Arkansas Razorbacks (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) vs. No. 13 TCU Horned Frogs (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS)
College Football Week 2
Date/Time: Saturday, September 10th 7:00PM (EST)
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium Fort Worth, T.X.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: ARK +7.5/TCU -7.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
One of the more intriguing match-ups this week on the college gridiron will be a showdown in Fort Worth as the 13th ranked TCU Horned Frogs host the Arkansas Razorbacks inside Amon G. Carter Stadium. Maybe this match-up piques my interest more than most because I thought both TCU and Arkansas would perform higher than their expectations this year. However, both schools vastly underperformed in their openers. TCU struggled heavily with San Diego State for 3 quarters of play while Arkansas just narrowly squeezed out a 21-20 victory over Louisiana Tech. Therefore this Saturday’s contest is a chance at redemption for both teams as they look to shake off their week 1 troubles.
One of the reasons that I was high on TCU this season was because of the promising hope on the offensive side of the ball. Junior transfer quarterback Kenny Hill gives is the type of quarterback that can flourish in Coach Gary Patterson’s offense. For the most part, last Saturday’s game against San Diego State showed those promising signs. Despite two interceptions, he completed 33 of 49 passing for 439 yards with two touchdowns. Hill also added 3 touchdowns on the ground as he proved to be the playmakers that Horned Frogs’ fans hoped for. It was not just Hill but the entire TCU offense looked pretty strong which is something that at least I expected.
One thing that I did not expect is the horrid play of the TCU defense. Coach Patterson has always fielded typically solid defenses but San Diego State was able to move the football with ease. San Diego State was able to throw the football and put it on the ground successfully to rack up 461 yards of total offense. TCU’s inability to stop the run is what worries me about this week’s match-up with Arkansas. The Razorbacks were not very impressive on offense last week but rest assured they are going to run the ball often on Saturday. Coach Bret Bielema’s offensive philosophy is a relentless ground attack that wears opponents down as the game progresses.
Arkansas running backs Kody Walker and Rawleigh Williams are in positions to get a ton of carries this season to lead this Razorbacks offense. Walker had a limited amount of touches last week as he continued to heal a foot injury but Williams had 24 touches that resulted in 96 yards with a touchdown. The good news is that Walker should be a full go this Saturday which means Bielema will be able to keep some fresh legs on the field in his relentless rushing attack. If quarterback Austin Allen can make a few throws to keep the TCU defense honest, then the Razorbacks will have every opportunity to keep the chains moving.
While I think Arkansas will have success on the ground, their chance at a victory will lie on the responsibility of their defense. As stated before, TCU has numerous weapons on offense and Kenny Hill is well-suited for this type of fast paced attack. The Razorbacks defense played fairly well last week by holding Louisiana Tech to 291 total yards. The downside to that is that 212 of those yards were through the air. TCU will have a much quicker and more sophisticated passing attack this weekend. Therefore, it will be interesting to see if this Arkansas defense is up for the challenge and if they will have any answers for the talent at the skill positions for TCU.
Jay's Pick to Cover the Point Spread: As it stands now, the Razorbacks have won 7 of their last 8 games going back to last year which includes two victories over teams ranked inside the top 20. However, I am not convinced that Arkansas can win this game. The Razorbacks are not a big play team and they are going to need big plays to overcome TCU. Despite a sloppy performance last week with the Horned Frogs, they have a lot of potential to build off of. Consider it a small play but I like TCU minus the points!
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