AUSTIN, Texas – TCU stumbled at a neutral site in its big test against a top-10 opponent last week, and the schedule is not getting any easier. The 17th-ranked Horned Frogs will try to bounce back when they open Big 12 play by visiting resurgent Texas on Saturday.
TV: 4:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: TCU -3.5
TCU blew past Southern and SMU by a combined score of 97-19 in the first two games and hung with No. 4 Ohio State for one half before falling off the pace in a 40-28 setback in Arlington, Texas, last week. "If this team can stay healthy, we're going to be a really good football team by the end of the year," coach Gary Patterson told reporters. "But we got to win early. It's a three-game season. Now it's the second game, going into Texas." The Longhorns got off to a slow start with a loss to Maryland and a narrow win over Tulsa, but a 37-14 drubbing of USC in Week 3 turned heads and raised expectations. "This needs to be the standard and not just on Saturday night," Texas coach Tom Herman told reporters. "It needs to be the standard in how we prepare every day this week. I told (the players) that this season is a marathon. This is not a sprint. We're going to have to bring that same level of energy and preparation each and every week in order to achieve our goals."
ABOUT TCU (2-1, 0-0 Big 12)
Sophomore Shawn Robinson is embracing his role as the starting quarterback and is learning to deal with his first bit of adversity after throwing a pair of interceptions in last week's loss. "The main thing with me is just execution and just, with the offense as a whole, just coming out and executing every play," Robinson told reporters. "I think we did better (against Ohio State) than at SMU, but we definitely fell short and had a lot of plays that we didn't execute on that we'll get better at. But that's pretty much the main thing, and just keeping my feet calm in the pocket and just trusting what I see. Still have a long way to go." Robinson threw for a season-high 308 yards in the loss but rushed for a season-low seven yards.
ABOUT TEXAS (2-1, 0-0)
Longhorns quarterback Sam Ehlinger was just 15-of-33 passing against USC but threw for a pair of touchdowns and rushed for another. "I'm very content with the fact that every week we're progressing and we're doing something that we didn't do the week before and moving forward," Ehlinger told reporters. "Seeing that improvement is really enlightening for me, but I think there's a bunch of things, I think we need to work on everything. There's not like one particular thing that we're really good at and there's not one particular thing that we're really terrible at right now." Junior wide receiver Lil'Jordan Humphrey is one particular part of the offense working well and is up to 275 yards and two TDs on 17 receptions.
1. Texas LB Gary Johnson recorded a forced fumble, a sack and four tackles for loss against USC and was named Big 12 defensive player of the week.
2. Longhorns LB Malcolm Roach (fractured foot) is expected to miss up to two months.
3. TCU has taken the last four meetings by an average of 30 points.
PREDICTION: TCU 35, Texas 24