AUSTIN, Texas — Texas faces its second ranked team in a row at home, this time against No. 17 TCU Horned Frogs.
The Horned Frogs are coming off a 40-28 loss to No. 4 ranked Ohio State in AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Texas is riding a high wave of momentum into this game -- two-game winning streak, including a 37-14 win against USC.
Kick off for Texas-TCU is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday Sept. 22.
UT PICK 'EM STANDINGS
So, after UT defeated USC (ranked No. 22 at the time) 37-14, let's take a look at the KVUE UT pick em standings:
Mike Barnes -- 1-0
Shawn Clynch -- 1-0
Paul Livengood -- 1-0
Bryan Mays -- 1-0
Hank Cavagnaro -- 1-0
Jay Wallis -- 0-1
Tim Ryan -- 0-1
Andrew McKibbin -- 0-0*** (McKibbin was on vacation, he gets a pass for last week)
KVUE STAFF PICKS ITS UT-TCU WINNER
Now, the KVUE staff members made their picks for the Texas-TCU game. This is what they predicted:
Mike Barnes, KVUE Sports Director:
Texas 23, TCU 17.
Rain games used to be bad news for the Longhorns (see Baylor in 1992 and Virginia in 1996), but has been different lately, including against TCU in 2013. A wet field slows down the fast Frogs and Texas wins, 23-17.
Shawn Clynch, KVUE Sports Reporter:
Texas 23, TCU 27.
This series is lopsided in UT’s favor, but in recent history the Horned Frogs have had UT’s number. TCU has won 4 straight against Texas, winning by an average margin of 29 points.
I believe Texas will control the clock in time of possession with a strong running game and will limit TCU’s dual-threat quarterback, Shawn Robinson. Robinson and Frogs were productive in their loss to No. 4 ranked Ohio State last Saturday.
The key for Texas is containing Robinson and getting hits on him. UT’s defense produced three sacks in its 37-14 win over USC.
The challenge for UT’s defense is more than Robinson. The Longhorns will have to limit any big play potential by KaVontae Turpin and Darius Anderson.
I do believe Texas will force a couple of turnovers, but will have issues scoring as frequently as they did against Southern Cal.
This one will be determined in the 4th quarter.
TCU wins, 27-23.
Paul Livengood, KVUE Digital Sports Producer/Digital Desk Editor:
Texas 31, TCU 34.
This is a tough pick for me. UT looked really good in the second half against then No. 22 ranked USC, and No. 17 TCU lost last week to No. 4 Ohio State 40-28 at a neutral field: AT&T Stadium in Arlington -- but it's Ohio State for crying out loud. Did the Ohio State loss show a weakness in TCU's game, and did UT find some swagger and confidence from the shellacking they gave USC?
UT has home field advantage. ESPN's Football Power Index gives the Longhorns a 60.4 percent chance to win, but Vegas says otherwise. TCU holds a three-point spread as they hop into Austin. Texas has not beaten TCU since Mack Brown left in 2013. Additionally, the Horned Frogs have won the past four matchups by an average of nearly 30 points. Weather could also play a huge factor in this game. Inclement weather was forecasted the past two games as well, but luckily, Mother Nature was kind and kept the showers away both times.
With all that said, I believe the Big 12 conference opener for the Longhorns will be determined late in the 4th quarter. I see this being an offensive shootout and TCU's offense will make the last strike in the game. TCU hands Texas its second loss of the season and defeat the Longhorns, 34-31.
Bryan Mays, KVUE Daybreak Anchor:
Texas 27, TCU 23.
I think that for the first time in three seasons, Texas' speed is equal to TCU's at the skill positions. Some form of a turnover in UT's favor -- whether it be a fumble or an interception -- will turn the tide of the game.
Hank Cavagnaro, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 28, TCU 35.
Gotta love some Big 12 play! This should be a good litmus test for both teams here. The two games that matter for each of these teams aren’t necessarily the best to feel who was better. UT beat up on a USC team who’s probably not as good as we think they are and TCU lost to an Ohio state team who is one of the best in the country with or without Meyers. But as for this game, I think it will be a classic Big 12 match up where offenses carry the game. I think it will be close, but for some reason I think the Horned Frogs come into town and win this week. After this week, we will have a better view on not only these teams but who in the big 12 will be worth anything.
Jay Wallis, KVUE News Reporter:
Texas 20, TCU 35.
While UT and TCU come into this game with the same record (2-1), they both got here in very different ways. We still don’t really know what the Longhorns are while TCU beat the teams they were supposed to (Southern and SMU) and lost to a team most teams are expected to in Ohio State last week. They have an electric offense and a smart, established head coach in Gary Patterson. Even though the Horns are at home, they haven’t had much success against their in-state opponent recently. Texas has lost the last four matchups against the Horned Frogs, struggling specifically on the offensive end of the field. If this team is going to keep up with the Horned Frogs, the Longhorns have to run the ball every drive and let their speed on defense try to contain TCU’s offense. In the end, though, we’re talking about likely the second best team in the Big 12. This isn’t a USC team trying to find their identity. (Or a team that will have -5 yards rushing on Saturday. Trust me.) TCU will hold strong defensively, have a balanced offensive attack and use their explosive athletes to run away with a victory.
Tim Ryan, KVUE News Director:
Texas 28, TCU 17.
I liked the way UT looked against USC. I think they'll continue to perform well at home.
Andrew McKibbin, KVUE Dayside Executive Producer:
Texas 20, TCU 27.
Texas is riding high after taking down the Trojans. That momentum keeps the Longhorns in the game, but TCU proves too strong for UT to pull out a win in their Big 12 opener.
OTHER COLLEGE AND HS PICKS BY CLYNCH AND MAYS
Clynch and Mays also predicted some other college football games as well as the local high school games on their Football Friday show on Facebook. Watch here: