Before heading on to discuss reason #7 to be excited about TCU football in 2011, let’s review reasons 8-10.
Reason #7 to be excited for TCU football this upcoming season is the October 28 game vs. BYU at Cowboys Stadium.
In 2010, Andy Dalton got it all started for the Frogs as he ran into the West End Zone in front of a packed Cowboys stadium. Just over a year later, TCU will return to Jerry Jones’ palace with a totally different team.
What will also make this game even more appealing is that BYU, the Frogs’ opponent, has left the Mountain West Conference, and Gary Patterson has minced no words about the Cougars. Since BYU left the conference to be an independent, Patterson let the Cougars know just what he thought about that decision.
“If you’re BYU, you better be careful what you wish for,” Patterson said. “It’s not my job to worry about what Utah does, what BYU does, but I can tell you this: If you think being an independent is an easier way to get to a national championship, you’re kidding yourself.”
While BYU never issued a formal statement in response to Patterson’s warning, the Cougars undoubtedly took notice and have circled the October 28th game in Arlington on their calendar.
The 2011 game will likely be much closer than the 31-3 beat down the Frogs gave the Cougars in 2010. BYU quarterback Jake Heaps and wide receiver Cody Hoffman are both sophomores but lethal weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Brandon Doman has an experienced offensive line that is made up of all juniors and seniors.
Patterson’s defense will likely be in high gear by game 9, and if history is any indication, the defense could be one of the nation’s best by then. Where the battle will be more interesting is when TCU offense squares off against BYU’s defense. BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall took over the defense with 5 games left in the season, and the Cougar defense went 4-1 in that stretch after beginning the season 2-5.
The Cougars ranked 24th in total defense in 2010 and athletic defensive linemen Eathyn Manumaleuna and Matt Putnam will be anchors up from in Mendenhall’s 3-4 scheme. The linebackers will have USC transfer Uona Kaveinga who made headlines with his play during BYU’s spring practice. The secondary is the most unproven unit of this defense, but offensive coordinator, Brandon Dorman, said this BYU defense was the best they have had in 10 years.
Games in Cowboys stadium are a treat for any fan, and this game which is likely to be featured on ESPN should be a great spectacle for college football fans across the nation.
By this late in the season, Pachall will have his feet underneath him as the Frogs starter, and BYU will have already been severely tested with its tough September schedule that includes Ole Miss, Texas, and Utah.
Prediction: TCU 24-14-This prediction is early and many variables go into this pick. I would be surprised to see TCU’s defense to give up more than 14 points to an offense whose best two players are sophomores, but BYU’s defense will keep the game close for a while. Casey Pachall, Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker, Josh Boyce, and Logan Brock are too many weapons to stop for 60 minutes. Pachall will have a good game throwing the football against a secondary that returns just 1 starter.