Colorado State Rams (3-3 3-3-1 ATS) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (5-0 2-2 ATS) Amon Carter Stadium Fort Worth, TX 4 PM EST Saturday October 17. 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Rams +22/Horned Frogs -22
This Saturday afternoon the undefeated and 11th ranked TCU Horned Frogs host the .500 Colorado State Rams. The Rams have lost 3 in a row after winning their first 3 games and their defense has been killing them, as in those 3 losses they gave up an average of 32.3 points per game. The Rams are already 0-2 in Mountain West Conference play and winning this game, which would be a huge upset, would really help them out to get to any Bowl game. Even though TCU won their last game they still dropped 2 spots in the polls. Their defense has been solid, as the Horned Frogs have given up more than 20 points in only one game this season. Last week TCU beat Air Force 20-17 while Colorado State lost to Utah 24-17.
In their loss to Utah the Rams looked good until the 4th quarter when they have up 14 unanswered points. Rams’ QB Grant Stucker had 3 interceptions in the game, which really hurt CSU. RB Leonard Mason did have 130 rushing yards, which was a career high, but it was their D in the 2nd half that let them down. The Rams were underdogs by 9 points so they did cover the spread. The posted point total for the game was 51 points and since there were only 41 points scored the total was not reached.
TCU dominated Air Force in their 20-17 win, as they out-gamed them in total yards (393 to 287) and passing yards (198 to 58), but Air Force had the upper hand in the rushing attack with 229 yards to the Horned Frogs 195. The game should not have been as close as it was, but the Horned Frogs turned the ball over 3 times including 2 in the Air Force red zone. The Horned Frogs were favored by 11 points, so they were not close at covering the spread. The posted total for the game was 43 so the Under was the winning wager.
TCU has the nation’s 7th ranked defense, as LB Daryl Washington and All-American DE Jerry Hughes, who has 6 sacks this season, lead them.
The Rams only rank 85th in the nation in rushing yards so Rams’ QB Grant Stucker (1,429 yds 11 TD 9 INT) has to have a solid game for CSU to pull off the away upset. He also can’t turn the ball over 3 times like he did last week. His main targets of Rashaun Greer and Dion Morton are both averaging around 20 yards per catch.
The big key for the Rams to make this a close game is their offensive line giving Stucker time to throw. The match up in this area is not a good one for the Rams to say the least, as they have given up 10 sacks this season and TCU has 16 sacks, which ranks 8th in the nation. If the Rams cannot protect Stuckey they are in big trouble.
TCU ranks 12th in the nation in rushing yards per game and RB’s Joseph Turner and Ed Wesley give them a solid 1-2 punch and each is averaging over 5 yards per carry. If the Horned Frogs can run the ball successfully in this game it will keep the solid passing offense of the Rams on the sidelines.
The Rams’ rushing D is decent ranking 34th in the nation and if they cannot stop the run in this game they will be in trouble.
This is the 2nd week in a row that TCU is a double-digit favorite and to cover that spread they cannot turn the ball over like they did against Air Force last week.
The Rams have not beat a ranked team since way back in 2002.
In a few trends for this game the total has gone Over in 6 of the Rams last 7 road games, the Horned Frogs have won 11 straight home games, and the total has been Under in 4 of the Horned Frogs last 5 games against the Rams.
Jason’s Pick: The 22 point spread is a big one and even though I think that the Horned Frogs will win this game I think the Rams will cover the spread. Stucker will have a decent game and make it so this is not a blowout and he will find the end zone at least a couple of times, maybe more, since the rams have to air it out, so I think the Over is also a good pick.