It's that time of year again. The throngs of Cowboy faithful make a mass exodus to Stillwater to return for America's Greatest Homecoming, and the TCU Horned Frogs are coming to town with the hopes of stealing a much needed Big 12 win.
The final scores in TCU's games this season aren't indicative of how well the Horned Frog defense can play...or maybe they are.
A 10 point loss to LSU.
A 20-10 fight with Texas Tech.
A near upset in Norman seperated by a measly field goal.
The point isn't that they lost these games, but that they went toe-to-toe with big time, high-octane teams. Sure, W's look greater than L's (wait, losses can look good? Yes. Yes they can) but when push comes to shove, the Horned Frogs aren't backing down from a fight.
Defensive coordinator and defensive line coach Dick Bumpas has been doing work in Ft. Worth. He's spent about a decade with the program and even longer with head coach Gary Patterson. Bumpas coached Patterson as a linebacker at Kansas State in '81, then the two have paired up at multiple schools, both working in tandem with Bumpas as DC and Patterson coaching the secondary.
To make a long story short, these two know a thing or five about defense. The Horned Frogs are second in the Big 12 in total defense, allowing an average of 4.7 yards per play. In the run game, something Oklahoma State has yet to figure out how to work out the kinks, TCU is only giving up a little more than three yards per carry.
The best option for the Cowboys is to let the ball fly and win the battle through the air. But even that could come at a price.
Safeties Sam Carter and Chris Hackett have combined for a total of six interceptions so far this season. They're not just going to allow J.W. Walsh an easy throw. He and Josh Stewart (Did I mention they're best friends?!) are going to have to be on the same page.
Along the same lines, the offensive line is going to have to be on point. Protection of Walsh will be key to allow him time to throw. But defensive tackles Terrell Lathan and Jon Lewis are going to be foaming at the mouth to get a chance to add Walsh to their sack list as the pair have totaled up seven so far this season.
If the Cowboys can figure out the confusion with play-calling and Walsh shows everyone his improved arm strength and why he earned the QB1 spot, then they'll get a needed conference win and we can all head to the Strip for some victory Limeys.