TCU seems to be getting better with each game as it marches toward a spot in the inaugural Big 12 championship game. The fourth-ranked Horned Frogs will try to stay undefeated Saturday when they visit a dangerous Iowa State squad that has some experience knocking off top-10 teams.
TCU is the only remaining unbeaten team in the Big 12 but still has some of its toughest games ahead with a trip to Oklahoma on Nov. 11 and this weekend’s trek to Iowa State. “Right now, we’re 7-0 and we need to get to 8-0,” Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson told reporters. “This one will be tougher. I said before the season that Iowa State was going to be a tough ball game and that’s not even knowing what I know now. We have five tough ball games left. If you would have told me that we would have had the opportunity to be 8-0 getting through October and going into November, I probably would have told you that you were crazy. We have an opportunity to do that on the road in a very tough environment.” The Cyclones already knocked off Oklahoma and sit second in the Big 12 while riding the momentum of a three-game winning streak. Iowa State scored at least 31 points in six of its seven games and is locking down on the defensive end with a total of 13 points allowed in its last two contests.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC/ESPN 2. LINE: TCU -6.5
ABOUT TCU (7-0, 4-0 Big 12): The Horned Frogs rank ninth out of 130 FBS teams in both scoring (41.6 points) and scoring defense (14.9), and quarterback Kenny Hill is taking care of business on his side of the ball. The senior is up to 15 touchdown passes on the season after throwing five without an interception in last week’s 43-0 drubbing of Kansas. “It was just what happened this game,” Hill told reporters. “We had games in the past where I just had to get the ball to playmakers who would run it in. It’s whatever is working. (Saturday), the pass was working, and it was nice to have it going, but whatever it takes to win is what we are going to do.”
ABOUT IOWA STATE (5-2, 3-1): Cyclones senior Kyle Kempt took over at quarterback at Oklahoma on Oct. 7 and threw for 657 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception in the last three games to lead the offense. Iowa State is also leaning on running back David Montgomery, who rushed for three TDs in a 45-0 win over Kansas on Oct. 14 and followed it up with a season-best 164 yards on 28 carries in last week’s 31-13 win at Texas Tech. Montgomery’s 642 rushing yards rank second in the Big 12.
1. TCU WR KaVontae Turpin was named the Big 12 special teams Player of the Week after returning a punt 90 yards for a TD last week.
2. Iowa State LB Marcel Spears was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week after making seven tackles and returning an INT for a TD last week.
3. The Horned Frogs took the last four in the series, winning the last three by an average of 32.3 points.
PREDICTION: TCU 35, Iowa State 27