TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin vs. the Minnesota secondary
Boykin passed for 300.1 yards per game last season, and 258 yards and two touchdowns against the Gophers. Minnesota returns a veteran secondary led by Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray. Boddy-Calhoun had five interceptions as an all-Big 10 first-team pick. Murray was a second-team all-conference pick. Minnesota held opponents to 193.5 yards passing a game last season.
Minnesota running game vs. the TCU linebackers
The Frogs must replace the top two tacklers in their 4-2-5 defense, Paul Dawson and Marcus Mallet. True freshmen Mike Freeze and Alec Dunham could fill those roles along with junior Sammy Douglas. While the Frogs are green, so is Minnesota in the backfield. Texas native Rodney Williams is a senior, but he has just 707 yards in his career. Redshirt freshman Rodney Smith could be the workhorse.
TCU vs. expectations
TCU came out of nowhere with a record-setting quarterback and a new offense in 2014 but won’t have that luxury this season. The Frogs are the Big 12 favorites and, to many fans, it’s going to be a down season they don’t reach the playoffs. The Gophers would like to end that hype machine as quickly as possible. The Gophers went 8-5 last season, with three of those losses against teams that were ranked in the top 16 at the time of the game.
Did you know?
TCUcoach Gary Patterson and Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill are close. Kill was in the wedding party when Patterson married his wife Kelsey.
TCU co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie called the plays for a Texas Tech team that beat Minnesota 34-31 in the 2012 Meineke Car Care Bowl. The Red Raiders rolled up 429 yards in that game.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill received a contract extension earlier this month and is now signed through the 2019 season.
TCU is 10-4 in season openers under Gary Patterson.
TCU has scored at least 30 points in 15 consecutive games.
The Frogs will be hard-pressed to top last season, as they opened the first five games with touchdown drives on their first possession.
TCU has had at least one interception and one sack for 15 consecutive games, the longest streak in the nation.
The Gophers have 10 Texans on their roster, including sophomore linebacker Everett Williams from Mansfield Legacy. He played in eight games, starting one, as a freshman.
When: 8 p.m. Thursday
Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis (50,805)
Records: TCU (0-0); Minnesota (0-0)
Rankings: TCU, No. 2 AP; Minnesota NR
Series record: 1-1
Last meeting: TCU won 30-7 in Fort Worth in 2014
Radio: WBAP 820 AM and KTCU 88.7 FM
Expected forecast: 71 with a 20 percent chance of rain
Point spread: TCU -14 ½ according to vegasinsider.com