Mac Engel

Here’s the secret to TCU beating Ohio State from a former Cowboys first rounder and Buckeyes great

At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, TCU defensive end Ty Summers, here in a game against SMU, will be the smallest linemen for either TCU or Ohio State when the teams play each other on Saturday night in Arlington.
At 6-foot-2, 235 pounds, TCU defensive end Ty Summers, here in a game against SMU, will be the smallest linemen for either TCU or Ohio State when the teams play each other on Saturday night in Arlington. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

Good news, TCU fans, Bobby Carpenter saw the opening line for the Ohio State/TCU game and immediately thought it was wrong.

Bad news, TCU fans, Carpenter said, “I thought it should be more like nine.”

The line opened at 12.5 point. Now it’s 13 (for Ohio State).

The former Dallas Cowboys first round draft pick from 2006 is a proud Buckeye alum, and now a sports radio talk show host in Columbus.

As a player, Carpenter was great to the media. In turn, media has been great to him. He also recently added calling college games for ESPN to his to-do list.

He’s plugged in to the large Ohio State scene as well as anyone, and offers this balanced point of view on No. 4 Ohio State’s game against No. 15 TCU on Saturday at Jerry’s Night Club.

“I do think the game can be good because TCU has players. They have athletes. I know they lost a lot from last year, but they do have fast, twitchy guys,” Carpenter said. “This Ohio State team is very talented, and very young. They have never done this. And there is always a chance you can lose.

“The problem is (Ohio State) is just so big. TCU needs to look at what Oregon State did and try to make plays down the field.”

In the season opener on Sept. 1, Oregon State scored 31 points. In Columbus.

(Please overlook the fact Oregon State gave up 77)

“TCU can’t expect to to be able to drive it a long time against Ohio State because their defensive line is so good,” Carpenter said. “Gary Patterson is one of the best around, and Ohio State has a young center and a young quarterback. If you can confuse them, get them in third-and-long and let their pass rushers take advantage of that, it can be a game.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram sports columnist Mac Engel "enjoys" a new round of "Mean Tweets," as read by his 9-year-old daughter.

The size disparity Carpenter mentioned exists, but it’s not crushing.

Ohio State’s five starting offensive linemen average 6-feet-6 1/2, 312 pounds. TCU’s four defensive linemen averages out to 6-feet-2, 265 pounds

TCU’s five starting offensive linemen averages 6-foot-5, 308 pounds; OSU’s four D-linemen averages 6-foot-3, 272 pounds.

To give you an idea of how much TCU has, or has not, “grown” since its win over Wisconsin in the 2011 Rose Bowl when the Horned Frogs were the “little” team, it’s four starting defensive linemen that day averaged 6-foot-2, 270 pounds. Thanks largely to future pro Marcus Cannon, TCU’s starting offensive line against Wisconsin was 6-foot-3, 317 pounds.

The size hasn’t changed that much, but the talent has.

Much like TCU’s Rose Bowl game against Wisconsin, it’s best chance against the run will be to run-blitz, and take chances on pass plays.

The problem for TCU in this risk is OSU quarterback Dwayne Haskins is better than his predecessor, J.T. Barrett.

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