The Primer: TCU vs. Texas Tech

An early week preview of the TCU Horned Frogs.

Game Details

Good Guys: Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-5, 2-5)
Bad Guys: TCU Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-2)
When: Saturday, November 18th at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Jones AT&T Stadium; Lubbock, Texas
TV/Stream: FS1 (FOX Sports Go)
Radio/Stream: 97.3 FM | Affiliates | TuneIn App

What Happened Last Week

Player: Kenny Hill
Position: Quarterback
Ht/Wt: 6-1/212
Year: Senior
Key Stats: 189 of 287 for 2,279 yards; 65.9% completion percentage; 7.9 yards per attempt; 16 touchdowns; 5 interceptions; 227.9 yards passing per game; 69 carries for 194 yards; 2.81 yards per carry; 3 touchdowns
Player: Darius Anderson
Position: Running Back
Ht/Wt: 5-11/205
Year: Sophomore
Key Stats: 128 carries for 768 yards; 6.0 yards per carry; 8 touchdowns; 12.8 attempts per game; 76.80 yards per game; 9 catches; 57 yards receiving

TCU dropped a much anticipated match-up with Oklahoma, 38-20. I didn’t get the chance to watch, but from afar, it seemed like Oklahoma was up early and often against TCU, and then the game really was pretty stagnant in the second half, with TCU scoring 6 points in the 4th quarter, which was all of the second half points for both teams. The vaunted TCU defense had trouble stopping Oklahoma, but just about every team will have trouble stopping Oklahoma. The most signifiant news coming out of that game was that Rodney Anderson may be out for the rest of the year.

Texas Tech took care of business against Baylor, a game that Texas Tech should have probably won by more, but this is where Texas Tech is at. This moves Texas Tech to .500 on the season and needing at least 1 more win to become bowl game eligible.

Why This Game Is Important

This is the last home game for Texas Tech. Winning on the road is never easy and it would be on a short week as Texas Tech will be in Austin on Friday to play the Longhorns. TCU would probably like a bit of revenge after last year’s game where TCU couldn’t do much of anything offensively and Texas Tech did just enough to kick a field goal to win the game.

TCU has Baylor left on the schedule and with a win against Texas Tech, TCU would most likely finish out with a win against Baylor and meet Oklahoma back for the Big 12 Conference championships game. TCU needs to win this game, otherwise, Oklahoma State will meet the Sooners in that conference championship game.

What to Know About TCU

Player: Travin Howard
Position: Linebacker
Ht/Wt: 6-1/213
Year: Senior
Key Stats: 83 tackles; 7.0 tackles for loss; 1 sack; 4 passes broken up; 1 quarterback hurry; 1 interception
Player: Ben Banogu
Position: Defensive End
Ht/Wt: 6-4/245
Year: Junior
Key Stats: 37 tackles; 12.5 tackles for loss; 6.5 sacks; 6 quarterback hurries; 2 forced fumbles

Kenny Hill has been better, much better, than he was last year. He’s completing about 68% of his passes and the difference between this year and last year is that it doesn’t seem as if the coaches have asked him or want him to go deep any more. Take the short stuff, move the ball and let the running backs do the heavy lifting. Last year’s best running back, Kyle Hicks (5-10/210) has been supplanted by sophomore Darius Anderson (stats in the box). And this has been the biggest change in the TCU offense, which is that the Horned Frogs are very good at almost every metric in running the ball and with Hill also being able to run the ball for some serious positive yards, this is why the offense is so dangerous.

The receivers don’t have high catch rates, that’s probably partly because of Hill who can be pretty inaccurate sometimes. There are three primary receivers John Diarse (6-1/214), Desmon White (5-7/160) and KaVontae Turpin (5-9/153), with each of them having over 25 catches, while freshman Jalen Reagor (5-11/185) is fourth.

The TCU defense has been what’s carried this thing. They are probably the best defense that Texas Tech has played and it’s probably not really even close. Yes, they are that good. Linebackers Travin Howard and Ty Summers (6-2/242) are the leaders of the defense, while the surprise has been defensive end Ben Banogo, a transfer from Louisiana-Monroe who sat out last year and has obviously bust on the scene in a huge way. On the other side, Mat Boesen (6-4/240) has been pretty good himself, with over 5 sacks on the year.

The safeties have been particularly terrific for TCU, Ridwan Issahaku (6-1/196), Nick Orr (5-10/187), Niko Small (5-10/194) and Innis Gaines (6-2/201) have helped lead an absolutely terrific defensive backfield. It seems as if everything funnels through them and the linebackers. The two main cornerbacks are Ranthony Texada (5-10/170) and Jeff Gladney (6-0/187). I’d guess that some of those listed safeties probably play nickel back as well.

The Early Line

Via OddsShark, TCU opened up as 7 point favorites and that’s about where the line continues to lay, anywhere between 7 and 7.5. I would have expected TCU to be bigger favorites.


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