TCU HORNED FROGS (6-4)
at TEXAS LONGHORNS (8-2)
Kickoff: Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
Line: Texas -7, Total: 55.5
After cutting ties with Texas A&M after more than a century, No. 16 Texas will start a new Thanksgiving tradition by taking on another in-state foe, Big 12 newcomer TCU.
This hasn't been much of a rivalry, as Texas has won 27 of the past 28 meetings in this series which has occurred just once since 1996, a 34-13 Longhorns win in 2007. The Horned Frogs are an impressive 4-1 SU on the road this season, including wins at Baylor and West Virginia. Texas is riding a four-game SU win streak which was extended on Nov. 10 when it racked up 609 yards in a 33-7 win over Iowa State. The ‘Horns have just two giveaways during the four-game win streak, while TCU’s offense has 2+ turnovers in eight of the past nine games.
Can Texas start its new Thanksgiving tradition with a big win over TCU? For the answer, connect to The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts picks for every key college football game throughout the 2012 season.
TCU QB Trevone Boykin has been slowed by a shoulder injury, which helps partially explain why he's struggled so much in the past three weeks, completing just 50-of-99 passes for 603 yards, 4 TD and 3 INT. In Big 12 play, he has a pedestrian 13 TD and 8 INT despite playing in a pair of multi-overtime games. TCU's rushing attack has been even less impressive over the past three contests, gaining just 114 rushing YPG on 3.3 YPC. And although TCU has a +1 turnover margin for the season, that number has dropped to minus-5 over the past four games (11 giveaways, 6 takeaways). TCU leads the Big 12 in both total defense (326 YPG) and rushing defense (98 YPG), allowing just 260 total yards and 3.4 yards per carry to Kansas State's potent rushing attack in its last game.
Texas QB David Ash leads the Big 12 (8th in FBS) in passing efficiency, which is no small feat for a conference with some of the best passers in the land in Landry Jones, Geno Smith and Nick Florence. Ash has thrown for 8.9 yards per attempt with 17 TD and 5 INT this season. He posted a season high 364 passing yards in the last game against Iowa State, completing 25-of-31 passes (81%) with 2 TD and 0 INT. Texas has also gotten its rushing game back up to speed during the four-game win streak, gaining an average of 212 rushing YPG on an impressive 5.2 YPC. Freshman Johnathan Gray has 347 rushing yards and 3 TD during the win streak, while Joe Bergeron has rushed for 249 yards on just 43 carries (5.8 YPC) with seven touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, the Longhorns have played pretty well since Baylor hung 50 points on them, allowing just 15.3 PPG and 330 total YPG in the past three contests.