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Gridiron Players Club (9/30/23)

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3:30PM EST: Texas -16.5 (3 Units)

This is Texas's first meaningful home game of 2023. Their first two home games came against Rice and Wyoming, not a whole lot to get excited for. Now they welcome a 4-0, 24th ranked Kansas team into the building. The Longhorn faithful are going to be fired up to host one of the 2 other remaining unbeaten teams in the BIG 12. Texas steam rolled Kansas in Kansas 55-14 last year too.

The Jayhawks have had significant struggles on the road. They went into Nevada (who's 0-4) earlier this year and came away with a 7 point win. That game was tied at 24 a piece before Kansas took the go ahead and game winning score with just 6:24 to go. Going back to last year, similar struggles in conference play. They squeaked out a win over a bad WVU team in Overtime. Lost @ OU by 10, Lost @ Baylor by 12, Lost @ TT by 15, and lost at Kansas State by 20. They went 1-4 on the road in conference play and also lost their neutral site bowl game against Arkansas.

The biggest reason we're bullish on Texas is their defense. They currently lead the nation in defensive efficiency. They went into Alabama and held them to 3.1 yards per carry on 35 attempts. That was with Jalen Milroe under center for the Tide, a running QB. They had 5 sacks in that game too and are averaging 3.3 sacks per game this season. Can count on 1 hand how many times someone's dominated Alabama at the Line of Scrimmage like that, especially in Alabama.

They allowed 24 points in Tuscaloosa but have allowed a combined 26 in their 3 other games. They're fresh off a 38-6 blowout over Baylor in which the defense didn't allow a TD. Much of Kansas's success this season has come through the ground and then off play-action. They rank 16th against FBS opponents averaging 209 rushing yards per game. Texas ranks 16th in rushing yards allowed per game and they have the edge playing at Home. Kansas hasn't played anyone close to this level of defense.

Offensively Texas has one of the best Quarterbacks in College Football with Quinn Ewers. A current Heisman candidate and potential top 10 pick. He went into Alabama and proved all the doubters wrong. Completing 24 of 38 passes (63.2%) for 349 and 3 touchdowns. This also on a day the Texas ground game was non existent averaging just 3.1 yards per carry.

Kansas let up an average of 218.8 rushing yards per game last season and Texas ran for 427 yards against them last year. Texas's current starter Jonathon Brooks ran for 108 on 11 carries. Kansas has had a few good games against the run vs terrible opponents. Their run defense isn't fixed. They let up 150 rushing yards to Nevada in Nevada.

We're also at the point where style points matter. This is in conference play and an undefeated ranked opponent for Texas. They're going to keep pouring it on them if the opportunity presents itself. Sark didn't pull his starters until they had a 32 point lead over Baylor last week. The Boys are going to want to show out in their first meaningful home game of the season.

8:00PM EST: TCU -13.5 (3 Units)

After the shocking upset to open the season, TCU's settled in. Their offense hasn't scored less than 34 points in any game this season. It was their defense that blew it against Colorado. Since then they have yet to allow more than 17 points and that came last week against a good SMU offense. 7 of those 17 came with under 2 minutes to go in garbage time. If TCU played Colorado again, they win that game. That was just College Football at it's finest.

Joe Gillespie is a good defensive coordinator. He didn't exactly have much to prepare with when he faced Colorado. Going up against WVU there's no secrets. The Mountaineers will have Garrett Greene starting at QB. He missed last weeks game with an Ankle injury that he suffered early a couple weeks ago against Pitt and was questionable all week. He isn't exactly 100% and his mobility will be limited. He's not a true runner but it's going to hurt them here. TCU has 16 sacks through 4 games. They've had 13 in 3 games vs FBS opponents. Their 4.3 sacks per game vs FBS opponents ranks 2nd in the Nation.

He's played just 2 of their 4 games. One game against an FCS opponent and another in Penn State. In Penn State he went 16/27 (59.3%) for 162 yards. He did rush 15 times for 71 yards but with that sore ankle he won't be able to make those plays with his legs. They got blown out and scored just 15 Points. They scored a touchdown and 2PT conversion against Penn State back-ups with 3:30 to go in the 4th down 31-7.

Timing matters and this being a 7pm local kickoff helps TCU. This is still an In conference game and despite the average Joe acting like TCU's season's over because they lost to Colorado, they're 1-0 in the Big 12. That Colorado loss doesn't mean a damn thing for their conference championship asperations and the Campus knows that. Expect a packed house for TCU's first In Conference Home Game.

As far as TCU's offense is concerned, they're going to score. Penn State dropped 38 on WVU's defense and outside of that they've played nobody. An FCS team, 1-3 Pitt Team, and a 1-3 Texas Tech Team. WVU ranked 119th out of 131 teams in Points Allowed Per Game vs FBS opponents last season. Not much has changed for the Mountaineers defense and the TCU offense can score in bunches.

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