Thanksgiving College Football: TCU Horned Frogs at #16 Texas Longhorns

Texas Christian Horned Frogs at #16 Texas Longhorns
Thursday, November 22, 2012, 7:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN
Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium – Austin, Texas
Opening Line: Texas -8
Current Line: Texas -8
Opening Total: 61
Current Total: 58
Opening Money Line: Texas -310 / TCU +255
Current Money Line: Texas -310 / TCU +255

Texas hosts TCU Thanksgiving night in a key Big 12 battle between former Southwest conference foes. Texas is an 8 point favorite.

Texas Christian and Texas were longtime conference rivals in the old Southwest Conference before it was disbanded in 1995. The two have only played twice since then, but TCU joined the Big 12 this year so the two will play every year again. Texas leads the series 61-20-1, including 34-11-1 in Austin. Texas has won 28 of the last 29 games in the series including the last 4. Texas won the last meeting in 2007 in Austin 34-13. The last TCU win against Texas was in 1992.

TCU is 6-4 this season and 3-4 in the Big 12 under coach Gary Patterson. TCU has losses at home against Iowa St 37-23 Texas Tech 56-53 in triple overtime, and Kansas St 23-10 two weeks ago along with a road loss at Oklahoma St 36-14. After a 4-0 start, TCU has gone 2-4 since after quarterback Casey Pachall  was kicked off the team after being arrested for DUI. TCU has home wins over Grambling 56-0 and Virginia 27-7, along with road wins at Kansas 20-6, SMU 24-16, at Baylor 49-21 and West Virginia 39-38 in double overtime. The Horned Frogs are 4-6 ATS and the total is 4-5 this season. TCU was a 6.5 point underdog against Kansas St and the total was 57.

TCU is averaging 411.5 yards per game, including 256.1 passing and 155.4 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are outscoring teams 32-24 this season. TCU is +1 in turnovers despite having 25 turnovers. The Horned Frogs are averaging 65.5 penalty yards per game, and have allowed 22 sacks. TCU is 62/165 on third and fourth down conversions and 33/46 scoring in the red zone including 24 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs are allowing 326.3 yards per game on defense, including 227.9 passing yards and 98.4 rushing yards. TCU is in the top 16 nationally in total defense and against the run. The Frogs have forced 26 turnovers and 23 sacks. TCU opponents are 48/156 on third and fourth down conversions and 24/29 scoring in the red zone with 13 touchdowns. The Horned Frogs have 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

TCU quarterback freshman Trevone Boykin took over as the starter from Pachall. Boykin has completed 130 of 223 passes (58.3%) for 1,540 yards with 14 touchdowns and 8 interceptions, and also has 93 carries, 267 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He is probable with a shoulder injury. If he can’t go Matt Brown will get the start. He moved from quarterback to wide receiver in the off-season, but became the back-up QB when Pachall left. Running back B.J. Catalan has 94 carries for 445 yards, along with 19 catches for 139 yards and a touchdown. Matthew Tucker has 91 carries, 410 yards, and 3 touchdowns, along with 7 catches, 64 yards and a touchdown.  Aundre Dean has 54 carries, 248 yards, and a receiving touchdown on his only catch of the season. Running back Wayman James is out for the season with a torn ACL. Laderice Sanders only has 3 carries, but has 2 touchdowns. Receiver Josh Boyce has 56 catches, 756 yards with 7 touchdowns, and also has a rushing touchdown.  Brandon Carter has 32 catches, 495 yards, and 5 touchdowns. Skye Dawson has 30 catches, 427 yards and a touchdown. LaDarius Brown has 21 catches, 355 yards and 5 touchdowns. Gour other Horned frogs are out for the season including 3 defensive players.

Texas is 8-2 this season overall and 5-2 in the Big 12 under coach Mack Brown. The Longhorns have an outside shot of winning the Big 12 if they win their last two games against TCU and Kansas St, and Oklahoma loses to Oklahoma St and TCU. Texas could be an at large candidate for a BCS Bowl game if they finish 10-2. Texas has losses at home to West Virginia 48-45 and in Dallas against Oklahoma 63-21. The Longhorns have won 4 straight games since the Oklahoma game. Texas has home wins over Wyoming 37-17, New Mexico 45-0, Baylor 56-50, and Iowa St 33-7 two weeks ago, along with road wins at Ole Miss 66-31, Oklahoma St 41-36, Kansas 21-17, and Texas Tech 31-22.  The Longhorns are 5-5 ATS and the total is also 5-5 this season. Texas was a 10.5 point favorite against Iowa St and the total was 53.

Texas is averaging 457.9 yards per game on offense including 261.1 passing yards and 196.8 rushing yards. The Longhorns are outscoring teams 40-29 this season. Texas is +8 in turnovers with 8 giveaways. The Longhorns are averaging 41.3 penalty yards per game and have allowed 7 sacks. The Longhorns are 84/157 on third and fourth down conversions and 44/51 scoring in the red zone with 38 touchdowns. On defense, Texas is allowing 429.6 yards per game including 229.6 passing yards and 200 rushing yards. Texas has forced 16 turnovers and 23 sacks. Longhorn opponents are 64/155 on third and fourth down conversions and 39/42 scoring in the red zone with 24 touchdowns. Texas has 4 defensive/special teams touchdowns.

Texas quarterback David Ash has completed 183 of 264 passes (69.3%) for 2,354 yards with 17 touchdowns and 5 interceptions, along with 38 carries, 117 yards and a touchdown. Running back Johnathan Gray has 115 carries, 607 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 89 yards. Joe Bergeron has 116 carries, 550 yards, and 16 touchdowns, along with  8 catches for 77 yards. Malcolm Brown has 50 carries, 276 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 7 catches for 55 yards. He is probable with an ankle injury. Daje Johnson and D. J. Monroe will also get some carries and receptions. Monroe has 3 rushing touchdowns and a kickoff return for a touchdown.  Mike Davis has 45 catches, 837 yards and 7 touchdowns. Jaxon Shipley has 40 catches, 501 yards and 5 touchdowns, plus 50 rushing yards. Marquise Goodwin has 21 catches, 254 yards and 2 touchdowns along with 11 carries, 87 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. Johnson, Jeremy Hills and D.J. Grant will also get some catches. Four Longhorn defensive players are questionable or out Thursday.

TCU is 6-0 ATS after a bye week, 9-1 after a straight up win, 20-7 after failing to cover, 5-2 in road games against teams with winning home records, and after scoring 20 points or less, 15-7 in November, 2-5 in Thursday games, and overall, 2-6 in conference games, 0-4 after rushing for less than 100 yards, 0-6 after allowing less than 275 yards, and 0-7 after allowing 170 passing yards.

Texas is 4-0 ATS after a bye week, and after allowing 170 passing yards or less, 4-1 after rushing for 200 yards or more, after allowing 20 points or less, 5-2 after a straight up win, 5-12 after passing for 280 yards or more, and 2-7 at home against teams with winning road records.

TCU is finding life in the Big 12 a little more difficult than in the Mountain West. Coming into this season, TCU had won 24 straight conference games coming into this season, but has lost 4 games in the Big 12 this year. The Horned Frogs are already bowl eligible, but with games against Texas and Oklahoma left they could end up 6-6. For Texas this game means a lot, for both the Big 12 and a possible BCS berth. I think the Longhorns have too much for the Frogs, but TCU hangs around for a while.

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