Game 5: Kansas at TCU – Preview and Prediction

Opponent: TCU

Opponent’s Record: 2-1 (0-0 in the Big 12)

Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

Game time: Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 11:00 AM

TV channel: Fox Sports 1

Radio: 810 WHB

Line: TCU – 16

Kansas and TCU enter Saturday’s contest recovering from heartbreaking losses. The Horned Frogs were defeated by SMU 41-38 in a shootout. Freshman Max Duggan recorded his first start and was solid, recording three touchdowns without throwing an interception, although Kansas may face quarterback Mike Collins should he return from injury. On the other sideline, the Jayhawks enter after dropping a nail-biter against West Virginia that hinged on two turnovers and a couple crucial special teams “mistakes.” Kansas has shown that they respond well to losses, TCU will have to prove the same on Saturday in Fort Worth.

When Kansas has the ball

During Gary Patterson’s tenure at TCU, the Horned Frogs have boasted a steady track record of developing edge rushers. Guys like Jerry Hughes and recent top draft picks LJ Collier and Ben Banogu jump out to college football fans. This season, however, the TCU edge rushers have failed to produce a sack. I don’t expect that to last long for Patterson’s squad. His patented 4-2-5 defense consistently causes problems for Big 12 defenses. TCU’s secondary is a veteran group that was thinned by injury prior to their loss to SMU. If Lewis and Scott are inactive again, KU may have a chance to keep Andrew Parchment’s hot start going. 

I still think KU needs to run the ball effectively on Saturday. TCU has proven they can put the clamps down on star receivers when they shut down Rondale Moore in their matchup against Purdue earlier this month. KU should continue to get Pooka in space and let him operate. Maybe a pop pass or jet sweep to get him to the corner or some quick screens, as Coach Miles alluded, could free up the star running back

When TCU has the ball

TCU’s starting quarterback is likely going to be true freshman quarterback Max Duggan. Duggan avoided interceptions in a decent performance against SMU. If Duggan has a slow start against the Jayhawks, look for the Horned Frogs to switch to junior Mike Collins who recovered from an injury.  Collins threw for over 350 yards against the Jayhawks last season and ran for two more touchdowns

For the Jayhawks, fans will be looking for number 40 to be in uniform. If Dru Prox is a no go, Kansas will have to find another way to stop scorching hot running back Darius Anderson. Anderson has rushed for over 150 yards in each of the last two weeks and is looking for revenge after last season’s butt fumble. I think KU needs to get some turnovers in this game (something they haven’t done against FBS competition this season). Look for TCU to test Kansas on the ground early and often.

Prediction

The Vegas line for this game opened around 20 and has settled around 15.5-16. SP+ has TCU covering, and Sagarin has Kansas losing by 18. If KU can’t generate turnovers or slow down Anderson, I think TCU will cover easily. I think the Jayhawks will do those things on Saturday, but still come up short overall.

TCU 31, Kansas 20 (KU +15.5)

Season Record: 2-2 (2-2 ATS)

Last week prediction: West Virginia 24, Kansas 21 (actual West Virginia 29, Kansas 24)