Football

Texas Power 5 football previews: TCU aims to get back on track

TCU quarterback Kenny Hill and the Horned Frogs return home Saturday for the first time since losing Oct. 1 to Oklahoma. TCU was held to just 10 points last week in a loss at West Virginia, but is home to a Texas Tech team that is allowing 43.9 points per game, second most in college football.
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill and the Horned Frogs return home Saturday for the first time since losing Oct. 1 to Oklahoma. TCU was held to just 10 points last week in a loss at West Virginia, but is home to a Texas Tech team that is allowing 43.9 points per game, second most in college football. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3 Big 12) at TCU (4-3, 2-2) (2:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN2): TCU has been stumped on offense in its past two games. After starting the season scoring more than 30 points in five straight games, including more than 40 three times, the Horned Frogs have scored 34 total in the past two games, a 24-23 win to avoid disaster at Kansas and a 34-10 loss at West Virginia last week. Thankfully for quarterback Kenny Hill and the TCU offense, Texas Tech is second to last in the country in total defense (giving up 532.7 yards a game) as well as second to last in scoring defense (giving up 43.9 points). The Red Raiders, coming off a 66-59 loss to Oklahoma, are second in the nation in scoring with more than 50 points a game, so if TCU can find its offense, this game could take a long time to finish.

No. 8 Baylor (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) at Texas (3-4, 1-3) (2:30 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/8): Texas needs a big win in the worst way after losing four of its last five games. A home loss to Baylor, even though the Bears are ranked No. 8, would be another blow to Longhorns coach Charlie Strong. Kansas State was able to control the ball and keep the Texas defense on the field last week in a 24-21 Longhorns loss. Texas will need to employ a similar strategy to top Baylor. The Longhorns’ offense needs to help out the defense by sustaining drives and finishing with points against a Baylor squad that hasn’t been tested much. The Bears are allowing 17.2 points a game, but the best opponent they have beaten was an Oklahoma State team that also lost to Central Michigan. Baylor is explosive on offense with QB Seth Russell, RB Shock Linwood and receiver KD Cannon setting the tone.

New Mexico State (2-5, 1-3 Sun Belt) at No. 9 Texas A&M (6-1, 4-1 SEC) (6:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPNU): Texas A&M saw its perfect season wither in the second half at No. 1 Alabama last weekend. But the Aggies are still in good position, falling just three spots in the AP poll to ninth. With Ole Miss and LSU still on the schedule for A&M, the Aggies will have chances for big wins down the stretch. But first, A&M must put away a New Mexico State team that is allowing 41.6 points a game. A&M is a heavy favorite, but needs to regain its swagger after what could have been a disheartening loss to the Crimson Tide. The A&M defense played well against Alabama at times, but committed costly penalties and mistakes late in the game. On offense, a fumbled handoff from QB Trevor Knight led to an Alabama defensive touchdown that put the game out of reach. A&M should win easily, but need to work on the little things this week to keep improving.

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