4 reasons why Texas football could dominate TCU

Gary Patterson, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Gary Patterson, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports
Bijan Robinson, Texas football Mandatory Credit: Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports /

Bijan Robinson gives TCU a test unlike any other it has faced this season

I mentioned the enormous role that Bijan is going to play for the Longhorns in this game against TCU this weekend. Texas will want to set the tone on the ground with Bijan early in this game, which could open up the play-action passing game and keep the time of possession on their side.

TCU has yet to face a running back the caliber of Bijan so far this season. The two best running backs that TCU has likely faced so far this season are Kansas’s Devin Neal and Kansas State’s Deuce Vaughn. And both Neal and Vaughn had efficient outings against the TCU defense.

  • Vaughn: 12 carries, 83 rushing yards (6.9 yards per carry), 1 rush TD, 38 receiving yards
  • Neal: 15 carries, 88 rushing yards (5.9 yards per carry)

If Vaughn and Neal are getting close to the 100-rushing yard mark against this TCU defense on well under 20 carries each, just imagine what Bijan can do to this front.

Coming into this game, Bijan leads the Big 12 in rushing yards (1,129), total yards from scrimmage (1,443), and total touchdowns from scrimmage (14). He also ranks in the top five in the FBS in all three of those stat categories.

TCU is going to rely on stacking the box with three linebackers, three down linemen, and likely one or two safeties on standard downs to try and limit Bijan. The 3-3 defensive front will need help from at least one of the safeties, or else Bijan will have a field day against TCU.

And with some of the questions that TCU has along the front in run defense, it could be a long day against Bijan on Saturday. It’s worth noting that TCU doesn’t have a single interior defensive lineman graded among the top 15 players at the position in the Big 12 this season.

If you expand that criteria to all defensive players in the Big 12, TCU’s highest-graded run defender is 19th in the conference with safety Millard Bradford. It’s evident that the lack of effective run defenders has cost TCU so far this season as it ranks third from the bottom in the Big 12 in rushing play success rate, at nearly 44 percent.

But rushing play success rate allowed is not the only statistic that proves that this TCU run defense is pretty questionable this fall. TCU has struggled to stop explosive runs from happening this season, ranking 85th in the FBS, having allowed 13 run plays of at least 20 yards.

To sum this up, the TCU run defense is lacking individual playmakers, is having trouble limiting explosive runs, and already had trouble stopping some other talented Big 12 running backs. That trio of factors could mean a big day for Bijan and the Texas ground game.