Cowboys Looking For A Statement Win
WHO: TCU Horned Frogs (3-0)
WHEN: Saturday, September 23rd @ 2:30 PM CT
WHERE: Stillwater, Oklahoma
HOW TO WATCH: ESPN
SCOUTING TCU: When looking at TCU, the Horned Frogs are just another version of Oklahoma State. Gary Patterson returns 17 starters from 2016, including every member from their linebacker corp and secondary. During his tenure in Fort Worth, Patterson has responded to each losing season with a double-digit win season. It is that kind of experience and history that makes TCU a dangerous team in 2017.
On offense, quarterback Kenny Hill is looking to make the country remember who he is. The senior possibly “peaked” in his first ever game after he tore South Carolina’s secondary into pieces and received the nickname Kenny Trill. He’s currently 63-84 for 737 passing yards and eight touchdowns with only two interceptions through three games–which is on pace for a school record. Hill was looking for an answer at receiver beyond KaVontae Turpin at the beginning of the season, and has found that so far with five receivers having five receptions or more. However, Turpin has lead the receiving corp the last two weeks with twelve receptions and 118 yards. He is one of the most electric players in the country and the Cowboy defense will need to know where he is at all game.
In a game like this, Hill and Turpin will need help to keep Oklahoma State honest in the run game. Starting running back Kyle Hicks is not expected to play (although he has been upgraded to a game-time decision), but the running back situation has not been an issue with four running backs averaging more than five yards a carry. Offensive coordinator Doug Meacham will try to stress Oklahoma State’s defense by spreading them out and running the football against limited numbers or throw it vertically. Meacham’s system is virtually the same as Oklahoma State’s but with less weapons. The Horned Frog offense has been cooking the first three games and should give Glenn Spencer’s defense all they can handle.
It is never a good sign for opposing teams when Gary Patterson is returning an entire secondary and linebacking corp. His 4-2-5 defense has been the most consistent defense in the Big 12 year-in and year-out, and that’s no different this year. Linebackers Travin Howard, Montrel Wilson, and safety Ridwan Issahaku have lead the way with a combined 53 tackles through three games. Although TCU returns all the members from their secondary in 2016, Mason Rudolph and his receiving corp had to be salivating watching them struggle to slow down the SMU passing attack last week. The showing from the Horned Frog secondary should make TCU and their fans queasy knowing what is ahead for them against Oklahoma State. No matter how talented or disciplined Gary Patterson has his defense, Mike Yurcich and his offense should not have any issue moving the football if they play like they did a week ago.
This a big one for Mike Gundy and his team as they are demanding respect on the national scale. Oklahoma State is by far the better football team, but there is something about a talented Gary Patterson coached team that should keep the Cowboys and their fans cautious.