Dueling Columns: Football matchup predictions

Frogs will get tune-up needed for Clemson

There is no doubt that the Horned Frogs will come up victorious Saturday against the Texas State Bobcats. The real game will be the Frogs challenging themselves to beat the Bobcats by a larger margin than they beat Stephen F. Austin, a fellow Southland Conference member, last year.

While the TCU matchup is the Bobcats’ big game of the season, TCU head coach Gary Patterson emphasizes the one game at a time mentality to his team to the point that he almost never discusses future opponents to the media.

All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes should have a field day on Bobcat quarterback Bradley George, giving George his first taste of turf this season. Linebackers Daryl Washington and Tank Carder should have a great home opener, shutting down an offense that gained 436 yards against Angelo State last weekend. The Bobcats can move the ball, but they have not faced a defense as stout as the Frogs.

After putting away Virginia last weekend, Andy Dalton should be thankful to face the Texas State defense this weekend to get his timing and chemistry with his receivers set. Dalton should have all the time in the world behind an O-line that pushed back the Cavalier defense and allowed Dalton enough times to drop back, check his reads, read the sports section of the Skiff and deliver a bullet to a streaking Jimmy Young.

The other group who will be showcased Saturday is TCU’s young running back corps. With holes the size of San Marcos, the Frogs’ Ed Wesley and the crew should be able to develop the vision necessary to slice through less porous defenses like Clemson or BYU later in the season.

The only thing left for Frog fans to worry about in this matchup is not ruining their statistics on one or two big plays so they can contend for top defense in the nation again in 2009. When the final whistle sounds, the Frogs will have put the Bobcats away by 35 points.

Sports editor Travis Brown is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Dallas.

Bobcats go into game relaxed with nothing to lose

Despite what most people might predict, Texas State will defeat Texas Christian University on Saturday.

Why? For one simple reason: The Bobcats have nothing to lose while TCU risks everything.

The Horned Frogs have their No. 15 BCS ranking and 50 wins at home in their past 56 games. The Bobcats are ranked 18th in the Football Championship Subdivision Coaches’ Poll and have only won 15 in their past 46 games on the road. Both teams are going into Saturday’s game with season-opening victories. TCU is coming into its season after a 11-2 record in 2008, which included an impressive 17-16 win over Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl. Texas State went 8-5 last year, securing its place as Southland Conference Champion, but lost 31-13 to the Montana Grizzlies in the first round of the FCS playoffs.

Despite their loss to Montana , the Bobcats were satisfied with their first outright conference title since 1982. Having just that distinction was a victory in itself for Texas State.

Saturday will be an easy win for the Bobcats. Texas State will come into the game relaxed, having nothing to lose given people’s expectations for TCU to destroy the little SLC team. Therefore, Texas State will pull off a win, knowing nothing can be lost.

The Horned Frogs, on the other hand, will come into the game aware of all the pressure being put on their shoulders to win this game. This pressure will shake the Horned Frogs, causing them to make various mistakes in the game which will, in turn, result in not only a loss, but a huge drop in the BCS rankings.

But like Texas State’s satisfaction in claiming the Southland Conference title, the Bobcats will be satisfied whatever the outcome. If Texas State wins, the Bobcats can tack on one victory for the season while the Horned Frogs lose virtually everything expected of them. However, Texas State will see the game as a victory if it comes within as much as 10 points of TCU.

Either way, the Bobcats will be the winners in their own minds.

Lisa Carter is the sports editor at the Texas State University Star