A breakdown of TCU’s matchup with Air Force tomorrow:
Casey Pachall vs. Tim Jefferson. Jefferson is the senior here for Air Force, but it is very difficult to compare the quarterbacks when the teams run such different schemes. TCU tight end Logan Brock called Casey Pachall an “animal” in the huddle. His leadership and tenacity were put on display at Baylor, but no one is better at running the triple option than Jefferson. Advantage: TCU
Every skill position player for Air Force is also a running back. The key in this comparison will be if the Frogs have Ed Wesley. The Frogs have depth, but Wesley completes the Frogs’ backfield. Without a healthy Ed Wesley, the advantage in this game goes to the team that averaged 307 yards per game on the ground a year ago. Advantage: Air Force
The Frogs showed a plethora of wide outs vs. Baylor. Freshmen Brandon Carter, Cam White, and David Porter III looked poised and calm in the fourth quarter as the Frogs were on the comeback vs. Baylor. Josh Boyce will give Air Force CB Anthony Wright fits. Advantage: TCU
The TCU offensive line protected Pachall well vs. Baylor, and they will need to do the same this week vs. Air Force’s zone blitzing scheme. The Air Force o-line is under sized, but they block effectively in their scheme. Draw
The Frog d-line must play better this week. Stansly Maponga and D.J. Yendrey need help from Broughton and the other defensive tackle slot. They have the size on Air Force’s line, but this game will not be easy defending a triple option, and Tim Jefferson cannot get comfortable. Air Force has 4 seniors on their defensive line. Advantage: TCU
Theoretically, the Frogs should have a huge advantage here, but TCU linebackers had just 9 tackles a week ago, and Tank Carder had 7 of them. Tanner Brock needs to stay on the field and be the Frogs’ best tackler again. Air Force has three senior linebackers who will try to confuse Pachall. Until the Frog backers play up to their potential. Draw
Air Force has 7 of their top 8 back from their secondary a year ago. If Air Force can slow down Pachall’s passing attack, then they will have a chance in this contest. The Falcons will not throw more than 10-12 times vs. the TCU secondary. Senior safety Johnny Fobbs described the Baylor game as “embarrassing.” Who will start in the TCU secondary this week is anyone’s guess. The boundary corner simply cannot get beat over the top. Air Force does not have the passing game to fully take advantage of a still inexperienced TCU secondary, but their secondary is a savvy veteran group. Advantage: Air Force
Greg McCoy set the all-time TCU record for kick off return yards last week, but when the other team scores 50, he is destined to have a truckload of yards. Skye Dawson was also impressive returning kicks. Ross Evans missed two field goals, but head coach Gary Patterson blamed most of that on the holder. He said they were not able to spin their laces because they had a new holder and were weary of having the kicks blocked.
Evans and his holder should be better this week. Advantage: TCU
TCU will be playing with a big chip on its shoulder. The pressure of being perfect is gone, and TCU is looking to get its respect back and put itself back on the national scene. Starting 0-2 is not the start that Casey Pachall and the other new starters envisioned. Expect the Frogs to come out very hungry in this one. On the other hand, Air Force showed very little of its offense last week in their 37-20 victory. As Gary Patterson said at his news conference, nothing is easy when they have to travel all the way to the mountains. Advantage: TCU
At his Tuesday press luncheon, Patterson stressed his respect for Troy Calhoun and the Air Force coaching staff, but Calhoun was not the one ranked as the best coach in the nation by Sports Illustrated and ESPN. With Patterson still standing on the Frogs’ sideline, the clear coaching advantage goes to the Frogs. Advantage: TCU
The Frogs play with a chip on their shoulder, but Air Force keeps it close for a while. However, TCU’s size and running game opens up throwing lanes for Pachall as the game goes on. TCU pulls away to even its record at 1-1. TCU wins 40-21.
What: TCU vs. Air Force
When: Saturday @ 2:30 p.m. CT
Where: Colorado Springs, Colo.
TV/Radio: Versus HD, WBAP 96.7 FM and KTCU 88.7 FM.
Spanish broadcast: AM 1270 Univision
Last time they met: The Frogs handed the Falcons a 38-7 loss on Oct. 23, 2010 at Amon Carter Stadium.