Run and Shoot: TCU-Texas, just like old times

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TCU-Texas, just like old times

Here in Austin, TCU and Texas are going throwback. The long-time rivals will meet for the 82nd time, but the first since the Southwest Conference broke up following the 1995 season.

The Horns and the Horned Frogs first battled in 1897, with Texas holding a 60-20-1 lead in the series. With both teams ranked, though, tonight's game will be the biggest matchup in the series since the 1930's.

No. 19 TCU comes into tonight's game loaded with confidence. The Frogs have won five straight games against Big 12 opponents, the latest being last week's dominating 27-0 smackdown of Baylor. TCU sports a nasty defense that has had four players receive pre-season All-America honors. When their defense plays great, the Horny Toads win -- they've won 52 consecutive games when holding their opponents to 17 or fewer points.

The TCU offense is led by a redshirt freshman at quarterback, Andy Dalton. Dalton had a sterling debut last week, going 18-30 for 205 yards, no interceptions, and a TD. He'll be backed by the preseason Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year, tailback Aaron Brown. A big day from him could be key -- TCU has won 17 consecutive games when totaling at least 167 rushing yards.

If things come down to the kicking game, TCU is also in good shape. Chris Manfredini has made 37-of-41 field goals in his career.

No. 7 Texas comes into the game loaded with questions. The Longhorns struggled on both sides of the ball in last week's lackluster 21-13 win over Arkansas State.

The running game was particularly appalling, averaging only 3.1 yards per carry, with over half of the running attempts gaining two or fewer yards. Colt McCoy, who threw only six interceptions in his freshman year, tossed two last week and was fortunate that total wasn't higher.

Meanwhile, the Texas defense allowed 397 total yards to A-State and registered only one sack. The strength of that defense is its depth, so while Mack Brown has not made any real changes in the depth chart this week, there might be a lot of guys playing for jobs tonight.

Last week's performance gave Texas fans a lot to worry about, so there's a lot of nervous energy in the stands tonight. There's also a lot of noise, as this matchup is one of only two home games against currently-ranked teams, and the stadium is already packed and loud.

Should be a fun one. Bovines and Horny Toads, just like old times.

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