The TCU Horned Frogs are just one win away from clinching an especially-weird edition of the Big 12 title after thrashing Texas 48-10. Standing in their way to the championship and a possible College Football Playoff spot are the struggling Iowa State Cyclones who stumbled to their fourth consecutive defeat with a 37-24 loss to West Virginia.
Can TCU continue their magical run and win (a share of) their first ever Big 12 title? Or will Iowa State spoil their party and deliver another twist to this wild and crazy season? Read on for a preview of this important matchup and while you’re at it, you can check out our list of the best games to watch in Week 15 of the NCAA College Football season here.[sc:NCAAFArticles ]
Iowa State Cyclones vs. TCU Horned Frogs Betting Preview
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth
When: Saturday, December 6, 2014, 12:00 PM ET
Line: Iowa State Cyclones (+33.5) at TCU Horned Frogs (-33.5) – view all NCAA Football lines
Betting on the Iowa State Cyclones
To say that Iowa State had a disappointing 2014 season would be a huge understatement. The Cyclones have been simply atrocious this year, going 2-9 in their first 11 games. They are still winless (0-8) in the Big 12 with just a game remaining in their schedule and that last assignment happens to be against the mighty TCU.
[sc:NCAA240banner ]So what are the chances of Iowa State pulling the gargantuan upset over TCU this coming Saturday? Probably miniscule considering TCU has been installed by bookmakers as 33.5 point favorites heading into their showdown this coming weekend.
Still, the Cyclones will fancy their chances of at least covering the spread against TCU as they managed to beat the Horned Frogs in their last meeting at Fort Worth two years ago. In that game, the Cyclones ended the Horned Frogs’ 12-game winning streak as they pulled off a 37-23 comeback victory. They did it against a TCU team that already had Trevone Boykin in their lineup. Playing then as a red-shirted freshman, Boykin completed 23 of 40 passes for 270 yards with one score but was still no match for a rampant Iowa State side.
The Cyclones almost repeated the same feat last year but ended up losing by just four points, 21-17. That was still enough to earn them their second conescutive ATS win over TCU. This year is a different story, though, as the Horned Frogs have proven to be a totally different animal this campaign.
The Horned Frogs have been lights out this season especially on the offensive end where they are averaging 46.1 points per game, third-best in the FBS. That’s definitely bad news for an Iowa State defense that is conceding an average of 37.4 points per game, amongst the worst in the entire FBS.
If they are to keep it close against TCU, they will have to rely on their offense to carry the cudgels. Iowa State’s passing game has proven to be one of the few positives in this highly-disappointing season, averaging 257.2 yards per game this season, 44th in the FBS. Sam B. Richardson is 48th among starting quarterbacks in touchdowns thrown with 18 and will definitely target TCU’s secondary that is only 92nd in the FBS in passing defense, allowing 250.6 yards per game this season.
He needs to be wary, though, of a revitalized TCU defense that forced six turnovers (five by Swoopes) in their last game against Texas.
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Betting on the TCU Horned Frogs
The dream of reaching the season-ending College Football Playoff is still very much alive for the TCU Horned Frogs after they trounced the Texas Longhorns 48-10 Saturday to remain top of the Big 12 standings alongside Baylor at 10-1.
That heart-breaking 61-58 defeat to Baylor in Week 7 now looms large for the Horned Frogs, especially with both teams neck and neck in the CFP race. The good news for TCU is that they are still above Baylor in the latest national rankings, having risen to third place just behind Alabama and Oregon.
They can solidify their position in the top four when they face bottom side Iowa State this coming Saturday. Given the quality of opposition, it is not enough for TCU to just win in this ballgame. They need to put the hammer down and deliver an emphatic victory to impress the CFP committee.
That’s exactly what they accomplished against Texas last Saturday when they crushed the Longhorns by 38 points on the road. Quarterback Trevone Boykin once again led the Horned Frogs as he passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to help guide TCU to its sixth straight win. He connected frequently with Josh Doctson who caught seven passes for 115 yards and a touchdown in the lopsided win.
Boykin and Doctson will fancy their chances of wreaking havoc this coming Saturday against an Iowa State secondary that is 102nd in the FBS in passing defense, allowing 260.6 yards per game this season. Boykin is third nationally in total offense (356.9 YPG) and is on pace to become just the third quarterback since 2009 to average over 300 yards passing (302.1) and 50 yards rushing (54.8).
Doctson, on the other hand, has been a key stalwart for TCU as well this season. He leads the team in receptions with 43 and has already compiled 693 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
TCU (-33.5) crushes Iowa State, 62-14.[sc:NCAA490banner ]
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