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Four down territory: TCU

The Red Raiders are underdogs once again, can they pull out the “upset” in Fort Worth?

Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Making opposing fan bases angry is a pastime I take too much pleasure in. However, I stand by my takes till the day I die. Now, it is time for the Red Raiders to back up my take on Saturday.

First Down: For the love of all that is holy, be aggressive

This might as well be a permanent fixture for this piece. Be aggressive sounds like something the cheer team chants back in high school, but it could not be more appropriate here. Yost has reasons to be nervous, the tackles haven’t shown the ability to hold up to better pass rushers, but his reluctance to take chances is killing the offense. That The offense is not working playing the “prevent sacks/short game special”. Taking the chance that the line will hold up, and Henry Colombi will make his reads is the only way Tech wins another game this season. I think they can do it, and frankly, I think Colombi is being wasted. I still don’t know how good he is, which is embarrassing after three games. Let him prove he can be the guy or flame out trying to be.

Wells and Patterson both need to accept this mantra too, and pick it the hell up. If Tech is going to lose on Saturday, it better be because TCU thoroughly outplayed Tech not because Wells and his clown car of a staff were scared.

Second Down: Three-man pass rushes are asking for failure

Building on the above, Patterson needs to stop being a wimp. The secondary is awful, with Demarcus Fields being the only competent player. Dropping the world into coverage has not made that any better, in fact it has left them to get picked apart easier.

The defensive line has played poorly all season when it comes to generating organic pass rush, so quarterbacks have sat there and had a field day. Against West Virginia, Patterson got aggressive bringing more rushers and Doege was unable to deliver down the stretch. TCU is very similar to West Virginia, it is a mediocre offense that has won by being effective on the ground. Tech needs to replicate the model that beat West Virginia, harass the quarterback and let the linebackers feast on the run game.

Bring the pain on Saturday, or go home empty handed.

Third Down: Make Duggan beat you through the air

Max Duggan and the TCU offense is well regarded by TCU fans. While I understand the support for their guys and love it, seriously I do it is a good sign for a healthy program that the starters have this much support, I am not a believer and neither are the numbers. The horny toads did not like that, and they let me hear it.

Duggan is not bad by any stretch, and he has a good set of wheels on him adding to his potential. The problem is, he just has not done anything impressive. He protects the ball, he is efficient, and he has arm talent to be a starter. After a strong start against ISU , he followed that performance up with mediocre start after mediocre start. And in their win against Baylor, he was effectively irrelevant to the outcome of the game.

TCU will win or lose on the ground, much like West Virginia. If Tech makes Duggan use his arm to carry the day the odds of victory increase drastically. He could find great success against the worst secondary in the country, but Tech has to pick it’s battles.

Fourth Down: Quote of the week

The actual talent on offense is just leaps and bounds better than TCU. The receivers, running backs, and for most of the year the pass blocking by the line. I’d argue Colombi even washes the quarterback duel.” - Michael Macon*

*If you won’t stand by your hot takes, you shouldn’t make them.