The shining aspect of Iowa State’s tough loss to Texas Tech was how good the defense was. Texas Tech was held to just seven points late in the first half before giving up 17 unanswered points due to offensive mistakes.
Iowa State should match up well defensively against TCU. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
With that suffocating effort, TCU should be even easier on that side of the ball. They’re young and have made mistakes on offense themselves (such as fumbling the ball eight times). Featuring nearly no running attack due to key injuries, the Horned Frogs will likely become one-sided in the passing game.
- Passing: 7th in conference, 47th nationally
- Rushing: last in conference, 80th nationally
- Scoring: 8th in conference, 47th nationally
What’s their offensive style?
TCU will be trying to play up-tempo with their no-huddle offense to keep Iowa State off balance. If Texas Tech wasn’t able to do much until the Cyclones eventually made too many mistakes, the Horned Frogs will hope for their defense to create opportunities as well. Expect junior quarterback Casey Pachall to throw over at least 30 times – last week’s game against SMU was skewed due to weather conditions, forcing Pachall to run eight times and there were more running plays called.
Why is the running game not producing?
Senior running back Matthew Tucker has continued to see the ball more each week, trying to spark any sort of running attack that has no depth behind him. He has 31 more attempts than the next guys on the list – Pachall and freshman running back B.J. Catalon tie with 21 on the year. The unit may have been better if Waymon James didn’t suffer a season-ending knee injury. In his first two games, James was averaging 9.88 yards a carry. Right now, Tucker is averaging four. News doesn’t get better – as of today, Tucker has been listed anywhere from probable to questionable.
Who are the key receivers to watch?
Again, this is another position that’s not very deep. The biggest players to watch are sophomore wide receiver Brandon Carter and junior wide receiver Josh Boyce. They’ve caught 33 of the team’s 74 receptions, combining for 560 yards and seven touchdowns. Iowa State had fantastic pressure against Texas Tech with six passes broken up and sacking the quarterback three times. If they can keep Pachall off balance, then TCU could be in for a long night.
Brian Spaen is the lead editor for Clones Confidential. Keep up with the latest sports fails and disdain toward the Big Ten by following him on Twitter.