Texas is coming off two heartbreaking losses in which last second blunders on special teams have cost them games. TCU is coming off a victory at Texas Tech in which the Frogs' Aaron Green just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
There is no question the Longhorns are better than their record as, aside from Notre Dame, they have either won or been in every game. What changes this week? Well they travel to TCU.
College Football Podcast: Week 5 Preview with Andy Staples
Texas at TCU
Kickoff: 12 p.m. ET (Saturday)
TV Channel: ABC
Spread: TCU -15
Three Things to Watch
1. Can Jerrod Heard Carry the Longhorns?
There is no doubt Heard is a playmaker and some at Texas are already comparing him to the likes of Vince Young. Whether that is a fair comparison is yet to be known but the fact remains, he can be a difference-maker.
Heard is going to make plays. He will probably not beat you through the air but his ability to run is his biggest threat. While Baylor is really not giving up many yards they are allowing 156 yards per game on the ground. This is something the Longhorns, and specifically Heard, may be able to exploit.
2. Texas Secondary
If you look at the statistics you may think the Longhorns secondary has enjoyed watching teams pass more than they have tried to defend them. Texas has allowed opponents to complete 69 percent of their passes while gaining 1,104 yards to go with 10 touchdowns.
With Trevone Boykin already in midseason form the success of the Longhorns secondary will have to be a point of emphasis if they plan on sticking around in this game. Boykin has already passed for 1,470 yards and 14 touchdowns this season. If the Longhorns keep on their current pace Boykin will have a field day this weekend at home.
3. Longhorns Offense
Let’s be honest, The Longhorns are going to have to score often in order to stay in this game. The problem is the Texas offense ranks in the bottom half of the Big 12 in every offensive category including last in total offense.
Jerrod Heard can not be a one-man-show. And as much as Texas fans don’t even want to hear the words special teams they may be a factor in this game. Longhorns senior Daje Johnson leads the Big 12 in punt return average at 19.8 per return. Giving Texas favorable field position does nothing but help an offense that has struggled to move the ball.
TCU’s defense has struggled so far this season giving up an average of 405 yards per game. The Frogs defense has been decimated by injuries and it has shown. If the Longhorns can execute there is the chance they can move the ball. But others are going to have to step up and that simply hasn’t been the case yet this season.
TCU is going to be able to take advantage of a Longhorns secondary that just will not be able to compete with the Frogs' speed. Likewise, Texas should be able to exploit some of the Frogs' defensive deficiencies.
Unfortunately Texas has issues on both sides of the ball that will become apparent in this game. Heard cannot win this game on his own and Texas will not be able to find an answer for Boykin.
While this game may be close at the half expect TCU to cover the spread en route to a 4-0 start to the season. Although Texas may eventually get their act together this will not be the game for that to happen.
Prediction: TCU 45, Texas 27
— Written by Jeremy Simon, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and editor-in-chief of BlueGoldSports.com, a must visit for any and all West Virginia Mountaineer fans. Follow BlueGoldSports.com on Twitter @Blue_GoldSports.