white, running around and grunting and making hand gestures to the sky? Where's that dog? Are the girls in the stands kissing those guys in the tall boots because they want to, or because it's a requirement each time the Aggies cross the goal line? I want my Aggies back. I've got my potato salad and turkey and chicken and dressing and pecan pie...and I still want my Aggies back!

But it's not happening, and like it or not, I might very well get my Aggies back at some point this season, though under a very different set of circumstances than in College Station or Austin on Thanksgiving night. That's too bad, but sometimes life is too bad, and you just have to move on.

Now that I'm past my angst, sort of, let's consider the TCU Horned Frogs, Texas' opponent this year on Thanksgiving night. I don't have the same intensity for this game as last year's game in Aggieland, but it's a very important game, indeed, for the Longhorns. Mack Brown's team has plenty to play for - possibly even a BCS bowl game berth, as absurd as that would've sounded a month ago.

Because of that, I really believe the Longhorns will win fairly handily on Thursday night. The Horned Frogs' offense is a wreck, and will be going against an improving Texas defense. They won't be able to run, and the TCU quarterback has not shown the ability to throw effectively as a first-year player. On the other side of the ball, the TCU defense is a good one - easily the best that Texas has faced since Oklahoma - but the Longhorns' offense has been excellent, so I don't anticipate too many problems moving the football. Texas will scored 28 points, minimum, against the Horned Frogs. The running game for Texas will have to work for its yards, but David Ash should be able to gouge some holes through the air.

I want my Aggies back, but that's not happening, so I will just go back to the kitchen and get another plate of food. Texas 28, TCU 14.

Michael Pearle, Inside Texas Co-Publisher - Yes, it will be strange watching the Longhorns lineup against somebody other than A&M on Thanksgiving day. But I for one am looking forward to it. Watching the game without the stress of possibly losing to the Aggies, and without the aggravation of  3+ hours of shots of corps members strutting and fans and yell leaders whooping, will be just dandy for me. TCU, Texas Tech, whoever, welcome to Thanksgiving in Austin!

As for the game, somewhere in the aftermath of the OU disaster, the Longhorns appear to have turned into a pretty good football team. After playing tough and winning in Lubbock, a place where Texas teams have traditionally struggled, and after cruising to a fairly easy win against an Iowa State team that has been competitive this season, the Longhorns have gotten on something of a roll. And they have a lot to play for, with a conference championship and a BCS bowl appearance still a possibility.

TCU, on the other hand, has been pretty mediocre this season, at least by their standards. Nice wins against Baylor and West Virginia have been more than balanced out by losses to Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Kansas State and even Iowa State. Although backup quarterback Trevone Boykin has played decently, the loss of starter Casey Paschall obviously has hurt the Frogs. Without him, I just don't see TCU being a team that can come in to Royal Memorial and knock off a surging, confident Texas. Sure  Gary Patterson has done wonders with the program, but this just looks like a down year for TCU.

The Longhorns may find the going a little tough early, but as the game wears on, they will get out to a comfortable lead and keep it. Like the good ole days of the SWC, Texas wins big against the Toads. Texas 38, TCU 20.

Clendon Ross, Inside Texas Co-Publisher - This Texas team, left for dead five weeks ago after the debacle in Dallas, and a fourth down conversion away from one of the most embarrassing losses in school history just three weeks ago in Lawrence, is just two wins away from a 10-win regular season (which many of us predicted heading into 2012) and possible BCS bowl berth (still a long shot, but within the realm of possibility). It certainly hasn’t been pretty, and the wins haven’t exactly come against a murderer’s row, but it’s hard to argue that the team hasn’t made progress over the last two weeks. It’s arguable, even, that the team we saw in Lubbock vs. Texas Tech and in Austin vs. Iowa State is the team we expected to see all season.

Over the last two weeks, Mack Brown has stopped meddling with Bryan Harsin’s offense, and we’ve seen a rejuvenated David Ash as a result. Opening up the playbook and getting the ball in the hands of this team’s multiple playmakers in any number of ways around the line of scrimmage has in turned opened up the downfield passing game. TCU’s edge rushers will present a challenge for Harsin’s play calling and those playmakers’ execution but there should be more opportunities down the field to Mike Davis if Johnathan Gray, Daje Johnson, Joe Bergeron and maybe even Malcolm Brown present a credible running threat.

On the other side of the ball, Manny Diaz’s defense has played better the last two weeks following the post-Kansas simplification and, dare I say, looked fairly sound against the Cyclones two Saturdays ago. In terms of productivity, offensively the Horned Frogs are more akin to ISU than OSU, WVU, OU or Baylor, offenses that abused the Longhorn D. I expect another good, bend-but-don’t-break performance from the Horns.  

So, if that same team shows up Thursday night at DKR that has shown up the last two games – and I expect that it will – UT will begin its new post-A&M Thanksgiving tradition with another stepping stone win. Texas 34, TCU 17.

Pat Culpepper, Inside Texas Special Contributor - Texas 24, TCU 10.

Click here to read his take:

Average of IT Members' picks: Texas 35, TCU 22



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