TCU head coach Gary Patterson's success against the Texas Longhorns is well-known. And equally, especially in Austin, Texas' lack of success against the Horned Frogs is common knowledge. The Longhorns are 2-7 against TCU over the last nine seasons, and haven’t won in Fort Worth since Mack Brown’s final season with Texas in 2013. Throughout those nine seasons, the Frogs are 2-7 leading up to the matchup against the Longhorns. Saturday's game is TCU's Super Bowl and Steve Sarkisian understands that.
Here are four things I will be keeping an eye on in Saturdays matchup in Cowtown.
1. How will the Texas Offensive Line Hold Up?
Last week was the best performance we’ve seen from Kyle Flood's unit this season. They helped facilitate a 70 point offensive performance and didn’t allow a single QB pressure. TCU Defensive lineman Khari Coleman is expected to return from injury and that will be an X-factor on Saturday. Coleman is regarded as Patterson's best on the line and he could cause fits for Casey Thompson if the Texas front five struggle.
2. How Will The Longhorns' Secondary Respond?
Last week Texas gave up four passes of 40 yards or longer. Texas Tech was the first real test for the Texas secondary and they undoubtedly failed that test. Quentin Johnson and company will test the secondary once again Saturday. The former Texas commit will be looking to make his mark in front of the 'Horns.
3. Can TCU Contain the Texas Offense?
Texas has scored 128 points in the last two games. TCU’s defense didn’t look good in their 42-34 loss to SMU at home last week. The Horned Frogs missed 20 tackles against the ponies and if that happens again it, will be a long day for TCU. Bijan Robinson and Xavier Worthy are difficult to contain in general, but if you have tackling issues each can turn what should be short yardage plays into big gains.
4. Can Sark Win On The Headset?
The Texas roster consistently dons more talent than TCU each year. What TCU doesn't have on the roster they make up for in coaching. The Horned Frogs have been better prepared and better coached in the last decade. Steve Sarkisian has an opportunity to eliminate the TCU ghost of the past that constantly has haunted the Longhorns. The Longhorns have the better team and there is no reason they shouldn't leave Fort Worth 2-0 in conference play as the head to the State Fair the following weekend.
The weather forecast for kickoff includes thunderstorms, rain and a temperature in the low 70's. If conditions get too messy, Sarkisian will rely on the mobility of his quarterback and the power and speed of his running backs. It could be a ground & pound type of day at Amon G. Carter Stadium.