TCU tries to keep their unbeaten season going when they travel home to take on the defensive-minded Iowa State Cyclones
No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs (11-0) vs Iowa State Cyclones (4-7)
How to Watch:
- Date: Saturday, November 26th
- Time: 4:00 ET
- Channel: FOX
- Spread: TCU -10.5 (-110)
- Over/Under: 46.5 (-110)
The end of the regular season has finally approached, as Iowa State travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on its toughest test yet in undefeated TCU.
Iowa State is looking to finish its lackluster season strong, with a win over the top team in the Big 12, and one of the top teams in the nation. On the other hand, TCU has a bigger goal in mind and is looking to finish up its clean sweep of the Big 12.
The Horned Frogs are currently the No. 4 team in the country, and one of the front runners in the College Football Playoff (CFP) race. With other teams, such as USC and LSU, looking to snatch the final spot in the playoffs, a win over Iowa State is crucial to keep their season alive.
With Georgia looking to take the No. 1 spot in the playoffs, and the winner of Saturday’s Michigan and Ohio State game looking for a second spot, finishing the season undefeated will be a must for TCU. However, Iowa State won’t be a surefire win, as recent games have shown.
TCU is coming off a nail-biter against Baylor, where they secured a 29-28 win in the final seconds. Other than that game, the Horned Frogs have made a strong case for why they deserve to be featured on the biggest stage, taking down their fair share of ranked opponents.
The Big 12 has been a tough conference to pull wins out of, as Iowa State has experienced first-hand. The Cyclones are sitting at a 1-7 record in the Big 12 season, with their postseason hopes getting dashed in the recent loss to Texas Tech.
Of the Cyclones’ seven losses, six came at the hands of one-score games. Not only that, 11 of Iowa State’s 12 opponents will find themselves in the postseason.
Although the Big 12 has chewed up and spit out most teams, TCU is the only team to come out of the gauntlet without a loss. The Horned Frogs took down other top teams, including currently ranked teams such as No. 24 Texas and No. 15 Kansas State.
TCU will have to continue playing to its strengths as the postseason approaches. Not only does TCU have the CFP in sight, but the Big 12 Championship is also quickly approaching.
Before all that, the Horned Frogs have to take down the Cyclones.
TCU leads the overall series against Iowa State 8-5. However, the Cyclones have dominated the recent matchups, leading 4-2 in the Matt Campbell era.
Iowa State has also won four of the last five games in the series. In fact, Iowa State and TCU faced off in the season closer last year, where Iowa State pulled out a dominating 48-14 win. Iowa State will be without star running back Breece Hall in this year’s matchup, who led the team with 281 yards of total offense and four touchdowns.
Although the Cyclones haven’t lost since 2018, the current TCU team looks to be better than ever. The last two matchups in Fort Worth came down to a field goal, which could be a similar trend this season.
Iowa State will be one of the toughest defenses TCU has played so far. The Cyclones have been at the top of the Big 12 in most defensive categories throughout the entire season. In the second half, Iowa State ranks fourth in the nation in scoring defense (6.5) and yards allowed (107.7).
With everything on the line, Saturday will prove to be a competitive matchup between two Big 12 teams still looking to prove themselves. The nation’s eyes are on undefeated TCU to see if the hype is real, while Iowa State is looking to pull out a miracle win in Texas.
Players to Know:
2022 season stats: five sacks, one forced fumble, 33 tackles
With the Iowa State defense looking to finish the season strong, major contributors will need to show up one last time. McDonald has proven himself as one of the best defensive linemen in Iowa State history, becoming the Cyclones’ sack king.
In last week’s loss to Texas Tech, McDonald finished the game with one sack. That sack pushed him to the top of the Big 12 career sack leaderboard, tying Aaron Hunt’s 34.0 sacks. Now just a half sack away, McDonald will look to make one last push to take his spot alone at the top of the Big 12.
O’Rien Vance – Iowa State, LB
2022 season stats: 58 tackles, 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles
Another senior that had a great senior day performance against Texas Tech was Vance. Iowa State kept Texas Tech to 14 points, while Vance saw one sack on the day. Vance has also forced three fumbles in crucial moments throughout the season.
The senior leadership has been the main reason that Iowa State’s defense has excelled this season. The disappointment of senior day will be on the minds of the team, as they look to finish the season strong and send the seniors off in the right way.
2022 season stats: 2,858 yards, 26 touchdowns, three interceptions, five rushing touchdowns
In a season of perfection for TCU, Duggan has been the poster child of that success. Duggan has proven that he can hang with the big dogs in the nation, posting stats in the top 15 of most categories. Duggan’s ability to move the ball efficiently in the air, while also showing off his talents on the ground, have allowed the Horned Frogs to dominate opponents in every matchup.
Duggan’s efforts haven’t gone unnoticed, as he is gunning for the top of the Heisman Trophy race, behind only a few other top quarterbacks in the league. Saturday should be no different from the rest of the season, as Duggan will lead his team in another competitive Big 12 matchup.
Kendre Miller – TCU, RB
2022 season stats: 1,188 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns, 6.5 yards per carry
Miller has been a solid contributor to TCU’s impressive offense. In each game this season, Miller has found himself in the end zone at some point, posting seven 100+ rushing yard games.
Miller will be a player to watch because of his injury status. An undisclosed injury has kept Miller limited in practice this week, with him being questionable for Saturday’s game. If Miller plays, the Horned Frogs should have no issues moving the ball on the ground, while they will have to be creative without him.
- Jirehl Brock, ISU running back: Broken foot. Out for season
- Malik Verdon, ISU cornerback: Foot surgery. Out for the season
- Kendre Miller, TCU running back: Undisclosed injury. Questionable for Saturday.
- Quentin Johnson, TCU wide receiver: Ankle injury. Questionable for Saturday.