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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Free Pick 9/12/13

TCU Horned Frogs (1-1) at Texas Tech Red Raiders (2-0)

NCAAF Football: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Jones AT&T Stadium)

The Line: Texas Tech Red Raiders +3 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds


Storyline: The Horned Frogs lost QB Casey Pachall to injury in the second quarter against Southeastern Louisiana Saturday, but it was of little consequence as backup Trevone Boykin picked up right where he left off last season, leading TCU to 38-17 victory with three straight scoring drives. The Texas Tech Red Raiders, meanwhile, continue to churn on offense behind walk-on true freshman QB Baker Mayfield, who needed just two quarters to put the game against Stephen F. Austin, ultimately a 61-13 rout, out of reach.

The Breakdown: The promise of Casey Pachall has once again been put on hold after the Senior QB fractured his non-throwing arm against SE Louisiana, but fortunately for TCU, Trevone Boykin, who stepped in for Pachall after his suspension last season, is just as capable of running the offense and actually brings another dimension. Boykin didn’t miss a beat and seemed to jumpstart the TCU offense when he entered the game in the second quarter, immediately breaking a 14-14 deadlock. Boykin finished 9-of-13 for 133 yards and two touchdowns and added 35 yards on the ground. The TCU ground game was held in check and running backs B.J. Catalon and Waymon James combined for 98 yards on 19 carries. On the defensive side, the Horned Frogs allowed 207 yards rushing, 132 yards and a touchdown to former Oregon QB Bryan Bennett, who seemed to run at will. The TCU defense did spring to life in the second half, however, producing three turnovers and coming up with several key stops to turn the tide. DE Devonte Fields, who was suspended against LSU, made a brief appearance after sitting out the first half and recorded one tackle.

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TCU Horned Frogs vs. Texas Tech Red Raiders Free Pick 9/12/13

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The play of true freshman QB Baker Mayfield continues to dominate the headlines in Lubbock. Soph. Michael Brewer was expected to be next in line to lead the offense, but when he went down with a back injury in the spring, Mayfield won the start over another true freshman, Davis Webb. And Mayfield, a walk-on, didn’t disappoint. In the mold of the many prolific Tech quarterbacks before him, including his own head coach Kliff Kingsbury, Mayfield racked up eye-popping numbers in his debut, connecting on 43-of-60 for 413 yards and 4 touchdowns on his way to Big 12 Player of the Week honors. Against Stephen F. Austin Saturday, Mayfield was equally brilliant, passing for 367 yards and three touchdowns in two quarters of work. The Red Raiders didn’t run the ball much, but saw some success when they did. Freshman RB Quinton White carried 5 times for 71 yards and 1 touchdown, while Mayfield added another 66 yards on 9 carries. Jr. TE Jace Amaro had a stellar outing with 8 receptions for 142 yards and one touchdown, and Jr. WR Bradley Marquez caught two balls for 94 yards, including a 60 yard TD in the second quarter. Tech piled up a whopping 731 yards of total offense. Defensively, Texas Tech held the Lumberjacks to just 69 yards rushing and 287 yards passing, while forcing two turnovers.

As far as trends, TCU is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games, 16-7 SU in its last 23 games, and 22-3 SU in its last 25 games on the road. Texas Tech is 2-6 in its last 8 games ATS, 4-2 SU in its last 6 games, 2-4 in its last 6 games at home, and 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home.

Rick’s Pick:  The line in this one is currently set at -3 for TCU. But the Horned Frogs haven’t exactly fielded a stifling defense, allowing 448 total yards to LSU and 339 to SE Louisiana, hardly explosive offenses. They were without their defensive playmaker in Devonte Fields, who will play in this game, but I don’t see it making a huge difference. Texas Tech is high-powered and warrants the lean in what should be a Big 12 shootout devoid of stingy defense.

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