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TCU Horned Frogs: By the Numbers

The Horned Frogs have flipped the script this year, as an explosive offense has carried a struggling defense thus far.

While the impending quarterback change has dominated the storylines this week, the Oklahoma Sooners will indeed host the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday night.

The No. 4-ranked Sooners enjoy a seven-game winning streak over Gary Patterson’s squad, and OU will be looking to extend their nation-leading 14-game winning streak dating back to last season.

OU head coach Lincoln Riley has dominated his counterpart in Patterson, as Riley has yet to drop a game to the TCU head coach. Known for his defensive prowess, Patterson has struggled to slow down Riley’s offenses. Since the Sooner head coach arrived on campus as the offensive coordinator in 2015, OU has beaten the Horned Frogs by an average of 18 points per game.

If the Horned Frogs are to upset the recent history of the series, they’ll have to go about it a different way, as the offense is humming down in Fort Worth while Patterson’s defense struggled through the first half of the season.

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Gary Patterson

TCU head coach Gary Patterson is looking for answers as the run defense has been one of the worst in his tenure in Ft. Worth so far this season

A week ago, true freshman quarterback Caleb Williams’ insertion into the game opened up the run game for both Kennedy Brooks and himself, and the Sooners ran for 339 yards against a bad Texas run defense.

And while Patterson will undoubtedly have complex coverages dialed up for Williams to digest, the Horned Frogs will have to shore up a run defense that actually ranks worse than the maligned Longhorns’ unit.

Texas ranks 110th in the country in run defense, but TCU enters Norman ranked 116th in nation, giving up 206.0 yards per game on the ground.

Even worse for the Horned Frogs, they’re giving up that many yards playing a schedule that has included contests against Duquense, California and Texas Tech, as well as Texas and SMU.

Earlier this week, Patterson said he would be looking back to film from 2019 when Jalen Hurts was at the helm of the OU offense, as Hurts and Williams have similar running styles.

And while a pair of turnovers from Hurts and a fumble from Jadon Haselwood saw TCU hold Riley’s offense to 28 points in 2019, the lowest scoring output for a Riley-coached offense against TCU at Oklahoma, the Sooners still ran wild two years ago. Hurts and Brooks both rushed for over 100 yards as the OU offense tallied 366 yards of rushing that evening.

Williams’ arm impressed against Texas, completing tough throw after tough throw in the Cotton Bowl, but he might just need his legs to put up points in droves against the Horned Frogs.

38.4

Max Duggan

Quarterback Max Duggan has led the highest scoring TCU offense since Trevone Boykin's era

The Horned Frogs have flipped the script so far this year. While the defense has struggled, the offense has prospered.

So far this season, TCU is averaging 38.4 points per game, the highest scoring output for a TCU offense since Trevone Boykin was the quarterback.

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Boykin’s teams in 2014 and 2015 averaged 46.5 and 42.1 points per game respectively, both finishing in the top 10 in the country.

TCU’s 38.4 points per game this season is currently the 16th best mark in college football.

Behind quarterback Max Duggan and star running back Zach Evans, the balanced Horned Frogs attack has kept opposing defenses on their toes, really only succumbing to turnovers.

In TCU’s loss to Texas, the Horned Frogs turned the ball over three times, and as a result, TCU was held to their lowest scoring output of the season (27 points).

236.4

Zach Evans

TCU running back Zach Evans is one of the most explosive runners in the country, the fourth straight week OU will have to be weary of the opposing running back

The key to keeping TCU’s offense rolling has been their impressive rushing attack.

Averaging 236.4 rushing yards per game, the Horned Frogs rank 14th in the country in rushing offense.

Evans’ explosive play has been a key to their success.

The sophomore running back currently ranks seventh in the country in rushing yards per game (117.2), and ranks third nationally in yards per carry (7.9).

Evans and the Horned Frogs will be facing their stiffest test by far this week, as the Oklahoma run defense is the eighth best unit in the country, only surrendering 86.8 yards per game on the ground.

A week ago, Oklahoma faced another talented running back in Texas’ Bijan Robinson, and the Sooner defensive line completely shut him down in the second half.

Oklahoma will have to bring that level of intensity from the opening kickoff against TCU, because if they don’t get penetration early, Evans could be poised for a big first half, just as Robinson did last Saturday in the Cotton Bowl. 


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