Texas hopes to find rushing success vs. TCU

Posted Friday, Oct. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Coming into last year’s game against TCU, Texas had an outside shot at winning the Big 12.

The Longhorns needed to win out and have Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma to win their first conference crown since 2009, but those Big 12 title dreams were dashed when TCU handed Texas a 20-13 loss last Thanksgiving Day in Austin.

“We were on a roll last year,” Texas coach Mack Brown recalled. “This knocked us out of a lot things that we were planning on accomplishing last year. So this is an important game for us.”

Texas (4-2, 3-0) has again put itself in a position to win a conference championship, winning its first three games in Big 12 play heading into its game against TCU (3-4, 1-3) in Fort Worth on Saturday night. The most recent of those triumphs was a 36-20 victory over Oklahoma two weeks ago.

“The challenge now is putting the OU game behind us,” senior guard Mason Walters said. “We can think about it in 20 years. But we need to get prepared for TCU now, so if having a bye week did help, the quicker we can put it behind us and move forward, the better it’ll be for this team.”

Texas ran for 255 yards against Oklahoma, including 123 yards from Johnathan Gray and 120 from Malcolm Brown, the most Texas rushing yards in a game against the Sooners since 1970. This week, the Longhorns face the Big 12’s best run defense: TCU has only allowed 115.3 rushing yards per game. The Horned Frogs held Texas to just 86 yards on 33 carries last year.

“That’s definitely something that we’re not going to allow to happen this year,” senior guard Trey Hopkins said. “We’re definitely going to have to be able to move the ball on the ground.”

Senior quarterback Case McCoy delivered his most memorable performance in the win over Oklahoma since leading Texas to a dramatic comeback win over Texas A&M in 2011. With David Ash, who is battling a head injury, still not medically cleared to play, McCoy will make his fourth start of the season.

Texas has a package available for freshman Jalen Overstreet, who has only one carry since running for 92 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter of the Longhorns’ season-opening win over New Mexico State. Overstreet moved from quarterback to running back this year but has been taking snaps in practice with Ash unavailable.

Texas, facing TCU in Fort Worth for the first time since 1994, is a 2 1/2-point underdog. The Longhorns were two-touchdown underdogs when they beat the Sooners and are 10-7 as an underdog since 2004.

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