Turpin, Banogu among Horned Frogs to watch against Texas

Robert Larkin

Riding high after last week’s demolition of USC, the Longhorns enter Saturday’s pivotal matchup against No. 17 TCU with a renewed sense of energy. However, the Horned Frogs have dominated the Longhorns in the previous four matchups, outscoring Texas by a combined score of 153-33 in four wins. 

Led by these four players, the Horned Frogs hope to continue that perfect streak against Texas on Saturday:

#6 Darius Anderson — Running back 

In last week’s loss against No. 4 Ohio State, junior running back Darius Anderson shined during a breakout performance in front of a national audience with a brilliant 154-yard performance that included two touchdowns. While it may have been his first showcase on a national stage this year, Anderson has been an efficient workhorse for the TCU offense since the latter part of 2017, finishing last season with 768 rushing yards and eight touchdowns after becoming the Horned Frogs’ feature back. 

Highlighted by last Saturday’s performance against the Buckeyes, Anderson’s 2018 season is off to a strong start. Through three games, Anderson has rushed for 259 yards and two touchdowns with an impressive 8.9 yards per carry. With TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson only three games into his first full season as the starting quarterback, look for the Horned Frogs to feed Anderson early and often to establish some confidence.    

#25 KaVontae Turpin — Wide receiver 

Longhorn fans best remember KaVontae Turpin for his breakout performance against Texas during his freshman season in 2015 when he caught six passes for 138 yards and four touchdowns in a 50-7 rout of the Longhorns. When he’s healthy, the senior wide receiver is one of the most dynamic athletes in all of college football, using his electric speed across the field as a wide out, runner and return man.

That’s been the case through three games this season, as the Monroe, Louisiana, native has accounted for 354 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in his various roles for the Horned Frogs. TCU head coach Gary Patterson and offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie always find unique ways to utilize the speedy Turpin, especially against the Longhorns, so look for the TCU coaching staff to put the ball in his hands in order stretch a bigger, yet slower, Texas team.   

#42 Ty Summers — Linebacker/defensive end 

One of TCU’s most gifted athletes on defense, Summers can star both at linebacker and defensive end for the Horned Frogs. During his time at both positions this season, the fifth-year senior has registered three tackles for loss and two sacks, which is already halfway to his sack total from last season.  

Summers has garnered attention with his newfound abilities on the defensive front, but his talent at linebacker also can’t be undersold as he ranks among the Big 12’s best when he plays there. After primarily playing defensive end in his first two games, Summers started at linebacker last week against Ohio State, so it’s hard to assume where the TCU coaches will place him against the Longhorns. But it’s safe to presume he’ll be an impact player at either position for the Horned Frogs’ defense. 

#15 Ben Banogu — Defensive end 

While he doesn’t possess the monstrous size of a NFL-ready defensive end prospect, few pass rushers in the country are as productive as Ben Banogu. An incredibly quick edge rusher, the senior defensive end terrorized opposing offensive linemen to the tune of 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss on his way to All-Big 12 Conference first team honors last season. Two of those sacks actually came against the Longhorns in a dominant performance during TCU’s 24-7 victory in Fort Worth. 

Banogu hopes to emulate that performance again this year in Austin as he will undoubtedly provide one of the toughest challenges that freshman Samuel Cosmi and graduate transfer Calvin Anderson will see at offensive tackle. Whether he’s performing a speed rush on the outside or stunting with a defensive tackle, expect Gary Patterson to devise several different blitz packages for Banogu across the defensive front on Saturday.