TCU’s running game is up for the challenge as the Horned Frogs travel to Austin to face a Longhorn team that allowed negative five rushing yards last week.
“Coach [Tom] Herman has done a good job,” said Head Coach Gary Patterson. “They play really good on defense and physical on offense.”
The Longhorns enter Saturday’s game following a 23-point victory over No. 22 Southern California (USC).
“They looked good,” said senior linebacker Alec Dunham. “Everyone has to come in and execute and do what they need to do. They’re a good team and we’re going to give them their respect throughout the week.”
One aspect of Texas’ game that propelled them to the lopsided victory was their stout rush defense. The Longhorns allowed negative five rushing yards in Saturday’s victory, their best since holding Texas Tech to negative 14 yards in 2010.
TCU rushed for 203 yards against Ohio State, the nation’s No. 2 defense.
“It gives us a great confidence because it shows us we can go on the big stage and perform,” said offensive guard Chris Gaynor.
The Longhorn defensive line totaled three sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in their victory over USC, the most for the Longhorns this season.
“Both Ohio State and Texas offer different match-ups that they’re better at, but Texas definitely has some good people up front and we just have to be prepared,” said Gaynor.
Where Ohio State and Texas differ is in the quality of their defensive backs.
“You’re going to see a lot better skill level in the secondary,” said Patterson. “They don’t just line up, they’re slanting everywhere and cause confusion. Texas is trying to be more physical with bigger groupings.”
Texas’ skilled defense will test sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson, who is looking to improve following his two-interception performance against Ohio State.
“I have to be better,” Robinson said. “There were two plays that I just can’t do.”
Texas sophomore quarterback Sam Ehlinger passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another for the second consecutive week Saturday against USC. He is the first Longhorn quarterback since Colt McCoy in 2008 to have at least two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown in consecutive games.
“Their quarterback will beat you with his feet,” said Patterson. “He’s won a lot of ball games running QB draws and stretches. He’s the X-factor in this offense.”
TCU did not face Ehlinger last season in their 24-7 victory over the Longhorns. Saturday’s contest will test the Horned Frogs’ defensive backs as Ehlinger has passed for at least 200 yards in all nine games he has started in his young career.
Ehlinger has two wide receivers on his squad who can make an immediate impact on the field.
Lil’Jordan Humphrey leads the team through three games with 17 receptions for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Collin Johnson has hauled-in 13 passes for 175 yards and a touchdown in the early season.
The Horned Frogs have had very little trouble with Texas over the past four seasons, outscoring the Longhorns 153-33 in that span.
A TCU victory on Saturday would mark TCU’s fifth consecutive win over Texas, a school record.
Patterson and his team pay no attention to the record and are only focused on opening conference play strong.
“It’s great, but we just want to take it week by week and win our first game in the Big 12,” said Gaynor.
Kickoff against the Longhorns is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Austin