Over/Under 7.5 Wins () vs TCU Horned Frogs ()Date : 09/01/2018
Time : First Game: Southern Jaguars @ TCU Horned Frogs 12:00 PM
Location : Amon G. Carter Stadium
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 7.5 Wins vs TCU Horned Frogs
The TCU Horned Frogs showed they were the 2nd best team in the Big 12 last season but they were still far-fetched from the first place Oklahoma Sooners as they lost 38-20 in the regular season as well as got blown out in the Big 12 championship, 41-17. Gary Patterson has taken the TCU Horned Frogs above and beyond expectations in his tenure as he has led a once CUSA program to a bowl game in 15 of the 17 years he has been in Fort Worth. Patterson will have a decision to make this upcoming year as he will have to find a new QB after that graduation of their veteran signal caller in Kenny Hill. Gary Patterson has been known for his hard nose defense in his time as a head coach and that stud true last season as the Horned Frogs were the #1 run defense in the Big 12. The defense returns a ton of talent and depth at every level and Patterson is depending on his unit to take the next step forward and lead this team to a Big 12 championship. Gary Patterson has quietly put together a solid team over the last few seasons as he has compiled 4-star recruits at his skill positions which should bring this team to another level. The Horned Frogs were once again successful on the recruiting trail as they ranked inside the top 25 with five 4-star recruits signed and on board for the upcoming season. The best recruit for Patterson was the #3 ranked dual-threat QB in the nation in Justin Rogers as he flipped over from LSU late in the process but expect the 4-star recruit to sit out this season after he is coming off knee surgery.
Over/Under 7.5 Wins's Latest Performance :
The TCU Horned Frogs have been one of the best teams in the Big 12 ever since they entered the conference back in 2012 as they have found themselves as high as 2nd in the AP rankings. The Horned Frogs were solid in 2017 as they went 10-2 in the regular season with a Big 12 championship appearance as well as a bowl victory over a really solid Stanford team. Gary Patterson will have to find an answer at the QB position as well as find depth at WR which has oddsmakers worrying about how they will perform in 2018 as they set the over/under at 7.5 wins.
The TCU Horned Frogs felt themselves climb closer to the top spot in the Big 12 last season but they just couldn’t figure out the Oklahoma Sooners. TCU will be battle-tested this season as they will have a tough slate of games especially early on in the season as the Horned Frogs will play a neutral site matchup against the Ohio State Buckeyes on 9/15 and then follow that up with a road matchup against the Texas Longhorns in what could be a battle for 2nd place in the Big 12. Outside of Ohio State, the non-conference schedule should be fairly simple as they will host FCS foe in the Southern Jaguars as well as travel to in-state rival in SMU. Luckily the Horned Frogs will have the advantage of hosting the big bad Oklahoma Sooners as well as the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
TCU Horned Frogs's Latest Performance :
The TCU Horned Frogs will enter fall camp with a new signal caller after journeyman Kenny Hill has run out of eligibility but luckily for Patterson, he returns talent at the QB position. Kenny Hill was a solid dual-threat QB last season as the former transfer threw for 3,152 yards and 23 touchdowns as well as rushed for an additional 325 yards and 5 TDs. The favorite to replace Hill is sophomore Shawn Robinson who saw a start last season against the Texas Tech Red Raiders and he was fairly solid as the former 4-star recruit combined for 169 yards and 1 TD. Luckily for Robinson, the Horned Frogs return their top running back from 2017 in junior Darius Anderson who led the team with 768 yards and 8 TDs, expect the Texas native to crack the 1,000-yard mark as he will be the center of the offense this season. Robinson will also have one of the best young receivers in the Big 12 to throw at as sophomore Jalen Reagor returns to Fort Worth after leading the team with 576 yards and 8 TDs in his first season. Reagor showed the ability to be an explosive WR last season as he averaged 17.5 YPC as well as set a record with a 93-yard touchdown catch against Stanford in the Alamo Bowl. The offensive line will need a rebuild as the Horned Frogs will only return one starter from their 2017 team which could be problematic for a new starting QB. The defense will have to insert some new faces into starting spots especially after the tackle, sack, and INT leaders all moved on from TCU. The top linebacker for Patterson will be Ty Summers who will slide back into the middle linebacker spot after having 64 tackles and 8 TFL from the outside linebacker position in his junior season. Jawuan Johnson is a name to watch for as the former Nothern Illinois linebacker transferred to TCU for his last year of eligibility, expect him to take Summers spot on the outside. The best news of the offseason was the fact that Patterson was receiving back his top defensive end in Ben Banogu as the senior weighed the NFL draft. Banogu led TCU in TFL with 16.5 last season and he was also a force in the pass rush as he sat 2nd on the team with 8.5 sacks, expect the 6’4 senior to have a big season from the end spot. Patterson will have question marks in the secondary as he has to replace starters as well as weigh injuries but he will return two solid safeties in Innis Gaines and Niko Small who have been starters for 2 years now.
Player To Watch
Fabian Franklin, RB, Fresh.
The TCU Horned Frogs have a ton of talent to work with on their offense with one of them being freshman RB Fabian Franklin who flipped over to TCU from the Mississippi State Bulldogs ate in the process. The reason that Franklin is my player to watch is that last season Patterson deployed a 2 running back system as Anderson and Kyle Hicks both saw over 125 carries but Hicks moved on from Fort Worth. Patterson knows how to effectively use running back and he may choose to use Franklin early on as the freshman could play a role in both the run and pass game. Expect Franklin to have 500 all-purpose yards this season as he will choose to skip out on a redshirt season.
How Over/Under 7.5 Wins & TCU Horned Frogs Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 7.5 Wins -110
Under 7.5 Wins -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
9/1- Southern- W
9/7- @ SMU- W
9/15- Ohio State- L
9/22- @ Texas- L
9/29- Iowa State- W
10/11- Texas Tech- W
10/20- Oklahoma- L
10/27- @ Kansas- W
11/3- Kansas State- W
11/10- @ West Virginia- L
11/17- @ Baylor- W
11/24- Oklahoma State- W
Overall Record: 8-4
Against The Spread Selection: Over 7.5 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
Normally I would be hesitant to back a team that is lacking a proven answer at the QB position but there is one thing I have learned over my time and that is to never doubt a great coach. Patterson was able to sign Robinson as the first 4-star QB and if he is able to have all the confidence in the world so should we. The defense should be solid in 2018 especially after the year that they posted in 2017 and given the fact that they return some talent and then some they should be okay especially under Patterson who is a defensive mastermind. The 2 week stretch of games during weeks 3 & 4 will tell us a lot about this football team but I think if they are able to survive those 2 matchups with a couple of bumps and bruises they should have no troubles residing over the 7.5 win mark.