Running Back D'Onta Foreman and the Texas offense are the next hurdle standing in TCU's way as the Horned Frogs once again look to become bowl eligible with a potential sixth win of the season at Texas. Video by Matthew Martinez. mmartinez@star-telegram.com
Running Back D'Onta Foreman and the Texas offense are the next hurdle standing in TCU's way as the Horned Frogs once again look to become bowl eligible with a potential sixth win of the season at Texas. Video by Matthew Martinez. mmartinez@star-telegram.com

TCU

TCU has arms around task at Texas: Stopping the run

November 23, 2016 10:29 AM

UPDATED November 24, 2016 08:20 PM

When it comes to facing Texas on Friday, TCU knows what to expect.

D’Onta Foreman.

Lots of D’Onta Foreman.

“He’s carried the ball a lot,” coach Gary Patterson said.

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And if by “a lot,” Patterson means 51 times last week against Kansas and 247 times this season, he’s right.

Foreman leads the nation with 1,863 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns, so stopping him is the biggest part of the workload for Patterson and the Horned Frogs when they face off against the Longhorns in Austin, with both teams trying to get that sixth win that will get them to a bowl.

He’s one of those guys that more than one guy has to tackle him. He just keeps coming at you. We’ve played him before, and he’s improved.

TCU coach Gary Patterson

“He’s one of those guys that more than one guy has to tackle him,” Patterson said. “He just keeps coming at you. We’ve played him before, and he’s improved.”

Foreman rushed 18 times for 112 yards last year against the Horned Frogs. The junior from Texas City did not play in the 2014 game.

If the Frogs are to do their part, it will have to include better tackling than last week. TCU missed 20 tackles in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma State, Patterson said Tuesday at his weekly press conference.

He may or may not have been exaggerating for effect. But his point was clear. The run defense was not good enough against the Cowboys, who ran for 334 yards against a defense that had one of its best games of the season the previous game against Baylor.

“Baylor was running for more yardage than anybody in the country, and they got 133,” Patterson said. “The tackling was really good in the Baylor game. But the last game, it wasn’t very good.”

164.3Yards rushing per game allowed by TCU this season, ranking third in the Big 12. Texas running back D’Onta Foreman leads the nation with 186.3 yards rushing per game.

TCU did not make players available for interviews this week. But last week after the Oklahoma State game, safety Denzel Johnson said the potential is there for better play from the defense.

“The coaches are putting us in the right position to make the plays,” he said. “We’re just not making them. So we’ve just got to execute the defensive calls. That’s all it is.”

TCU ranks third in the Big 12 in rushing defense, allowing 164.3 yards per game. Foreman leads the Big 12 in attempts, yards and rushing touchdowns. He’s had two 250-yard games and a 341-yard game. His 74-yard run at Texas Tech three weeks ago is the longest in the conference this season.

Texas leads the series against TCU 62-23-1. It’s the fourth-longest series for TCU, ranking behind Baylor (112 games), SMU (96) and Texas A&M (92).

The Frogs know all these numbers. They’ve seen the film and know the plays.

“To me, it still comes down to they’re going to get the in-between stuff,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to play the run, and you can’t let them throw the ball over your head.”

The Frogs can help themselves this week by simply tackling better. But that has to happen in a game, Patterson said, because it’s difficult to improve that area during practices late in the season.

“You’re not going to do it with two games left,” he said. “No good-on-good stuff this week. You can’t leave it on the practice field. Got to be ready to go on Friday.”

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

TCU at Texas

2:30 p.m. Friday, FS1

Head to head

Category

TCU (5-5, 3-4)

Texas (5-6, 3-5)

Scoring offense

34.3

34.0

Total offense

493.3

498.9

Passing offense

302.4-255.1

Rushing offense

190.9

243.8

3rd down conv.

43.4%

37.7%

Scoring defense

29.4

31.5

Total defense

420.8

444.7

Rushing defense

164.3

178.9

Passing defense

256.5

265.8

Def. 3rd down conv.

44.0

40.1