No. 7 Texas (8-1, 5-1, Big 12) is hoping to take another step in its quest for a berth in the Big 12 Championship Game and a spot in the College Football Playoff when the Longhorns make the 190-mile trek north for a prime-time showdown at TCU (4-5, 2-4) on Saturday. With Texas bound for the SEC in 2024, it’s the last scheduled matchup in a series that has featured more than 90 meetings dating back to 1897, so no love will be lost between the Longhorns and Horned Frogs under the lights in Fort Worth, Texas.
Texas is enjoying its best start since 2009. That was the last time the Longhorns won the Big 12 and played for a national title. TCU is trending the wrong way after last year’s improbable run to 13 wins and a College Football Playoff National Championship appearance. The Horned Frogs have lost four of five after a 3-1 start in their second season under coach Sonny Dykes. They now must win two of their final three just to make a bowl game. And rest assured, TCU would love nothing more than to spoil Texas’ Big 12 title and CFP aspirations as a parting gift before the Longhorns make their way to greener pastures in the SEC.
Get caught up on storylines, viewing information, game predictions and more as TCU and Texas prepare to meet for the 94th and likely final time for the foreseeable future.
Texas vs. TCU: Need to know
Ewers returns: Texas coach Steve Sarkisianthat quarterback Quinn Ewers will return to action at TCU after missing the Longhorns’ last two games with a shoulder injury that came against Houston in Week 8. Redshirt freshman Maalik Murphy started against BYU and Kansas State amid Ewers’ absence, and while Texas went 2-0 in that stretch, Murphy struggled with turnovers. The return of Ewers, who was a full-participant in practice Thursday after previously being listed as “day-to-day,” gives the Longhorns the clear-cut edge in experience at quarterback Saturday. TCU plans to start backup Josh Hoover for a fourth-consecutive game as Chandler Morris still recovers from a knee injury that occurred in Week 6 at Iowa State.
Longhorns’ red zone defense: Texas’ opponents are scoring on just 65.4% of their trips to the red zone, which is tied with Duke as the second-lowest success rate allowed in the FBS this season. Look no further than the Longhorns’ game-winning stop in overtime against Kansas State in Week 10 for evidence of how hard it is to advance the ball on Texas deep in its own territory. Texas can flex that strength Saturday against a TCU team that has struggled mightily all season to finish drives. The Horned Frogs’ 69.4% red zone success rate is last in the Big 12 and ranks well outside the top 100 in the FBS. It’s a big reason why TCU is averaging just 24.3 points per game despite ranking third in the Big 12 in total offense.
Texas’ recent troubles against TCU: Texas owns a commanding 64-28-1 all-time edge over TCU in a series with deep roots in the defunct Southwest Conference. However, the tables have turned after the schools were reunited as conference mates in 2012. The Horned Frogs are 8-3 against the Longhorns since the Big 12 chapter of the series kicked off, winning four of the last five and boasting a 4-0 mark in meetings when Texas is ranked. That includes a 17-10 TCU victory last season at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin. With a crowded race for the Big 12 Championship Game unfolding and no margin for error in the CFP race, the Longhorns can’t walk into this one expecting things to come easy.
How to watch Texas vs. TCU live
Date: Saturday, Nov. 11 | Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium — Fort Worth, Texas
TV: ABC | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Texas vs. TCU prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
It’s easy to dwell on Texas’ past struggles against TCU, but this isn’t the past. The Longhorns look the part of a Big 12 championship and College Football Playoff contender, and when was the last time that could be said entering mid-November? Even if Ewers is a bit rusty after missing time due to injury, TCU must deliver its best performance of 2023 by a wide mile to have a chance. So far, the Horned Frogs haven’t done much to suggest they can hang with a team of Texas’ caliber. No. 25 Kansas State is the only ranked team TCU has faced this season, and that game resulted in a 41-3 loss. The Longhorns may start slow, but they’ll eventually wear down the Frogs and pull away to end this chapter of the in-state feud on a victorious note. Pick: Texas -12.5
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