AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s easy to write off TCU because of the Horned Frogs’ losing record and injury trouble on offense, but like College GameDay’s Lee Corso always says — not so fast, my friend.
TCU hosts No. 7 Texas at 6:30 p.m. CT Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, and they’re doing so with a 4-5 overall record and 2-4 mark in the Big 12 Conference. They were blown out by Kansas State 41-3 the week before the Wildcats took Texas to overtime, but in every other loss, the Horned Frogs were in the game the entire way. Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian knows that and isn’t expecting an easy game by any stretch of the imagination.
“They’ve been in a lot of tough games, a lot of tight games,” Sarkisian said Thursday. “They didn’t finish them the way they would have liked, but they are very capable with a veteran defense.”
TCU starting quarterback Chandler Morris has been sidelined with a sprained MCL in his left knee, an injury he suffered in the third quarter of a 27-14 loss to Iowa State on Oct. 7. Horned Frogs head coach Sonny Dykes confirmed that Josh Hoover, the redshirt freshman backup, will start for the fourth consecutive game. He threw for 353 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in a 35-28 loss to Texas Tech last week.
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“He’s a very talented young man with real arm talent,” Sarkisian said about Hoover. “You can feel his competitiveness when he plays the game. He’s a highly competitive young man.”
He said the tempo TCU runs at with offensive coordinator Kendal Briles can put teams in tough positions if they aren’t organized.
“If you don’t get lined up, they can hurt you, regardless of who the receiver is,” Sarkisian said. “They utilize everybody on the field and they are a very balanced attack.”
Dykes said this year’s team at Texas is built differently than ones in years past. He points to the line of scrimmage as the biggest difference during his media availability Tuesday.
“The strength of that team is both lines,” he said. “When you can say that about a team, they’re usually a good football team. That’s the way you want to build football teams — from the line out.”
TCU finished 7-1 in one-score games last season on its way to the College Football Playoff championship game, and this season they haven’t had such success. They are 0-3 this year, and Dykes said simply, “that’s the margin of winning and losing in college football.”
Oddsmakers generally peg Texas as a 12.5-point favorite on the road, and they’ll have two of their best offensive linemen available, along with starting quarterback Quinn Ewers. Kelvin Banks left last week’s game early and Christian Jones didn’t play due to injuries, but Sarkisian said both will be available to play. He also said defensive back Jalen Catalon is good to go, as well.