TCU is coming back home after taking out BYU to jump Boise State in the BCS standings and now control their own destiny for the Frogs to reach their first ever big money game. UNLV is coming off a win over New Mexico in order to stop the bleeding after four straight losses. The only way the Rebels are to salvage all of the preseason pub are if they are to go 3-1 which would assume a loss to TCU but the last three games are winnable: Colorado State, @ Air Force, and San Diego State.
Before we dive into the game TCU has been taking the 'coach speak' of taking it one game at a time. Coach Gary Patterson at least acknowledges their BCS rankings:
The lines on this game is a whopping 35 points in favor of TCU which is a lot of points and the line is 57.5 points. Doing some quick math and Vegas sees TCU winning 46-11 if you are a betting man I would lean to take UNLV. On to the game itself. TCU is known for letdowns just ask the team that lost to SMU in 2005 after beating a top five Oklahoma that year.
"The best part about this is for all the coaches, because you work so hard all year. It's fun to be in a situation at the end of the year where all of your games count. Not counting to keep your job, but counting towards something that is a lot of fun for your kids, fans and community."
UNLV has an offense that can blowup with dual threat QB Omar Clatyon, WR Ryan Wolfe, and WR Phillip Payne. Now, outside of those players the offense does not have much at all. The Rebels have little to no running game and are 94th in the country, and with the spread offense that Mike Sanford operates he needs a running game to be successful. That is why last years team was able to hang with BYU to the wire and had one of their best seasons in a long time. This year there is nothing at running back which clearly has been their achilles, and now take information and then stacking up the TCU run defense which is eigth in the country and will stone the Rebel rush defense.
If UNLV can not at least have an adequate run game and is forced to throw look for the TCU line of Jerry Hughes who has nine of the twenty-six sacks for the team. BYU was not even able to pass on TCU's defense, but UNLV does have better receivers then BYU so UNLV might get a few big plays in the air.
TCU's rushing offense better take off in this game, because the rush defense of UNLV as mentioned above is putrid. Just go back to the Nevada game where they allowed 559 yards on the ground, and that was without their top rusher. TCU may have at least a similar distribution of yards between the players that Nevada had which was three backs that ran for 170 or more. Expect the backs to have their biggest game of the year, and who knows WR Jeremy Kerley may get in on the running game as well.
This game really should not be close and may be worth tuning in early to see if UNLV can hang at all. In the BCS era style points are needed to impress the non-computer voters, so look for TCU to blowout by 30 points.