2011 Predictions & Game Story
Week 6 - TCU at San Diego State
Mountain West Fearless Predictions &
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Oct. 8 TCU 27 … at San Diego State 14
CFN Analysis: TCU teams of the past were able to put their foot on the gas and put a game like this away with a terrific run. This year's team doesn't seem to have the ability to crank out yards and points in bunches unless it's down late. It was an even effort with Casey Pachall overcoming two interceptions and the team's four turnovers by keeping the chains moving, and Ed Wesley was back to form running for 146 yards on 24 carries, averaging 6.1 yards per pop. This might have been the defense's best performance of the year, and while it gave up a few late scores, that's because the offense screwed up and put the D's back against the wall. Even with the problems against Baylor and SMU, those weren't in the Mountain West; TCU is 2-0 in conference play with the New Mexico free space up next.
The game was there for the taking even though the defense didn't do much when it wasn't taking the ball away. Ronnie Hillman was stuffed, held to 55 yards on 20 carries, while Ryan Lindley couldn't find a groove completing just 15-of-41 passes for 201 yards and two scores. The offense didn't do anything in the first half, and even though TCU is struggling a bit, it was asking way too much to come up with the comeback against a strong D. Now the Air Force game become everything; 0-2 in Mountain West play would be a major disappointment. Considering the Aztecs are 117th in the nation in run defense, stopping the Falcons will be a problem.
(AP) SAN DIEGO -- Casey Pachall threw two touchdown passes and TCU took advantage of four San Diego State turnovers to hang on for a 27-14 win on Saturday night.
Both of Pachall's scoring throws came in the first half and the Horned Frogs (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) took a 20-0 lead in the third quarter.
The Aztecs (3-2, 0-1) came within 20-14 in the second half on a pair of touchdown passes by Ryan Lindley, but they got no closer.
Pachall completed 14 of 22 passes for 212 yards with two interceptions as TCU outgained San Diego State, 446-296, including 234 yards on the ground.
TCU set a Mountain West record with its 19th consecutive conference win, breaking a tie with BYU. It was also the Horned Frogs' 15th win in the last 17 road games.
TCU (3-2) at San Diego State (3-1) Oct. 8, 10:30, CBSN
Here's The Deal … The world just became a lot more interesting for TCU in the midst of an extremely disappointing start.
Going to the Big East was always a curious decision, and while it might have expanded the school's reach and brand name, the Big 12 is the more logical fit. After years in mid-major purgatory, TCU got the call on Thursday that it was going back to the show, and while it's a huge moment and a big move for the program, on the field, the team has to start playing better.
All things considered, the losses to Baylor and SMU aren't that awful. No, the defense didn't show up in either game, but the Horned Frogs almost came back to win both games and are this close to being 5-0. With a dominant road win at Air Force a few weeks ago, TCU is 1-0 in Mountain West play with perfunctory games against New Mexico and Wyoming ahead before the showdown at Boise State. First, getting by San Diego State will be a challenge.
The Aztecs came up with a nice win over a resurgent Washington State team, but they've had to sit and spin for two weeks after getting blown over by Michigan and its old head coach, Brady Hoke. New head man Rocky Long has his team playing solid pass defense, has the running game working, and is playing well enough to challenge for the Mountain West title with a win this week and a win five games later at Air Force. The Boise State game is in San Diego.
Why TCU Might Win: The Aztecs are ninth in the nation in pass defense for three reasons. 1) The secondary is decent, 2) everyone's spending all their time running the ball, and 3) they've only played one game against a quarterback that can throw. Washington State's Marshall Lobbestael threw for 368 yards and three touchdowns in the loss, but he gave away two picks and the offense turned it over four times.
TCU has an efficient a passing game as anyone in the Mountain West outside of Boise State, and Casey Pachall has been on fire throwing for 200 yards or more in every game and hitting 30-of-42 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in last week's loss to SMU. He's going to be pushing the ball down the field and pressing the Aztec secondary, while Waymon James should come up with a decent day on the ground against a SDSU run defense that wasn't even close against Denard Robinson and struggled against Army.
Why San Diego State Might Win: TCU is getting picked apart by anyone who can throw. SMU's J.J. McDermott threw for 349 yards and four scores, Baylor's Robert Griffin hit on 21-of-27 passes for 359 yards and five scores, and the ULM quarterbacks combined to complete 29-of-42 passes for 232 yards and two scores. Good quarterbacks can throw on the TCU defense at will, and the Aztecs have a good quarterback.
Ryan Lindley doesn't have the same receivers he enjoyed last year, but he's not making mistakes and he's still getting the passing game moving with eight touchdown passes and just one pick. He struggled against Michigan, but he should get time to operate behind a line that's giving him ten days to throw. TCU's pass rush is fine, but it's nowhere near as strong as it's been in previous years.
What To Watch Out For: TCU might not be generating enough of a pass rush from all parts of the defense, but sophomore Stansly Maponga is turning into a whale of a playmaker looking like the team's next great defensive lineman. The 6-2, 265-pounder is quick off the ball, and while he might not be Jerry Hughes quite yet, he did enough to earn all-star recognition last year and now he should be on All-America short lists as the season goes on. On fire, he has 4.5 sacks in his last three games, with two against SMU, and four forced fumbles on the year. He has to get to Lindley early.
The TCU run defense hasn't been its normal stout self, and now it'll be tested by one of the best backs in the country. Ronnie Hillman is running wild, rolling for 100 yards or more in each of the last four games with two touchdowns in each game. Stuffed by TCU last year for 54 yards on 13 carries, he's in a better position this year working behind a line that's giving him huge holes to fly through, and he's making the most of his opportunities.
What Will Happen: Will TCU start to play and act like a Big 12 team? San Diego State's offense will be balanced and it'll work well enough to make TCU work, but it won't take a major comeback for the Horned Frogs to pull off the win. Pachall will keep control of the game with the short passing attack, while the defense will rebound with a good effort in the second half to get by with a tough win.
CFN Prediction: TCU 31 … San Diego State 23
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TCU -4 O/U: 56
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