Texas running back Roschon Johnson (2) hurdles over Kansas safety Davon Ferguson (7) on Oct. 19, 2019, in Austin. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

Football

Texas vs. TCU: Five questions facing the Longhorns

Posted October 25th, 2019

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Five questions facing No. 15 Texas on Saturday afternoon against TCU:

1. Will one of the Texas running backs rush for 100 yards?

Over Tom Herman’s first 30 games at Texas, only twice did a running back rush for 100 yards.  In three of UT’s last four contests, it has boasted a 100-yard back. Sophomore Keaontay Ingram went for 114 and 101 yards against Oklahoma State and Kansas. Freshman Roschon Johnson ran for 121 yards at West Virginia and fell five yards short of the 100-yard mark in the Oklahoma game. Allowing exactly 100 yards per game, TCU ranks 17th nationally in run defense.

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2. Can Texas make Max Duggan a one-dimensional threat?

Texas’ beleaguered run defense will need to contain TCU running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua while making sure to not overlook the feet of Duggan. The freshman quarterback is averaging only 3.3 yards per rush, but he is coming off a 115-yard performance at Kansas State. Two quarterbacks — Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts (131 yards) and Oklahoma State’s Spencer Sanders (109 yards) — have run for more than 100 yards against the Longhorns in 2019.

3. Is Texas capable of avoiding costly turnovers?

For the most part, Texas has limited its turnovers this season. The Longhorns have lost the football seven times, but only 21 FBS-level offenses have recorded few mistakes. Opponents, however, have cashed in on UT’s turnovers. The Oklahoma State and Kansas games may not have been as close as they were had those teams not turned three fumbles and an interception into four touchdowns. New Mexico State is the only team that has forced fewer than TCU’s five turnovers.

4. Will a Fort Worth native shine in his homecoming?

Redshirt freshman linebacker Byron Vaughns had a breakout performance against Kansas. Vaughns recorded eight tackles, which ranked second among the Longhorns and nearly tripled the tackle total he entered the game with. A three-star recruit in high school, Vaughns is one of four Longhorns who call Fort Worth their hometown. Fellow Fort Worthians Turner Symonds, Luke Brockermeyer and Rob Cummins have played in a total of two games this year, though.

5. Does Texas avoid another embarrassing showing in Fort Worth?

Dating back to 1924, Texas has been victorious during 27 of the 38 times it has met TCU in Fort Worth. The team’s last two trips to the Cowtown have been disastrous, however. Texas is just four years removed from a 50-7 drubbing, which is the team’s most lopsided loss in the last 15 seasons. A 24-7 victor in 2017, TCU is also the only team to beat the Herman-coached Longhorns by more than 14 points. Since the start of the 2018 season, TCU is 6-3 at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

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