The Virginia Cavaliers face the TCU Horned Frogs in rare visit to Texas
By Tommy Smith
Fort Worth, Tx The 17th ranked TCU Horned Frogs will place the nation’s longest current winning streak on the line Saturday, when they host the Virginia Cavaliers (2-1,0-1). TCU (2-0,1-0) will be looking to win its 11th straight game with a victory over the Cavaliers. The Horned Frogs beat Kansas in Lawrence (20-6) last Saturday to earn their first Big 12 conference win since joining the conference this season.
TCU brings the nation’s #2 scoring defense into the game against Virginia having given up six points in their two contests this season. TCU shut out Grambling State 56-0 in the Horned Frogs’ long-awaited season opener, Big 12 Conference debut and unveiling of the $164 million rebuilt Amon G. Carter Stadium September 1st. As expected, however, things proved to be a bit tougher for the Horned Frogs on the road against a Big 12 opponent last week. The defense picked up the TCU offense which played sloppy committing four Horned Frogs turnovers despite getting the win.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall fumbled three times in last week’s game, but eventually settled down to throw for 335 yards and two touchdowns while leading the Horned Frogs to victory. ”We came out a little flat,” Pachall said after the win over Kansas. “We were just shooting ourselves in the foot. We felt like they couldn’t stop us, but at the same time, we were stopping ourselves.”
The Horned Frogs held former Notre Dame and current Kansas quarterback Dayne Crist and the Jayhawk’s offense out of the endzone Saturday. Kansas did jump out to a three-point lead in the first quarter and trailed 7-6 late in the second, but TCU ended the first half with a Jaden Oberkrom 37 yard field goal that put the Frogs ahead for good 10-6.
While TCU has been stingy giving up points in 2012, the Cavaliers enter Saturday’s game on the heels of their worst defensive performance since 1999. Virginia lost at Georgia Tech 56-20 last week after beginning the season with home victories over Richmond and Penn State. The Yellow Jackets racked up 594 yards of total offense on the Cavaliers, 461 of which came on the ground while producing six touchdowns. This will be the first visit to Texas by the Virginia football team since 1995.
Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington ran for a career high three scores against Virginia, while throwing a 70 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Zach Laskey. The catch, the first of Laskey’s career, came on the game’s first offensive snap for the Yellow Jackets.
On the other side of the ball, Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco threw for just 143 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in three-quarters of play versus Georgia Tech. Alabama transfer and University of Virginia back-up quarterback Phillip Sims replaced Rocco in the fourth quarter and led the Cavaliers to two touchdowns in the final frame. Despite Sims’ success, Cavaliers coach Mike London said the junior Rocco would start.
Georgia Tech held Virginia to 98 yards rushing in the ACC conference opener for both schools. Combine that with the four turnovers Virginia overcame to beat Penn State and this season has not gotten off to a good start offensively for the Cavaliers.
TCU’s offense took a major blow itself this week, as news broke of the knee injury that will sideline the Horned Frogs’ leading rusher Waymon James for the season. James had carried the ball 17 times for 168 yards and a touchdown in two games before news surfaced Wednesday of his season-ending injury. Matthew Tucker, Aundre Dean and B.J. Catalon will be called upon to carry the load for the TCU rushing attack.
With the Horned Frogs playing Virginia and SMU the next two weeks, they could be facing two defenses that will allow them to adjust to life without James before the meat of their Big 12 schedule begins October 6th against Iowa State. Look for Pachall and receivers Josh Boyce, Brandon Carter and Skye Dawson to put up some big passing and receiving numbers as we get closer to Big 12 Conference play.
Saturday’s game begins at 11:00 am Central time and will be televised on ESPN. At his weekly media session Patterson shared his thoughts on where he thinks Virginia and TCU are heading into Saturday’s game.