Opponents to watch: TCU

Christina Huang, Sports Reporter

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared as part of the October 1 Double Coverage flipbook.

Saturday’s matchup against TCU should be an interesting one, as the Horned Frogs have given Texas trouble over the last couple of years. The Longhorns have been winless against TCU since 2019 and have not won in Fort Worth since 2013. With new head coach Steve Sarkisian at the helm, Texas looks to break the three-year losing streak on Saturday, but TCU has quite a few players in its arsenal who may prove troublesome. Here are three Horned Frogs to look out for this Saturday:

No. 6 Zach Evans – Running Back 

Zach Evans was the No. 2 running back in his recruiting class right behind current Texas star running back Bijan Robinson. The No. 1 and No 2. recruits of the 2020 class will meet for the first time this season for an exciting matchup. This season, Robinson has scored five touchdowns while Evans has only recorded two as both programs enter into Week 5. Both backs are similar in terms of physical size, measuring in around 5-foot-11-inches, six-foot and a little over 200 pounds. If there is any running back that is comparable to Bijan Robinson, it’s Zach Evans. The physical similarities between the two running backs and their close recruiting rankings should make Saturday’s game a true test of strength and athleticism. Back in 2020, a scouting report by 247Sports described Evans as a “naturally instinctive runner with underrated power,” and described Evans and Robinson as having “very similar skill sets.” Saturday’s game will rehash the fight for the title of best running back between the two former top-two recruits, both of which found themselves on Big 12 offenses.

No. 15 Max Duggan – Quarterback

Junior quarterback Max Duggan could prove to be an issue for Texas once more Saturday. Last year, the Iowa product outplayed Sam Ehlinger in TCU’s close 33-31 win over Texas. ESPN statistics gave Duggan a QBR of 84.7 and Ehlinger a 77.3 after the 2020 matchup between the two. Duggan is a clean passer and can be a quick runner when he needs to be. A scouting report on Duggan written by 247Sports’ Charles Power in 2019 described Duggan as a player with “a very high athletic ceiling.” Power also praised Duggan for his athletic abilities, saying that “his athleticism transfers over to the field, (making him) one of the more statistically productive quarterbacks in the cycle.” Duggan is eager for another win over Texas, especially following TCU’s tough 34-42 loss at home to SMU last weekend. Despite the loss, Duggan completed 16 of his 28 attempts for 276 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. The junior quarterback has definitely improved since last season and has more than enough potential to keep Texas’ losing streak alive.

No. 4 Taye Barber – Wide Receiver

Although TCU enters Saturday’s matchup with its only loss of the season coming last weekend, senior wide receiver Taye Barber had an impressive performance in an altogether rougher week for the Horned Frogs. Barber caught every single one of his five targetsfor 114 yards down field. The wideout  averaged 22.8 yards per reception and found the endzone for one touchdown. TCU head coach Gary Patterson described one of Barber’s catches as “outstanding” during his postgame media availability. After Barber’s monstrous game against SMU, the Horned Frogs will most likely rely heavily on the wide receiver again this Saturday to secure a win over the Longhorns. Against Texas last season, Barber had a solid performance, as he caught seven targets for 51 yards. Barber will look to exploit Texas’ defense once more, even though doing so this season may prove to be a little more difficult against a defense that allows on average 7.8 yards per pass. Barber’s performance against SMU proves that he is still one of TCU’s top receivers and that the Frogs will need him in order to show out offensively.