College Football Handicapping: Arkansas Razorbacks at #15 TCU Horned Frogs

Arkansas Razorbacks at #15 TCU Horned Frogs
Saturday, September 10, 2016, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Amon G. Carter Stadium – Fort Worth, Texas
Opening Line: TCU -7 (-115)
Current Line: TCU -7 (-115)
Opening Total: 61
Current Total: 58 1/2
Opening Money Line: TCU -300 / Arkansas +240
Current Money Line: TCU -305 / Arkansas +245

TCU is favored over Arkansas at home Saturday.
TCU is favored over Arkansas at home Saturday.

Former Southwest Conference rivals TCU and Arkansas meet for the first time since 1991 Saturday in Texas. Arkansas leads the series 42-24-2 including 21-15-1 in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs have not won at home against Arkansas since 1981. TCU makes the return trip to Fayetteville next season.

Both teams are 1-0 but won in different fashion. TCU won a shootout 59-41 at home against South Dakota State. The Horned Frogs were 34.5 point favorites against SDSU and the total was 58.5. Arkansas escaped with a 21-20 win at home over Louisiana Tech. The Razorbacks were 21 point favorites and the total was 52.5.

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Arkansas is coached by Bret Bielema. Arkansas and Louisiana Tech traded touchdowns in the first half and were tied at 14 at halftime. The Bulldogs kicked two field goals in the third quarter to take a 20-14 lead into the fourth. Arkansas scored the go ahead touchdown with just over six minutes left on a four yard touchdown pass that culminated a 67 yard drive that took 7:37 off the clock after Louisiana Tech missed a field goal. The Bulldogs had one more chance but they could only gain 13 yards. After a punt, the Razorbacks took over with 3:35 left and ran out the clock to escape with the one point victory.

Arkansas had 297 total yards including 191 passing and 106 rushing yards. Louisiana Tech had 291 total yards including 212 passing and 79 rushing yards. The Razorbacks had 21 first downs to 16 for the Bulldogs. Arkansas was 3/12 on third down conversions and 3/3 on fourth downs. Louisiana Tech was 5/11 on third down conversions. The Bulldogs had three penalties for 20 yards and the Razorbacks had four for 35. Arkansas had 2 turnovers to 1 for Louisiana Tech. Arkansas dominated time of possession 36:41 to 23:19 for Louisiana Tech.

Quarterback Austin Allen was 20/29 passing for 192 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Running back Rawleigh Williams III had 24 carries for 96 yards and a touchdown, plus 3 catches for 15 yards. Keon Hatcher had 6 catches for 86 yards. Drew Morgan had 5 catches for 47 yards. Jeremy Sprinkle and Jared Cornelius each had touchdown catches.

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TCU is coached by Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs trailed early in the second 17-7 against South Dakota State. However, TCU would tie it up at 24 by halftime. TCU would lead 45-38 by the end of the third. The Jackrabbits would pull to within 45-41 early in the fourth. TCU held on for the win with two touchdowns to win 59-41.

TCU had 662 total yards including 439 passing and 223 rushing yards. SDSU had 461 total yards including 333 passing and 128 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs had 35 first downs to 23 for the Jackrabbits. TCU was 11/15 on third down conversions and SDSU was 6/14. TCU overcame 12 penalties for 125 yards and 2 turnovers to win the game. South Dakota State had 5 penalties for 31 yards and one turnover. SDSU had possession for 31:39 to 28:21 for TCU.

Quarterback Kenny Hill was 33/49 passing for 439 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. He also rushed for 45 yards on 7 carries with 3 touchdowns. Running back Kyle Hicks had 15 carries for 59 yards and 2 touchdowns and also had 4 catches for 37 yards. Receiver Taj Williams had 11 catches for 158 yards and a touchdown.

Arkansas is 5-0 ATS in road games and on grass, 4-0 against teams with winning records, 7-1 against Big 12 teams, 8-2 after failing to cover, 14-6 against teams with winning records, 7-3 overall, 9-4 after a win, 1-4 in non-conference games, and 0-4 in September.

TCU is 9-1 ATS after gaining 450 total yards or more,  14-3 at home, 4-1 after a straight up win, 7-2 after failing to cover, 16-5 on grass, 12-4 against teams with winning records, 8-3 after allowing 40 points or more, 7-3 in non-conference games, 20-9 overall, 15-7 after allowing 450 total yards or more, and 1-4 in September.

Both teams were sloppy in wins last week against inferior opponents. They need to clean up those mistakes in those game. I don’t know if Arkansas can score enough points to keep up with TCU. I like the Horned Frogs to win a close game at home.

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