Gridiron Girl Game Preview: Texas Christian University

Greetings, football maniacs! This week we look forward to uncomfortable visits from our relatives, getting out our eating pants, tryptophan overdoses, and football. Verily, I say, we will have football—and be grateful for it.

This week, the ’Horns take on the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs at home. Will the TCU players shoot blood out of their eye sockets like real horned frogs? That remains to be seen! I’ll certainly be watching. The football gods have indeed smiled upon us, for in this week where we give thanks, the game will be shown on a station that normal mortal humans receive on their televisions. ESPN! Hooray!

Look, I’m not making up that thing about shooting blood out their eyes. It’s called autohaemorrhaging, and it’s a defense against predators. Use that and “loess” in a sentence at a cocktail party and watch people flock to you! More fun facts about horned frogs: They aren’t toads or frogs at all, but actually lizards. The Texas horned lizard is the most widely distributed of the U.S. species.

This week we say goodbye to an old tradition. The ’Horns and Aggies have met in this hotly contested rivalry game for the last 100 years. That’s a long time! And now, we’re saying farewell to them as they scamper off to the SEC to beat Alabama and do other heroic acts, like keeping their shoes on the correct feet. We wish them well—but only a little bit. The ’Horns were invested in keeping that Thanksgiving Day tradition alive, and the Texas vs. TCU match-up was born. For that, I am grateful.

Let’s talk numbers! TCU is actually one of Texas’ oldest rivals. The Horned Frogs first played UT in 1897, and they were part of the Southwest Conference from 1923 until it disbanded in 1995. This year is TCU’s first in the Big 12. The last meeting between the two teams was in 2007, when the ‘Horns bested TCU 34-13. Texas owns the series record at 61-20-1. Here’s hoping they make it 62 wins on Thursday.

We have every reason to be hopeful, considering the much-improved play on both sides of the ball by the ’Horns. The defense is showing steady improvement each week. In my mind, it’s because Coach Brown has offered to shave his head into a Mohawk should the team win out—because I’d pay to see that. In reality, Coach Brown has taken a more active role with the defense. The efforts are paying off. My ulcer is getting smaller. I don’t have nightmares where I’m being chased by a dragon with Manny Diaz’s head. Now it’s just Nick Saban.

TCU comes in with a 6-4 overall record, but they’re 3-4 in conference play. Texas is 5-2 in the conference and 8-2 overall. TCU has performed better on the road than at home, and Texas has performed pretty well (if a little erratically) in both settings.

This season, David Ash has completed just over 69 percent of his passes for 2,354 yards. Not too shabby! TCU’s quarterback, Trevone Boykin, is a freshman. At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, he’s no shrinking violet. He’s completed a shade over 58 percent of his passes for 1540 yards … AND 8 INTERCEPTIONS. That’s right: EIGHT.The Texas secondary just needs to have a rover hanging in the backfield looking for wayward passes.

We’re all aware of the power available to Texas at the running back position, including part-time spirit animal Johnathan Gray. TCU brings B.J. Catalon and Matthew Tucker with their running game. This duo has produced running totals of 445 and 410 yards. They are well below Texas’s top producers, but nothing to get too cocky about.

The oddsmakers favor Texas by a touchdown. The over/under is 58. Bet wisely, children!

Happy Thanksgiving, and hook ’em!

Rebecca May is a Texas ex-pat living in Oregon while rooting for the Longhorns. An attorney by day, she blogs about college football by night. This story was first published by GridironGirl on http://gridirongirl.org.

Photo courtesy UT Athletics.

 

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