After being leapfrogged by the University of Oregon in the polls following a less than spectacular victory at Southern Methodist University, TCU football will look to rebound at Colorado State University on Saturday in the Frogs’ Mountain West Conference opener. Colorado State is coming off its first win of the year, beating Idaho 36-34 last weekend and ending a 12-game losing streak for the CSU Rams. TCU must win convincingly in order to prevent dropping further in the polls.
When TCU is on offense
Senior quarterback Andy Dalton is coming off a disappointing game against SMU in which he threw two interceptions and had only 174 passing yards. He will look to capitalize on the Rams 98th ranked defense this weekend.
The CSU defense is giving up averages of 35 points per game and 424 yards per game. However, Dalton won’t have to throw often because CSU gives up an average of just over 167 yards per game on the ground.
The Rams have not faced a rushing attack like TCU this season, so Horned Frog running backs should have strong performances and plenty of carries against CSU’s defensive line is led by senior defensive tackle Guy Miller, who leads the team with two sacks. The Frogs’ veteran offensive line should have no problem opening rushing lanes and protecting Dalton. The Rams have a veteran linebacking corps, but they are not anything special. The TCU offense should have a big day against CSU and will look to fix some of the issues it faced during the SMU game.
When TCU is on defense
The Horned Frogs looked out of place on defense against SMU, giving up a surprising 139 yards rushing to sophomore running back Zach Line.
CSU running back Raymond Carter is coming off his best game of the season. He had 104 yards rushing and 120 yards receiving, including a 72-yard touchdown. Containing him will be the Horned Frogs’ top priority on defense.
CSU quarterback, freshman Pete Thomas, had a solid game against Idaho throwing for 386 yards and three touchdowns, but that was only his fourth start as a collegiate quarterback. He has never seen a defense like the 4-2-5 TCU runs or anything like the speed TCU can put on the field. Despite his strong performance against Idaho, Thomas has not protected the football well with seven interceptions so far this season.
TCU did not pressure the SMU Mustangs well and they should rebound against a mediocre offensive line. The TCU secondary should also feast on some ill-advised throws by Thomas.
The CSU Rams will have no answer for TCU on offense or defense. They simply do not have the talent or coaching to compete on the same field as the Frogs. The only way TCU can lose this game is if they beat themselves with dumb mistakes, and head football coach Gary Patterson is not about to let that happen.
Allen Kellogg is a sophomore journalism major from Alexandria, VA.