Iconography | TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Spo

VTM's preview of the Thursday night game between the visiting TCU Horned Frogs and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Game Information

1-1, 0-0
Date | September 12, 2013
Time | 6:30 pm CST
Good Guys | Texas Tech Red Raiders
Bad Guys | TCU Horned Frogs
Location | Jones AT&T Stadium | Lubbock, Texas
Weather | Sunny, High 89, Low 62
TV | ESPN
Radio | Affiliates

2-0, 0-0

**I know the gravity of the day, so plug in your headphones, hit play and enjoy a little Ray Charles.  Also, due to the lack of time, I won't be able to do this week's match-up post.**

EDITORIAL | This is what it’s all about. Not a Thursday night game, but playing quality opponents. You really want to see what your team is made of and this is the the time. We had a glimpse against SMU, but I don’t know how meaningful that actually was. I think we’ll get a meaningful game tonight.

It’s always tough to predict this sort of thing, but if we have learned anything, it is that this team will be the embodiment of head coach Kliff Kingsbury. Excited, yet reserved. Thoughtful and demanding of yourself and your teammates. Holding people accountable. In just two games, I think that Kingsbury has that respect. He doesn’t have to pull the team together and yell at them to do "something" or motivate them for a poor half. There is no show, just the game.

BOOKMARK THIS | From a relatively new site, Winispedia, they look at the historical match-up between TCU and Texas Tech:

LINKS | These are your morning links:

  • From the LAJ with some discussion of DT Jackson Richards moving to tackle, in particular nose guard, Co-DC Matt Wallerstedt playing TCU in the past, and some updates on injuries, which there really isn't any other than what is listed below and that if OLB Andre Ross, if he can't go, will be replaced by Zach Winbush, Branden Jackson and Malik Jenkins.
  • The LAJ also has a bit on the rivalry between these two teams, and I do like playing TCU. Here's HC Gary Patterson on the rivalry:
    "I’ve only been there once," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said in the Big 12 weekly coaches’ teleconference. "I think they love the game in Lubbock. They’re loud. When you go to Texas Tech, they have a high emotional level. You’ve got to be able to match that."
  • This has already been linked, but why not link again, this week's edition of The Alphabetical and The Numerical. I enjoy reading these each week.
  • Frogs O' War with a HC Gary Patterson recap of Patterson's weekly press conference. Also from FOW, DE Devonte Fields will start this week against Texas Tech, which could be significant depending on what side of the field he lines up.
  • This was sent to me by a good reader, which is an excerpt from the book that is about to come out, "The System", about some of the stuff with Leach.
  • From the SAEN and former ESPN blogger Tim Griffin with 7 thoughts about the Big 12 and has this about Texas Tech:
    7. Most underrated start so far this season has come from Texas Tech, which has quietly started the season with impressive victories over SMU and Stephen F. Austin. The Red Raiders’ real starts this week against TCU. If Kliff Kingsbury can claim an upset against the Horned Frogs, the Red Raiders have a legitimate shot to start the season 7-0. Don’t be surprised if it happens — providing they can win this week.
    I think that no one, including me to an extent, knows what to do with Texas Tech in the grand scheme of things.

THROW THE FLAG | Texas Tech leads, along with Baylor, the Big 12 in penalties. Texas Tech and Baylor also have two of the fastest offenses in the Big 12, so that explains part of it. More plays = more chances for penalties. Not surprisingly, K-State has just 6 penalties in two games with Iowa St. with 4 penalties in one game. The offensive line was the biggest culprit on Saturday night. Jared Kaster and James Polk were the biggest culprits, Polk with two penalties and Kaster with one. I was tweeted during the game as to whether or not the offensive line, because of the penalties, will be what holds this team back all year and that’s certainly a possibility. Honestly, though, I’m not sure what else they can do. I do think the best options are playing right now and for whatever reason, there’s not a lot of upper-class depth (no 5th year seniors or anything like that, which would be really nice - and would have been recruited by Leach, like Ward and Bullitt).

PHOTO FINISH | Earlier in the week, I mentioned the missed blocks by TE Jace Amaro and that how this is the biggest deficiency in his game, this is RB Kenny Williams first touchdown and you can see how the man that Amaro should be blocking dove inside and has beat thim and that player is about to make life tougher on Williams:

You see the back of Amaro’s jersey, which means that he’s trying to get to that defender, but that’s not going to happen. This was a pretty quick play and it would have been tough to know where the defender is going to go, but even with all of that, I think that this is still the part of the game that if Amaro improved, he’d be a sure-fire first round pick.

IT’S TIME | Make no mistake, I am almost postive that the coaching staff has had this game circled ro a while. Somewhat in the background, there have been some rumblings about how some of the TCU coaching staff has really been talking down Texas Tech, in particular Lubbock. Again, this is all hearsay, but I think the coach that has taken particular offense to these sorts of tactics is Trey Haverty. Haverty coached for TCU the last couple of years and I think there is a bit of a grudge between these two coaching staffs and it is personal.

DIAL IT UP | You know what’s going to be fun to watch? WR Eric Ward and CB Jason Verrett battle the entire game. I stumbled on this video some time ago and it’s just fantastic in terms of the battle between Ward and Verrett all last year. Verrett is probably one of the top five cornerbacks in the nation. This is why you play the game and maybe this is why you didn’t see Ward really all that involved last week. Either way, this is going to be one of the best match-ups all year for Ward and it’s one you should watch.

