Texas Christian University is probably the most consistent football team that Kansas State has faced so far this year. The scary part is that they consistently look like a top 10 team and are very deserving of their sixth-place ranking in the Associated Press college football poll.
The TCU Horned Frogs are led by former K-State linebacker and burgeoning country music star Gary Patterson. His career record as a head coach is currently 154-54, and he has maintained his success through three conference changes.
Even among many incredible football teams in TCU’s history, this is probably one of the best teams Patterson has coached. This season’s TCU team features an excellent defense once again. TCU leads the Big 12 conference in rushing defense and fewest average points allowed per game.
Led by junior defensive end Ben Banogu and senior linebacker Travin Howard, TCU runs a unique defense. Their “4-2-5” system puts four linemen on the field, two linebackers behind them and five defensive backs.
This means they only have six players in “the box,” an area that goes from the line of scrimmage to five yards back and is as wide as the offensive line. The players in “the box” are the team’s primary run-stoppers. Most defensive systems put seven players in “the box.”
K-State will have to get the receivers going early if they want to have a chance in their next game. If the receivers who aren’t named Dalton Schoen can find their hands by Saturday, they won’t have to rely on the run to beat TCU.
Patterson’s defenses are consistently good, so the difference between a good TCU team and an average TCU team is the offense. This year, the Horned Frogs are very good on offense. They will line up and try to spread the field and move fast, much like the rest of the teams in the Big 12 conference.
TCU’s offense will be in a “hurry up, no huddle” mode for most of, if not the whole game. Even though they move quickly and efficiently, they somehow manage to take up quite a bit of time. The clock is seemingly always moving thanks to their quarterback’s accuracy.
Fifth-year senior quarterback Kenny Hill, a transfer from Texas A&M, is incredible. Hill is accurate, smart and mobile. He makes good choices when he checks down, and he knows when to pull the ball down and scramble.
Hill has a huge weapon on offense in sophomore running back Darius Anderson. Anderson is fourth in the Big 12 conference in both average rushing yards per game with 93, and total touchdowns with six. He will also likely be a target for many screen passes.
K-State will need to key in on Anderson and hold him to less than 93 yards to win. K-State should also play a “press coverage” on TCU’s receivers, lining up closer to the line of scrimmage to negate shorter passes.
This will be a tough one for the Wildcats. My prediction: TCU wins 31-14.