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November 14, 2013

Keys to the Game: TCU vs KSU

The Frogs continue their quest to be bowl eligible this weekend as they travel to Manhattan to take on a hot Kansas State team coming off a beat down of Texas Tech. TCU is coming off a win of their own over Iowa State, but it was ugly and if the Frogs want to win this week, they must improve and play much better.

The Wildcats are on a three-game winning streak and look much better than the team that lost three in a row to Texas, Oklahoma State, and Baylor. KState crushed the same Iowa State team that TCU struggled with last week and forced three turnovers against Texas Tech in their blow out of the Red Raiders. Kansas State is averaging 41.6 points per game in their last three victories so the TCU defense will need to come ready to play.

If you go back and look at the losses by Kansas State to Texas, OSU, and Baylor, there are a couple things that stick out. One thing that sticks out to me in those three losses is the turnovers. The Wildcats had a combined 9 turnovers in those three games. If you include the loss to North Dakota State to start the season, that number goes to 11 turnovers in their four losses this season. Even in the Wildcats victory over West Virginia they turned the ball over twice. This Kansas State team will give TCU opportunities to force turnovers, they just have to take advantage.

Another issue I noticed was that in two of the three losses, Kansas State was held under 150 yards rushing. Also, in all three losses the opposing team threw for over 200 yards. The Frogs defense needs to limit the KState rushing attack and force them into throwing the football. KSU QB Jake Waters has thrown five interceptions this season but they were all early in the year. Waters hasn't thrown an interception in six weeks, but he is due and the TCU defense must be ready.

Taking down Kansas State at home won't be easy, but the Frogs can do it if they follow these keys to the game:

Contain the run: The Wildcats are ranked 37th in rushing yards per game averaging 197.7 yards on the ground. The TCU defense is good against the run. Chucky Hunter and the others must clog the holes and force the Wildcats to throw down the field.

Play TCU defense: The Frogs defense has been slightly down the last couple of weeks but they need to regain the form they had earlier in the season. Gang tackle, fly to the ball, and force turnovers. You know, the things TCU defenses do best.

Protect Casey Pachall: If the offense wants to have success the offensive line must protect Casey Pachall. If Pachall doesn't have time to throw, the offense will become one dimensional and play right into the hands of Kansas State. The o-line has a tall task this weekend, but they must keep Pachall off the ground.

The Frogs head into Manhattan as the underdog and it's a role they played well in the past. It's time for that form to reemerge this week against Kansas State. TCU needs to build upon the Iowa State victory and get things going in the right direction. Going to a bowl game is still a possibility, they just have to get it done…by any means…


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