KEYS TO THE GAME | Let’s do this:

  • Any time that I can think of keys to the game, I think of the individual match-ups that Texas Tech can win and lose and what an be done to win those match-ups. We know about Amaro as he’s going to win every match-up for the rest of the season.
  • On the defensive front end, TCU has two 300 pound defensive tackles. That’s going to be problematic for Kaster on some level and he’ll be beat up the entire game. Texas Tech needs to make sure that they give him help, which means that the guards won’t be able to chip on Devonte Fields and Jon Koontz. La’Raven Clark and Rashad Fortenberry will be on an island most of the night. The good thing about Fortenberry is that he’s athletic to handle just about any defensive end. With him, it is a consistency issue. Clark has been darn near perfect for two games. He’s a joy to watch.
  • Verrett will be consumed with Ward, but there’s going to be issues with how TCU will be able to cover the other receivers. They just won’t be able to do it. Now, it’s up to QB Baker Mayfield and the receivers to do something about it. TcU doesn’t have enough defensive backfield talent to cover everyone, really no team does. I’d like to see Marquez not just work the sideline this game and just go vertical. I wonder if this is part of the plan, which is to just show Marquez streaking down the field and this game they’ll be able to work him underneath.
  • I think we’ll be on edge defensively this game. Maybe it’s because I think of last year too much. The running backs for TCU, Waymon James and B.J. Catalon, will be problematic for Texas Tech and the linebackers. Add in Treyvon Boykin for a full game and I could envision where TCU will rush for 200 yards. The linebackers have to be on point and they have done a really nice job of pushing through the block to create issues and then someone else comes to clean it up. Sam Eguavoen, Will Smith and Terrance Bullitt have been pretty good this so far. Granted, no opponent was a real rushing threat like TCU is.
  • I think that where Texas Tech needs to win the game is to now allow the huge passing play like last year. Last year, Boykin had 332 yards passing on 44 attempts. Texas Tech was just daring Boykin to throw the ball. I really don’t want to see that again. I just don’t want to see wide open receivers and I don’t think that Wallerstedt & Smith want to see the same thing either.

THE LIGHT HAS GONE ON | One of the biggest issues with QB Baker Mayfield in the first game against SMU was that he made some questionable throws into coverage that were almost picked off by SMU. Perhaps it was better talent getting to the ball quicker, but SFA those things really got corrected. In fact, I thought that Mayfield did a great job of making plays on third down. There were a handful of big third downs where Mayfield made a significant play to either extend with his feet or make a huge third down play with his arm. It was nice to see Mayfield make adjustments from his first game to the second game. That's progress.

FINDING YOUR WAY | There’s been a lot of talk about the the offensive line blocking and I thought that I’d point out a nice example of the line just putting a body on guys and moving their feet in the right direction on the Kenny Williams touchdown late in the first half. LT LaRaven Clark has allowed his man to get wide, which is fine because Clark knows the play is going outside. His man made it easy on him. The two guards, LG Alfredo Morales and RG James Polk, have engaged their man as has RT Rashad Fortenberry. By doing this, they have created a gaping hole on the left side of the line and because everyone else has taken their man, this leaves C Jared Kaster available to take on a defender in the second level:

On the second level, you see how Kaster and the two receivers to the left are about to engage in blocking their men and that means that on the third level, it’s about Williams just beating those men, which is what he does. Seriously, all three of those players are about to get their tails blocked, which is also indicative of how the offensive line is not the only ones blocking.

I knew he was a winner in high school. He won a lot of ball games, threw for a lot of yards and comes from a great family. Sometimes, guys have 'it' factors. -TCU HC Gary Patterson on QB Baker Mayfield

QUOTABLE | I thought it would be good to check in with TCU head coach Gary Patterson where he held his weekly press conference.

"They do a nice job of making you play. They're faking it, reading it, throwing the bubbles and the hitch screens. That is getting the ball in the hands of their good players. (Jace) Amaro, the tight end, is a draft choice probably in the first couple rounds. He's 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and can run. They have good wide receiver sets. They've got a couple guys who can make you miss. When you have guys who can beat people one-on-one, that always causes you nightmares because you hate being in space and they do a nice job with that."

INJURY REPORT |

Fall Practice: S Jalen Barnes (shoulder) - out for year; OG/C Tony Morales (shoulder) - to miss SMU game; QB Michael Brewer (back) - believed to be out for SMU game; LB Kris Williams (ACL) - out for year.

Week 1 vs. SMU: S Jalen Barnes (shoulder) - out for year; OG/C Tony Morales (shoulder) - to miss SMU game; QB Michael Brewer (back) - believed to be out for SMU game; LB Kris Williams (ACL) - out for year; RG Beau Carpenter (ankle sprain) - day to day; IR Jordan Davis (hamstring) - day to day.

Week 2 vs. SFA: S Jalen Barnes (shoulder) - out for year; OG/C Tony Morales (shoulder) - to miss SMU game; QB Michael Brewer (back) - believed to be out for SMU game; LB Kris Williams (ACL) - out for year; RG Beau Carpenter (ankle sprain) - day to day; IR Jordan Davis (hamstring) - day to day; OLB Andre Ross (leg?) - day to day.

ACTION | Hold onto your pants, they may start flying around the room with the first video:

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