Frogs’ defense should lead to win


TCU: Sophomore Andy Dalton has put together two impressive games in a row since coming off his injury. Dalton has thrown for 504 yards, six touchdowns and completed 28 of his 41 passes over the last two weeks. He has also rushed for 40 yards on 12 carries in those games.

UNLV: Sophomore Omar Clayton is quietly having a great season in Las Vegas. Clayton has started all eight games this season and has thrown for 1,849 yards and 17 touchdowns. Head coach Gary Patterson said Tuesday that Clayton is a faster version of TCU quarterback Marcus Jackson.

Advantage: UNLV

Running backs

TCU: The ground game for the Frogs has been almost as consistent as the team’s defense, ranked No. 14 in the nation and averaging 220.1 yards per game. Junior tailback Joseph Turner is leading the Frogs with 113 carries, 425 yards and 10 touchdowns.

UNLV: The Rebels have run a pretty balanced offense, having just eight more rush attempts than pass attempts, but they are only averaging 137.2 yards per game rushing. Senior Frank “The Tank” Summers, as he is referred to in UNLV’s weekly press release, leads the Rebels with 138 rushes, 615 yards and seven touchdowns.

Advantage: TCU

Wide Receivers

TCU: With the recent success of Dalton, the wide receivers for the Frogs have been just as successful. Sophomore wideout Jimmy Young had the best game for a wide receiver in school history Saturday, recording 226 yards on five catches and scoring three touchdowns.

UNLV: The Rebels have had five different receivers catch a touchdown pass this season. Ryan Wolfe leads the Rebels with 59 catches and 712 yards receiving.

Advantage: UNLV

Offensive Line

TCU: The offensive line for the Frogs has played a major role in the team’s successful running game, paving the way for TCU’s 1,981 yards on the ground. The left side of the line has been locked down by junior left tackle Marshall Newhouse, who has started 22 straight games.

UNLV: The Rebels’ offensive line has allowed just eight sacks so far this season, two less than the Frogs, but the offense has rushed for 1,098 rushing yards. Sophomore Matt Murphy has made 17 starts in his career at UNLV, including all eight games at left tackle this season.

Advantage: TCU

Defensive Line

TCU: The Frogs’ defensive line has been the most dominant in the nation, helping the defense accumulate 35 sacks, six more than second-place University of Texas. Junior defensive end Jerry Hughes continues to make offensive tackles look silly, leading the nation with 12 solo sacks.

UNLV: The Rebel defense is ranked No. 114 in rushing defense, giving up 229.1 yards per game, and is No. 99 in sacks per game with 1.25. Sophomore Isaako Aaitui leads the defensive line with 23 total tackles, five of which for a loss, and has recorded two sacks this season.

Advantage: TCU


TCU: The Frogs have been overthrown as the nation’s top defense, now ranking No. 2 behind the University of Southern California, though TCU has played two more games than the Trojans and average 218.8 yards allowed per game. Senior Robert Henson shined last week, recording two tackles for a loss, one sack and a forced fumble.

UNLV: The Rebels total defense is ranked No. 107 in the nation, allowing 440.63 offensive yards per game, the second-worst in the Mountain West Conference. Junior Jason Beauchamp leads the Rebels with 90 total tackles and has recorded 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Advantage: TCU


TCU: The Horned Frogs have the No. 35-ranked pass defense, allowing 187.6 yards per game through the air, and have only let three teams throw for more than 200 passing yards in a game this season. Senior safety Stephen Hodge leads the secondary with 50 total tackles.

UNLV: The pass defense for the Rebels is ranked No. 67 in the nation, allowing 211.5 passing yards per game. Junior safety Daryl Forte has 47 tackles and one of the team’s three interceptions.

Advantage: TCU

Special Teams

TCU: The Horned Frogs are No. 3 in the nation in average kickoff return yards with 28.62. After the Wyoming Cowboys scored their only touchdown of the game last week, senior running back Aaron Brown responded with an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

UNLV: The Rebels are ranked No. 102 in the nation in average yards per return with 5.8. Junior kicker Kyle Watson has been perfect on his kicks all season, making all 26 point after touchdowns and all three field goals attempted.

Advantage: TCU


TCU: Head coach Gary Patterson recorded his 70th victory as a head coach, all at TCU, last week in his 96th game. TCU’s defense is No. 1 in the nation in fewest first downs allowed per game with 11.7. The offense still leads the nation in time of possession with an average of 35:08.

UNLV: Head coach Mike Sanford is in his fourth year with the Rebels and has been trying to earn his 10th career win for the last four weeks. Sanford’s defense is ranked No. 109 in red zone defense, allowing opponents to score 93 percent of the time when they get inside the Rebels’ 20-yard line.

The Rebels might have the offensive edge, but the Frogs’ defense is too dominant. TCU wins 48-12.