Texas Longhorns vs. TCU Horned Frogs Picks and Game Preview -- 10/02/2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: Noon ET, Oct. 2, 2021
Venue: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, TX
Where to watch: ABC

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Texas -5; O/U 66.5; Texas -210, TCU +175
BetMGM: Texas -5; O/U 66.5; Texas -189, TCU +155
Caesars: Texas -5; O/U 66.5; Texas -210, TCU +175

Season record
Texas: 3-1
TCU: 2-1

Ben Burns had a solid 3-2-1 week in what was an eventful and upset-filled weekend of college football. Ben is back for his Thursday thoughts on Virginia and Miami, but don’t make a move on it until you check in with him. Catch Ben’s and other plays available right now at the Shop Picks page, where you can find all of the Best Bets from our champion sports handicappers.

Texas - TCU preview and analysis


Recent form
Texas: won 70-35 vs. Texas Tech on Sept. 25
TCU: lost 42-34 vs. SMU on Sept. 25

Texas back? At the very least, Texas Tech’s defense was back last week.

The Texas Longhorns somehow scored 70 points in a college football game last week to give us the underlying satisfaction that maybe things aren’t that bad in Austin.

Texas would eventually like to leave for the SEC with some Big 12 hardware, but the Longhorns will need to go on the road and face the TCU Horned Frogs in Fort Worth on Saturday after a lackadaisical showing at home one weekend ago.

You look at the stats from last week and notice how evenly matches offensively the Longhorns were from the Red Raiders. Texas had only 119 more yards than Texas Tech but still found a way to dominate in the second and third quarters.

The Longhorns combined to outscore Texas Tech 49-28 in the middle of the game and registered 639 total yards compared to Texas Tech’s normally impressive 520. Not a bad way to wrap up September.

Xavier Worthy added five receptions for 100 yards and three touchdowns.

After the way TCU’s defense fell apart against the SMU Mustangs last weekend, there seems to be some chance for Texas to take advantage. TCU was coming off a 42-point win over Duquesne and then a two-point loss to the California Golden Bears.

TCU’s defense hadn’t been tested to the degree of the Mustangs, and it showed. SMU had 595 total yards, 350 of them on the ground led by Ulysses Bentley IV and Tre Siggers. Despite picking off SMU quarterback Tanner Mordecai three times, it wasn’t enough for Max Duggan to out-duel his competition, despite throwing for 276 yards and three touchdowns.

Texas isn’t scoring 70 points on offense every week, but perhaps the Texas players have showed they have enough to overcome that kind of game. Texas’ defense also can’t afford to get into a shootout.

Prediction


I do think what Texas quarterback Casey Thompson (5 touchdowns, 1 interception) did was an indicator of what he can do for a full season, but only five incompletions is certainly an outlier. Whether or not he can do that same thing on the road is the question, but that run game with Bijan Robinson will certainly travel. Texas by 7

Betting trends


Texas is 16-2 straight up in its last 18 as a favorite.

TCU is 1-5 against the spread in games after scoring 31 points or more in consecutive games.

Players to watch


Texas: Roschon Johnson is going to get the other half of the carries, and he’ll surely make the most of them. The running back had 64 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns against Texas Tech.

TCU: The Frogs may also nee to rely on the run game. Zach Evans had 113 yards on only 15 carries. They need to find some balance with Duggan.

Statistical leaders


Texas:
Passing: Casey Thompson -- 565 yards, 8 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Bijan Robinson -- 436 yards, 5 TD
Receiving: Xavier Worthy -- 246 yards, 4 TD
Defense: DeMarvion Overshown -- 34 tackles

TCU:
Passing: Max Duggan -- 717 yards, 7 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Zach Evans -- 330 yards, 2 TD
Receiving: Taye Barber -- 161 yards, 1 TD
Defense: Dee Winters -- 19 tackles, 1 sack

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