Who to watch: TCU vs. Texas Tech
Here are the players to watch from both teams on Thursday night
By Alex Gaffigan and Evan Watson
Posted September 11, 2013
Posted September 11, 2013
After beating Southeastern Louisiana on Saturday, the Horned Frogs have a short week to prepare for their game against Texas Tech on Thursday night. Texas Tech comes into the matchup with a 2-0 record after racking up an average of 453 yards passing in its first two games against SMU and Stephen F. Austin (SFA).
Here's who to watch:
Trevone Boykin, Quarterback, Sophomore
The Horned Frogs no longer have a quarterback controversy, as Trevone Boykin will be the starter against Texas Tech. Casey Pachall fractured his forearm in the win against Southeastern Louisiana but Boykin has been the more effective quarterback through the two games this season. Boykin will be a more dynamic player under center due to his mobility, and having him as the starter will throw the offensive playbook wide open against Tech. Boykin was 9-for-13 for 133 yards and two touchdowns against Southeastern Louisiana. Boykin also led the team in receptions with three. Look to see if Boykin’s ability to scramble will keep a few drives alive for TCU on Thursday.
Elisha Olabode, Safety, Senior
Olabode had a breakout season last year, registering 71 total tackles (48 solo), four interceptions, and two forced fumbles. So far this year, he’s totaled 16 tackles and has played a large role in TCU’s defense. The pressure on this senior is about to increase though as Texas Tech’s pass-heavy offense is firing on all cylinders. Olabode will be pushed into pass coverage more often than not, as Tech uses many multiple wide receiver sets. His leadership in the secondary will be important, as Tech will likely throw away from All-American Jason Verrett. If Olabode can help prevent big passes down the middle of the field, TCU’s chances of a win look a lot better.
Devonte Fields, Defensive End, Sophomore
He’s back. After missing the game against LSU, Fields made a cameo appearance against Southeastern Louisiana in the third quarter last week. With all but one quarter of his suspension over, Fields should be hungry to make up for lost time on Thursday. Fields’ pass rushing abilities couldn’t come at a better time, as TCU must put pressure on Texas Tech’s walk-on freshman quarterback Baker Mayfield in order to win this game. Fields led the team with 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last season. He needs to continue to be a menace for opposing offenses. Look to see if Fields can hurry Tech’s inexperienced quarterback into some poor decisions on Thursday.
Jace Amaro, Tight End, Junior
A junior from San Antonio, Texas, Jace Amaro is widely recognized as one of the best tight ends in the Big 12. Named to the Big 12 first team a year ago by ESPN, Amaro has wasted no time in picking up right where he left off in 2012, amassing 11 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown over two games this season. Amaro led the Red Raiders in receiving against SFA, reeling in eight catches for 142 yards and a touchdown. One of quarterback Baker Mayfield's favorite targets, look for Amaro to have a big game on Thursday night.
Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Freshman
A true freshman walk-on out of Austin, Texas, Baker Mayfield has made a name for himself during his first two weeks in Lubbock. Not even on Coach Kliff Kingsbury's radar at the start of fall camp, Kingsbury was forced to assess his other options at quarterback after starter Michael Brewer suffered a back injury. Over two games, Mayfield has thrown for 780 yards and seven touchdowns, averaging 390 yards per game through the air. He also leads the team in rushing with 82 yards on 21 carries. Mayfield is not afraid to scramble out of the pocket, yet his arm strength makes him an excellent pocket passer. This is the type of versatility that makes Mayfield dangerous on the field.
Eric Ward, Wide Receiver, Senior
A senior from Wichita Falls, Texas, Eric Ward is no stranger to competition against TCU. In a thrilling 56-53 win over TCU a year ago, Ward reeled in three touchdown receptions and wrecked havoc on the Frogs' secondary in arguably one of his best performances to date. Already in 2013, Ward leads the Red Raiders in receptions and receiving yards, with 16 catches for 186 yards in two games. Having had a tremendous year in 2012 in which he was named an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention, Ward will try to build onto what he has already started against the Frogs on Thursday night.
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