As Texas takes on TCU tonight in Austin, there are still tickets available for thgame. Are you kidding me? I know Texas head coach Mack Brown doesn't believe it. "It's still our senior game because it's the last home game for our seniors," he said in his pre-game press conference, "and I expect our largest crowd ever."
The crowd is not likely to break records, but it's as good a match up as anyone could ask for on Thanksgiving Day in Austin — except perhaps for Texas A&M. And the surging SEC Aggies would love to be in Austin this year to erase that nightmare from exactly one year ago. They may yet get the chance to play Texas in the post-season.
Texas has much more to lose. With a win against TCU and a win against Kansas State the following weekend, Texas can conceivably compete for the Big 12 Championship.
Longhorns vs. Horned Frogs is indeed a game coated in the gravy of tradition. Texas has played TCU 83 times — most as an old Southwest conference rival — and only once since 1995. This is a real in-state rivalry despite Texas' domination. The Horns are 61-20-1 against a team they first played in 1897.
Today, the Horned Frogs are the youngest team in the Big 12, playing more freshmen even than Texas. In addition, they lost their junior quarterback to rehab so one of those freshmen, Trevone Boykin, is now the starting quarterback.
That doesn't mean the Frogs are not dangerous — they are. That freshman quarterback is throwing to some of the best receivers in the country and the Frog defense is quick and aggressive. TCU has 17 interceptions in 10 games (Texas has 11) so it would seem wise to run against them — except you can't. The Frogs are holding opponents to less than 100 yards per game rushing.
What all that means is TCU is struggling and still dangerous. At 6-4 a victory against Texas would make a mediocre season absolutely awesome.
Texas on the other hand is playing its best football of the last two years. The defense has stiffened, the offense has opened up while dominating the line of scrimmage.
Texas should win the game. Still TCU is a formidable opponent. They were good enough to beat West Virginia in OT just two weeks ago.
Both teams have played anything but consistent football this season. The quality of this game will depend on which team shows up on both sides of the ball.
Texas has much more to lose. With a win against TCU and a win against Kansas State the following weekend, Texas can conceivably compete for the Big 12 Championship — anything is possible in this topsy-turvy season of college football.
What to watch
- Quarterback pressure — Nothing bothers a young freshman more than being chased around by huge guys who want to knock him out of the game.
- Run defense — Texas defense showed marked improvement over the last two games. Stopping the run and owning the line of scrimmage makes TCU one-dimensional and allows the secondary to focus on their dangerous receiving corps.
- Run offense — The Frogs defense is holding opponents to under 100 yards rushing, forcing them to throw into a secondary that loves to intercept the ball. Running the ball forces TCU's defense to cheat inside, opening up passing lanes.
Texas Longhorns vs Texas Christian University Horned Frogs
Time: 6:30 p.m. at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium
Honored: Senior Day. The Texas seniors will be recognized before the game with their parents on the field.