Week Four College Football Picks: #3 TCU Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders

#3 Texas Christian Horned Frogs at Texas Tech Red Raiders
Saturday, September 26, 2015, 4:45 pm Eastern, TV: Fox
AT&T Jones Stadium – Lubbock, Texas
Opening Line: TCU -7
Current Line: TCU -7 (+110)
Opening Total: 81
Current Total: 82 1/2
Opening Money Line: TCU -260 / Texas Tech +220
Current Money Line: TCU -250 / Texas Tech +200

TCU opens Big 12 play at Texas tech Saturday in Lubbock.
TCU opens Big 12 play at Texas tech Saturday in Lubbock.

Both the Texas Christian Horned Frogs and Texas Tech Red Raiders are 3-0 as they open Big 12 play Saturday in Lubbock. TCU is ranked #2 in the coaches’ poll and tied for #3 in the AP poll. Texas Tech is receiving votes in both polls.

TCU leads the series 30-24-3 against Texas Tech, but the Red Raiders are 19-6-3 in Lubbock. TCU won the last meeting 82-27 last year in Fort Worth. The teams were longtime rivals in the now defunct Southwest conference but didn’t become conference rivals again until TCU joined the Big 12 four seasons ago.

TCU is coached by Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs have a road win at Minnesota 23-17, plus home wins over Stephen F. Austin 70-7 and SMU 56-37 last week. TCU led their metroplex rivals 42-17 in the third quarter, but SMU scored 20 straight points to pull within 42-37 in the fourth. TCU added two touchdowns to win by 19. The Horned Frogs were 37 point favorites against the Mustangs and the total was 68.5. TCU is 1-2 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season.

Texas Tech is coached by Kliff Kingsbury. The Red Raiders have home wins over Sam Houston State 59-45 and 69-20 against UTEP. Last week, Texas Tech pulled off an upset at Arkansas 35-24. Arkansas was a 9.5 point favorite and the total was 69. Texas Tech is 2-0-1 ATS and the total is 2-1 this season.

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TCU is outscoring teams 50-20 this season. The Horned Frogs are #10 in scoring nationally. TCU averages 599 yards per game, including 368 passing and 231 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs are in the top 10 nationally in total and passing offense, and #25 in rushing. On defense, TCU is allowing 339 yards per game, including 183 passing and 156 rushing yards. The Horned Frogs have forced 5 turnovers and have 4 of their own. TCU averages 69 penalty yards per game and opponents average 41 per game. The Horned Frogs are 23/44 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 13/53. TCU has forced 9 sacks and allowed 4 this season. The Frogs are 15/18 scoring in the red zone with 14 touchdowns. Opponents are 8/11 with 5 touchdowns. TCU has one defensive touchdown this season.

Quarterback Trevone Boykin has completed 65.7% of his passes for 985 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He has also rushed for 148 yards on 32 carries with 2 touchdowns. Back-up Bram Kohlhausen has thrown for 112 yards with a touchdown. Running back Aaron Green has 45 carries for 272 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 2 catches. Trevorris Johnson and Kyle Hicks will also get some carries.

Four wide receivers are questionable or out for TCU. Ju’Juan Story, Kolby Listenbee and Desmon White are all questionable with undisclosed injuries. Andre Petties-Wilson is suspended indefinitely. Josh Doctson has 17 catches for 326 yards and 3 touchdowns. Listenbee has 9 catches for 202 yards and 2 touchdowns. Shaun Nixon has 8 catches for 112 yards. Ty Slanina has 9 catches for 102 yards. KaVontae Turpin has 7 catches for 98 yards and 2 touchdowns. Eight defensive players are listed as questionable or out.

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Texas Tech is outscoring teams 54-30 this season. The Red Raiders are #4 in scoring but #93 in points allowed nationally out of 128 teams. Texas Tech averages 590 yards per game on offense, including 399 passing and 191 rushing. The Red Raiders are #6 or better in total and passing offense. On defense, Texas Tech is allowing 492 total yards including 234 passing and 257 rushing yards. The Red Raiders are #80 or worse in all three categories. Tech has forced 8 turnovers and has 3 of their own. The Red Raiders average 46 penalty yards per game and opponents average 57 per game. Texas Tech is 22/39 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 23/47. The Red Raiders have forced 3 sacks and haven’t allowed any this season. Texas Tech is 13/14 scoring in the red zone with 10 touchdowns and opponents are 9/11 with 7 touchdowns.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has completed 66.4% of his passes for 1,029 yards with 9 touchdowns and 3 interceptions, plus 21 carries for 129 yards and 4 touchdowns. Back-up Davis Webb has two rushing touchdowns, and has thrown for 96 yards.

Running back DeAndre Washington has 36 carries for 287 yards and a touchdown along with 6 catches for 39 yards. Justin Stockton has 17 carries for 107 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 65 yards and a touchdowns. Receiver Jakeem Grant has 21 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown. He also has a rushing touchdown and threw a touchdown pass. Reginald Davis has 10 catches for 220 yards and 3 touchdowns. Devin Lauderdale has 10 catches for 197 yards and 3 touchdowns. Ian Sadler has 13 catches for 179 yards and 2 touchdowns.

TCU is 4-0 ATS after an ATS loss, 9-1 against teams with winning records, 7-1 after accumulating more than 450 yards, 9-2 in Big 12 games, 4-1 after a straight up win, 8-2 after passing for more than 280 yards, 14-4 overall, 12-4 after allowing more than 450 total yards, and 16-7 after allowing more than 280 passing yards.

Texas Tech is 5-0-1 ATS after allowing more than 200 rushing yards, and overall, 4-0-1 after passing for 280 yards or more, and on fieldturf, 3-0-1 at home, and in September, 4-1 after a cover, and after gaining more than 450 total yards, 5-2 in Big 12 games, and 4-11 against teams with winning road records. The home team has covered 5 of the last 6 games in this series.

Neither team has looked spectacular on defense. The Horned Frogs have numerous injuries on that side of the ball that had only five returning starters from last year. Some are saying Texas Tech can pull off the upset, but I just don’t see it. I think TCU pulls away late in what should be a high scoring game.

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