Last year, we had to out-score the spread offenses if we wanted a win. The year before, we hammered Texas Tech at their place and won easily. With us having a weaker defense last year, Tech returned the favor as our offense had not gelled yet for that season. The offense failed to outscore or win in the fourth quarter early last year against Toledo, Tech, and A&M. We then proceeded to outscore and win against every spread team we played (better offenses than the earlier three losses @ Ole Miss, Tenn, Auburn, AND MissState) the rest of the season, except MissState (the kicking game failure prevented that one making it a complete sweep of spread offenses teams in the last half of the season.) We also beat very good teams at LSU and Kansas State with our strong offense and a defense that struggled a lot.
Now, we have a better defense. How much better is yet to be revealed but better in the line and linebackers and a little better in the secondary though thin. We have an offense that is somewhere in between the one that started last year and the one that finished it. Our offense is a long way from gelling but it did take over and dominate in the fourth quarter against a Tech team that is at least as good as Toledo last year if not better. So, I am expecting a competitive game against a spread offense as good as any we played last year. We could still lose, but I am not as sure about that as some appear to be. JMVHO.
The key is to get a few turnovers. That was the difference in the Tech game, and with Ole Miss and Mississippi State. No, the Miss State game was a loss, but it was there for the taking (except for the blocked punt) because of the turnovers. Get some turnovers tonight (and a few stops), and it will be a very good game.
Turnovers and big plays in the kicking game have a huge impact, always. If your personnel fit your scheme, you can win regardless of your offense IF you get more turnovers and big plays in the kicking game than your opponent. My main point is we have proven WE can handle spread offenses WHEN our offense is gelling IRREGARDLESS (I know that ain’t a word but I like it) of the weakness of our defense. That is very true unless we lose the battle for turnovers and big plays in the kicking game.
U state my thoughts almost exactly. My instincts are not giving me much pre-game hope. I cannot for the life of me find any comfort as I search my “glass-is-half-filled” brain. There is just nothing there to make me feel we can win a September matchup against these guys, though I find myself wishing this was a January 2017 matchup- a completely different story given the offense’s likely progression over the course of the season.
I like our secondary talent. It is good, but not elite. To win a game like this in September, we need at least one elite corner. IMHO
Of course, injuries, turnovers, and spectacular kicking game plays can even the playing field. We’ll see.
This game will be won in the trenches and in the secondary tonight. I think that our OL will wear down TCU in the 2nd Half. TCU is not built to defend a ground and pound offense. On defense if our secondary can prevent the BIG play, I think that we will have a chance.
Turnovers and the kicking game will always be a key. We have to win TOP tonight and keep TCU’s offense off the field.
I agree, I don’t think TCU is designed to stop the ground and pound for a game. For the first two or so series, yes they are. That’s when they score. As for the “Big play”, I don’t think that’s the issue. Their WR’s catch little 5 yard passes and turn them into 25-30 yard gains. That is the responsibility of our below avg LB corps. They’ll get exposed tonight.