The TCU football schedule starts to get tougher this weekend with a game against Brigham Young University. BYU has had a rough season so far, losing four straight games until it looked much better in a win against San Diego State University this past week. After that win, the Cougars will be fired up when they roll into Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday. Last week the Horned Frogs shut out Wyoming and the defense will look to continue dominating opponents. TCU is currently top-ranked in the nation in total defense.
When TCU is on offense:
The core of the Horned Frog offense is the running game. Right now the Horned Frogs are averaging nearly 280 yards per game on the ground. Ed Wesley has been one of the best running backs in the country and is averaging seven yards per carry. BYU’s run defense had been the worst defense in the country before last week. The Cougars gave up only 53 rush yards to SDSU, improving them to 113th out of 120 teams in rushing defense. All of the TCU running backs should have good games. The BYU defensive line has struggled in pressuring the passer and has only three sacks on the year. The BYU defensive line will struggle against the monstrous offensive line of TCU, which has done an excellent job opening running lanes this year. The Cougars’ best defensive player, senior cornerback Andrew Rich, leads BYU in tackles. He most likely will have to move up to the defensive line to help BYU contain the rushing attack of TCU. This will give quarterback Andy Dalton’s receivers one-on-one coverage on the deep routes. Dalton has not thrown an interception in two straight games and the BYU defense has struggled to generate turnovers so far this year. This means Dalton will be able to take shots deep down the field with little risk.
When TCU is on defense:
The Horned Frog defense has a chance at continuing the streak of shutouts this weekend against a struggling BYU offense. Max Hall left BYU to go to the NFL and freshman Jake Heaps has had some struggles replacing Hall. Heaps won his first game as a college quarterback last weekend, going 15-22 for 126 yards and a touchdown. TCU defensive end Wayne Daniels has stepped up to replace Jerry Hughes. Daniels leads the MWC with 5.5 sacks. He will be matched up with BYU offensive tackle Matt Reynolds. Reynolds is a massive force on the offensive line, and Daniels will have to use his speed to reach the quarterback. Staying upright will not be Heaps’ only challenge. He must avoid turning the ball over, and Gary Patterson’s swarming 4-2-5 defense is difficult for any quarterback, let alone a true freshman.
BYU vs. TCU may not be as hyped as in years past with BYU’s struggles this year, however it will still be a great fight between two rival schools. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall will have his players fired up for this showdown with a fourth-ranked team. If the Horned Frogs keep playing the way they have been, they will be unstoppable on the way to their third shutout in a row, the first time this has happened since 1955.
Allen Kellogg is a sophomore journalism major from Alexandria, Va.