It’s the road finale for the Kansas Jayhawks on the road, and their opponent is a TCU Horned Frogs team that has been... confusing at best this season. Since Kansas beat Texas last week to breathe some life into the end of the season, I thought it best to get some extra intel on this team before kickoff at 3pm. To do that, I reached out to Melissa Triebwasser over at Frogs O’ War.
RCT: Injuries have been a real problem for this team, especially on offense. Who do you expect to be playing QB and RB this week, and how effective do you think they will be?
FOW: I think Chandler Morris starts alongside Emari Demercado, but I expect Ahmonte Watkins (HS RB converted to CB converted back to RB like three days before Ok State) to play a lot of snaps as well. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Max Duggan return in the second half, too. As far as effective? I mean... Chandler really struggled against the Cowboys and Demercado is a better receiver than runner, so injuries won’t help but it’s not like expectations are all that high at the moment. I just hope they bring a little of that Baylor energy to the party since GP is making his return for Senior Day — at least pregame.
RCT: The defense has not been your typical TCU defense this year. What has been the root of the issue?
FOW: There are so many. Obviously replacing pros like Trevon Moehrig, Garret Wallow, and Ar’Darius Washington is a difficult task, and no one has stepped up to fill the leadership void outside of Tre’vius Hodges Tomlinson. The pass rush has really struggled; Khari Coleman was injured early, allowing teams to double and triple team Ochaun Mathis and keep him out of the backfield. The interior line has been an absolute sieve against the run, and while Dee Winters has been fine at linebacker, no one has taken the job next to him. Meanwhile, safety play has been incredibly disappointing and until about two weeks ago, the CB slot opposite THT has been ripe for picking. There are just a ton of holes on that side of the ball and the improvement hasn’t come.
RCT: Which part of this Kansas team concerns you the most?
FOW: Momentum? TCU is playing like a team that just wants the season to be over and that’s so dangerous. Throw in a talented running back and a mobile QB, and Saturday seems ripe for a disaster.
RCT: What single matchup will go the furthest in deciding the outcome of this game?
FOW: Can the TCU defensive line do something they haven’t done since week one and hold and opposing running back under 100 yards? If the Frogs can stop Devin Neal from beating them, maybe that will allow the defense to go full throttle.
RCT: Prediction Time! Who wins the game, and how do they do it?
FOW: If TCU loses this game, at home, with Gary Patterson conducting senior day festivities, well... I won’t be surprised. I think they pull out an ugly win though, 21-18.
A big thanks to Melissa for answering a few questions for us. Don’t forget to check it the questions I answered for her over on Frogs O’ War.