Date/Time: September 12, 2013 7:30 pm EST
College Football Betting Favorite: TCU -3
TCU and Texas Tech might not be the biggest named schools in the state of Texas, but they have some diehard fans and they are both programs looking to make a mark on the Big 12 Conference this year. TCU is 1-1 after opening the year with a loss to LCU before defeating SE Louisiana. Texas Tech beat SMU and Stephen F. Austin in their first two games. Let’s break down this matchup.
The TCU Horned Frogs have been down this road before. Gary Patterson’s team had to play most of the season last year without starting quarterback Casey Pachall. Pachall was back for the beginning of this season, but he broke his left arm in Saturday’s win over SE Louisiana. What does that mean for the Horned Frogs? It means they’ll turn to sophomore Trevone Boykin for the second straight season. Boykin went 3-6 as the starter for TCU last year, but he is a talented player who definitely gives this team a chance to win.
TCU’s defense was the top ranked defense in the Big 12 last year, and I expect them to be right up there (probably at number one) again this year. Though the TCU defense was great a year ago, they were far from great against Texas Tech. The Red Raiders rolled up 56 points in a triple-overtime thriller at TCU. The Horned Frogs will have to raise their game defensively if they want to pay back the Red Raiders for last year’s loss in Lubbock on Thursday night.
Texas Tech has a new coach roaming the sidelines this year and it is former Red Raiders quarterback Kliff Kingsbury. Kingsbury was always wildly popular with the fans, and when he was named the team’s new coach it seemed the program had gotten a major infusion of energy. The team has responded very well to him during offseason workouts and it has shown in the first couple games. They took care of a quality SMU team on the road in game one before blowing the doors off Stephen F. Austin last weekend. This will be the team’s toughest test of the season thus far.
Freshman Baker Mayfield wasn’t even the frontrunner to get the starting quarterback job, but he has been superb in the first couple weeks as the Red Raiders signal caller. Mayfield has put up 780 yards and seven touchdowns while throwing zero interceptions in his first two games. Those are video game numbers, but he’ll have a lot more resistance this week from the top defense in the Big 12. The Red Raiders season will likely go as their defense goes. Can this unit come up with stops in key situations? They aren’t going to shut opponents completely down, but they can’t turn every game into a 51-48 type of score.
Free Pick: Texas Tech +3
I like the Horned Frogs this year, but the changes at quarterback might take some time to get accustomed to once again. Additionally, the Red Raiders are a tough team to beat at home. I’ll take the home underdog.
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