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TCU Defensive Preview: Here They Come

TCU's defense has been a force this season. Even with star defensive end Devonte Fields leaving the school. The OSU offensive line will be tested Saturday and it could get ugly.

TCU has one of the top defenses in the Big 12.
TCU has one of the top defenses in the Big 12.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in sacks given up.

Sixteen sacks allowed this season at the halfway point.

And now, the meat of the schedule.

The TCU Horned Frog defense has been the class of the Big 12 this season. Nineteen sacks, nine interceptions, three fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. They not only have been the surprise team in the conference this season, but have been outright dominant at times.

The Oklahoma State offense has been far from dominant. Anemic can be the word that describes the unit at times. Play calling has been called into question for weeks now, and not much has changed. Saturday will be a true indication of where this season is going. Ignore the first six games.

A little deeper into the stats, the Horned Frogs are only allowing 2.64 yards per rush at Amon G. Carter Stadium. If that doesn't scare folks, get ready, there's even scarier stats. My suggestion, don't focus on running up the middle A and B gaps. Especially Tyreek Hill.

Against Oklahoma, the first major home test of the season for the Horned Frogs, they held the Sooners potent running game to under 4 yards a carry. OU's offensive line is a better unit this season in comparison to Bob Connelly's first Cowboy line.

Daxx Garman will need to play the game of his life to get past this TCU secondary. The Horned Frogs have only allowed one team to complete passes more than 50 percent and that was Baylor. The Bears squeaked over with only 50.9 of passes completed. That was also on 55 attempts. Deep routes cannot be the only patterns Garman throws to or it will be over early.

Chris Hackett will lead the secondary and has been a force this season the 6'2'' safety averages about eight tackles a game and is tied for the team lead for interceptions with two. Seven different Horned Frogs have snagged an interception so far this season. Again, the passing patterns must be diverse for Garman to have success.

The Horned Frog linebacking core is loaded with experience and is led by Paul Dawson, TCU's leader in tackles for 2013. Dawson will be all over the field and making plays. Dawson averages 11 tackles a game with at least around two of those being a tackle for loss or a sack. Dawson is also a thumper, tied for the team lead in forced fumbles.

TCU has also been lights out on third down. The Horned Frog allowed Baylor and OU a combined 33 percent conversion rate on third down. Two of the best teams in the conference and holding them that low speaks to how good this defense is.

In my mind this is the best defense in the Big 12.

There is a key to this game that can keep OSU in the picture for four quarters. Field position.

If the Cowboys can make their way into the red zone, They will stay in this game. The Horned Frogs have not faired well in the red zone this season, allowing conference opponents to score every time it finds itself inside the Horned Frog 20.

This game could be close, but to this point, I just don't see the Cowboys winning this football game. Hopefully they have been holding back, but something tells me that Mike Yurcich has done everything he thought would work to this point.

It hasn't.

Final Score: 27-13 TCU