Football treating Texas like any other opponent

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The TCU defense will need to slow down the No. 15 Longhorns if the Frogs want a chance on Saturday. Photo by Cristian ArguetaSoto.

Coming off a near defeat against Kansas, No. 15 Texas will visit Amon G. Carter Stadium to face-off against a struggling TCU team.

TCU knows how good the Longhorns can be at full strength. In fact, TCU is choosing to look past the hype and focus on taking care of business.

“Texas is a good team, but we have to treat every week the same,” center Coy McMillon said.

The Longhorns’ explosive offense stems from junior quarterback Sam Ehlinger, the preseason Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year. He presents a threat both in the air and on the ground while taking near perfect care of the ball.

Ehlinger ranks third in the Big 12 with 2057 passing yards to go with a conference-best 21 passing touchdowns. On top of that, he has gained 318 yards and five touchdowns with his legs. The veteran signal caller has done all of this while throwing just three interceptions and losing one fumble.

Ehlinger’s primary target in 2019 has been receiver Devin Duvernay, who ranks first in the Big 12 with 8.7 catches per game and third with 89.6 receiving yards per game. The senior has totaled 61 receptions for 627 yards and six touchdowns this season.

Behind Ehlinger and Duvernay, Texas averages 480 yards and 40.9 points per game, but Patterson knows a shootout is not in the Frogs’ best interest. To avoid one, TCU will need to get to Ehlinger, forcing him to make quick decisions. 

Though Texas has given up 22 sacks this season—the worst for the Big 12—this could still come as a tall task for a TCU defense that has produced just 11 sacks on the season.

On offense, first-year quarterback Max Duggan will lead TCU for the fifth-straight game. 

Though it has been slow, Duggan has shown improvement over time. This has been nowhere more evident than his ability to make plays with his legs. After rushing for 12 yards in the first four games combined, Duggan is averaging 74.5 yards rushing over the last two contests.

Against Kansas State, Duggan wowed the nation with a 46-yard touchdown run.

The rise in Duggan’s confidence is a trend that will only continue, and his teammates are noticing.

“Max [Duggan] is a fiery competitor, and you can tell that,” McMillon said. “He’s a good leader.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Fort Worth.