TCU is coming off one of the biggest wins in school history, a 47-7 victory at Utah. The next step on the road to a BCS game is San Diego State Saturday at home. This will be the last home game before renovations to Amon G. Carter Stadium begin. SDSU has a 7-2 record and is coming in hot, having won its last four games. The Aztecs’ two losses were by a combined six points. TCU has hit its stride this season, so both teams will be ready to play.
When TCU is on offense
The Horned Frogs proved last week at Utah that teams can limit the TCU running game, but they still can’t shut down its offense. None of TCU’s running backs had more than 65 yards last week. Quarterback Andy Dalton took over the game early and torched the Utah secondary for 355 yards and three touchdowns.
The Aztecs, who have allowed just over 20 points per game this season, will be tested on defense by a TCU team averaging 41.4 points per game. SDSU will blitz early and often to try and force Dalton to make mistakes and maybe force an interception.
The TCU offensive line will be responsible for making sure the blitz doesn’t reach Dalton. The offensive line has been effective all season, giving up only five sacks all year, but will have to prove itself again against the Aztecs’ pass rush, which has recorded 22 sacks this season.
The offensive line will also open running lanes for TCU’s stable of running backs. Ed Wesley needs 12 yards to break 1,000 on the year, and there is a good chance this will happen early in the game.
Linebacker Miles Burris is a standout on defense for the Aztecs. Last week he had 10 tackles, with two sacks and two forced fumbles. He will need to be contained for the offense to run at peak efficiency.
When TCU is on defense
TCU’s defense is ranked No. 1 in the country, allowing only 8.5 points per game. SDSU has an excellent running back in Ronnie Hillman. The Aztecs will need him to have a great game so they can control the clock and keep the Horned Frogs’ explosive offense off the field.
Hillman is a threat with his speed, so the defense will need to avoid letting him break into the secondary. The Horned Frogs’ linebackers, led by sophomore Tanner Brock, will try to close off running lanes for Hillman.
Brock had a tremendous game against Utah and is becoming one of the top linebackers in the country.
When the Aztecs drop back to pass, the advantage will shift toward the Horned Frogs. SDSU quarterback Ryan Lindley, who is recovering from an ankle injury, is completing 54.2 percent of his passes and has thrown nine interceptions this season.
The TCU pass rush stepped up against Utah, and if it performs similarly against the Aztecs, it will be a long day for Lindley. Lindley will look to throw the ball to Vincent Brown and DeMarco Sampson. Both receivers are talented and have big play ability, but they likely have not played a secondary as fast as TCU’s. The secondary will play tight coverage and wait for the pass rush to wreak havoc in the backfield.
Allen Kellogg is a sophomore journalism major from Alexandria, Va.