No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) vs. No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs (3-0 SU, 3-0 ATS)
College Football Week 6
Date and Time: Saturday October 4th, 2014. 3:30PM EST
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium Fort Worth, T.X.
by Jay, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Okl -5/TCU +5
Over/Under Total: 56.5
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The no. 4 ranked Oklahoma Sooners have established their selves as the team to beat in the Big 12 this season though some would make a case for Baylor as the best team in the Big 12. Still, the Sooners are among the early season favorites to earn a spot in college football’s first 4 team playoff by season’s end. With 5 teams from the Big 12 currently ranked inside the top 25, the Sooners will have a target on their back for much of the season as the supposed “best” of the conference. The Sooners quest towards that prestigious playoff bid faces a scary challenge this week when they go to Fort Worth to meet the no. 25 TCU Horned Frogs for a 3:30pm (EST) kick inside Among G. Carter Stadium.
The Horned Frogs have looked sharp in their 3 games this season against inferior competition. The defense has given up just 21 points all season and TCU beat their last two opponents (SMU and Minnesota) by a combined score of 86-7. The Horned Frogs rank inside the top 10 on both sides of the ball in terms of scoring and not to mention they are a perfect 3-0 against the books so far this season as well. TCU flew under the radar all throughout the offseason despite the fact they returned 15 starters from last year’s team. Perhaps the reason they flew under the radar is last year’s team went just 4-8 in Gary Patterson’s worse season in Fort Worth. However, Patterson has coached up his young guys and has them playing extremely well to start the season.
TCU’s ability to play physical football on both sides of the ball will make them a tough matchup for Oklahoma which is evident by the fact the Sooners are favored by just 5 points in this Saturday’s meeting. Offensively TCU is led by dual threat quarterback Trevone Boykin. Boykin has the big time arm to shred defenses but can also make plays with his feet to help move the chains. On the year, Boykin has hit 64% of his passes for 858 yards with 8 touchdowns and just 1 pick through the first 3 games of the year. Boykin also leads the team in rushing with 183 yards on the ground ahead of running back B.J Catalon who has 172 yards on the year.
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Oklahoma’s defense had some problems slowing down West Virginia’s passing attack at the hands of Cole Trickett two weeks ago and it will be interesting to see if TCU’s offense can replicate that success. If so, the Horned Frogs must also do well on 3rd downs to ensure they can keep the offense on the field and win the time of possession battle. If the Horned Frogs can accomplish that feat, then they could really put the pressure on Oklahoma’s offense which could be ideal considering how well TCU’s defense has played thus far.
However slowing down Oklahoma’s offense is much easier said than done. The Sooners have averaged 44.8 points per game and they are extremely balanced between the pass and the run. The offense averages 272 yards per game through the air and an equally strong 222 per game on the ground. In the Sooners most recent game which was a tough road trip to Morgantown, true freshman running back Samaje Perine had a coming out party carrying the ball 34 times for 242 yards and 4 touchdowns in Oklahoma’s 45-33 victory over West Virginia. I believe Oklahoma’s ability to run the football will be critical this Saturday again against the Horned Frogs. TCU has yet to allow a team to rush for more than 100 yards in a single game. Oklahoma relies a lot on their running attack to setup passing plays for quarterback Trevor Knight. I am not convinced that the Sooners’ offense can rely solely on the arm of Trevor Knight therefore I think Oklahoma’s ability to run the football will be vital towards their success this Saturday.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I really like what TCU has done defensively this season and I think they can win the battle against Oklahoma’s offense. I’m taking TCU +5 as I believe they can pull out the upset!