2010 Cowboys Classic Preview: TCU Horned Frogs vs. Oregon State Beavers

I have a massive head-cold so I am going to try and make this short and halfway readable, but no promises. 

Overview:
TCU heads into this game looking for redemption after choking on a national-stage in the Fiesta Bowl.  As ESPN's marquee game Saturday night it is fair to assume that the majority of college football fans will be tuned in to this game (thanks in large part to the UNC suspensions).  Oregon State is looking to showcase their Heisman hopeful Jacquizz Rogers in his triumphant return to his home state of Texas.  Facing a marquee back is nothing new for the Frogs as they saw C.J. Spiller last year so look for this squad to be unfazed by his talent-level. 

When Oregon State has the ball:
The game-plan for TCU on the defensive side of the ball should be to get pressure on Beaver QB Ryan Katz, who is making his first career start.  Jacquizz Rogers is going to get his yards no matter what so the key will be limiting his big plays.  A big advantage for the Frogs is that they have a 4-2-5 defense that is predicated on speed so facing a shifty speed back is not as daunting as it is for your typical 4-3 defense.   Jacquizz;s brother James Roger is also a big-time threat but I have no doubt that speedy TCU corner Greg McCoy can stay with with step for step.

Oregon State Offensive X-Factor:
QB Ryan Katz.  Stepping onto the big-stage for the first time against an unconventional defense is alot to ask of a new quarterback, but Katz is rumored to have one of the best arms in the game so if he can find a rhythm early it could mean trouble for the TCU defense.

TCU Defensive X-Factor:
The Pass Rush.  Time to find out who much the Frogs are going to miss Jerry Hughes in 2010.  One of the defensive ends is going to have to step up.  My money is on big (6'6" 270) Braylon Broughton.

When TCU has the ball:
RUN.  THE.  BALL.  TCU's normally balanced offensive attack came unglued in the Fiesta Bowl as they abandoned the run almost immediately and put everything on Andy Dalton's freckled shoulders.  TCU has the hosses to run right over the Beavers but they aren't calling the plays.  If TCU can establish the run early this offense will be tough to stop as Andy Dalton begins to distribute the ball to his many offensive weapons.

TCU Offensive X-Factor:
Play-calling.  The Frogs need to run the ball even if it's not effective early-on, and then run it some more.

Oregon State Defensive X-Factor:
DT Stephen Paea.  If he can be the disruptive force that he is known to be and require a consistent double-team he could be the wrench in the Frogs running-game.

What I think will happen:
Jacquizz will get his, but it won't be enough.  38-24 Frogs.

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