The Texas Longhorns will welcome the TCU Horned Frogs to Austin in Week 11. The Longhorns have dominated the all-time series leading 64-27-1, including last year's victory in Fort Worth.
The Longhorns continued their 2021 hot start with a 32-27 classic victory against rival TCU. That matchup saw Texas improve to 4-1 and running back Bijan Robinson run wild for a season-high 216 yards.
The Horned Frogs bring in first-year head coach Sonny Dykes from SMU. He is no stranger to Texas football, but he will have an uphill battle bringing back consistent success to Fort Worth. At SMU last year the Mustangs finished 8-4 including a win against TCU.
The Horned Frogs enter the 2022 season with hopeful expectations as they look to compete near the top of the Big 12. TCU hopes to be one of the Big 12 surprises this season as the Big 12 Media Poll had the Horned Frogs predicted seventh in the conference.
The Horned Frogs' defense in 2021 can only be described as a dumpster fire. Last season TCU allowed 462 yards per game and 35 points per game. TCU ranked 8th in the Big 12 in pass defense and 9th in rush defense. For how good the offense was the Horned Frogs' defense continued to allow big plays resulting in a disappointing 5-7 season.
TCU brings in new defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie, who coached at Tulane for three seasons. Gillespie welcomes in a new defensive scheme for the Horned Frogs in the 3-3-5, who will be looking to turn things around in 2022.
Be sure to stick with LonghornsCountry.com as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Wildcats throughout the week. We’ve already done a general preview of the Horned Frogs and offensive players to watch. Now let’s take a look at TCU defensive players the Longhorns should watch out for.
Defensive Players to Watch:
SLB Dee Winters
Dee Winters is by far the best defensive returner on this Horned Frog team. He is coming off a fantastic 2021 campaign in which he recorded a team-high 74 tackles. He is the anchor at the linebacker position, who will be hoping to provide some stability on defense for the Horned Frogs.
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Winters will be tasked to contain many of the Longhorns offensive weapons. His skills of tackling and play recognition will play a pivotal role. Winters is also known for creating turnovers with interceptions or forcing fumbles. Expect the Longhorns to have Winters name circled for their Week 11 matchup.
CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson
Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson is no doubt one of the best corner backs in the Big 12. Hodges-Tomlinson is coming off an All-Big 12 campaign where he totaled 41 tackles and seven deflected passes. He is known for his elite coverage and ball recognition.
The Longhorns are very familiar with Hodges-Tomlinson after his impressive performance against Texas last year. He recorded a season-high nine tackles and forced a crucial fumble. TCU will need to get a lot of mileage out of him because they ranked 8th in the Big 12 in passing yards per game in 2021. Star receiver Xavier Worthy will have his work cut out for him going up against a great player in Hodges-Tomlinson.
WS Nook Bradford
Nook Bradford returns for his Senior season being one of the main catalyst on the Horned Frog defense. Bradford had a very impressive 2021 season in which he recorded 52 tackles. Bradford was crucial last season because he was the last resort on busted plays for the Horned Frogs. Bradford’s known for his great open field tackling and last resort defensive coverage.
In 2022 Bradford is hoping some of the new transfers will help carry the defensive load. He is one of the veteran leaders on defense which will be looking to make a statement. Against the Longhorns expect Bradford being very active trying to stop the explosive Texas passing game. If TCU takes a step up on defense in 2022 Bradford is sure to be at the forefront.
You can follow Adam Glick on Twitter @adamglick39
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