TCU Football 2009: Week 1: University Of Virginia Cavaliers

Johnny Monroe@johnnymon24Contributor IAugust 20, 2009

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 23:  Players from the TCU Horned Frogs prepare to enter the stadium against the Boise State Broncos during the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 23, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

The TCU Horned Frogs travel to Charlottesville on Saturday, September 12th to play the Cavs in a 3:30 p.m. game at Scott Stadium. UVA brings in a new offensive coordinator Gregg Brandon, who’s installing the "Spread" to the offense. 

Coach Groh noted that they previously ran the spread while Matt Schaub was under center, but have gotten away from it due to personnel reasons.

But do they have the juice to efficiently run it? It’ll definitely be a work in progress.

One thing you want to do is come out firing on all cylinders against the stellar Horned Frog defense; lead by All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes and linebacker Daryl Washington.

Also, look for the Horned Frogs QB Andy Dalton to have a big day on the ground, as well as in the air. Last season, TCU led the nation in time of possession, so look for them to methodically move up and down the field.

On the flip side, UVA is recovering from the graduation of linebacker Clint Sintim, and is still in search of playmakers to stop the run. They boast a solid, All-ACC cornerback in Ras-I Dowling, who is making name for himself nationally.

Dowling was ranked 11th in the nation in pass break-ups and is on the Nagurski Watch list heading into the season. Hall is a dynamic, jack-of-all-trades player that was, and will be the starting QB after lighting up foe Virginia Tech last season. He has a tremendous amount of speed, guile, and good decision making to give UVA decent balance.

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The key factor in this game is TCU’s Run defense vs. UVA’s Running game.

Vic Hall and running back Mikell Simpson look to run past the Frogs and wear ‘em down; hold it right there, buddy. TCU dominated last year; the Frogs ranked first in rushing defense and total defense. They also ranked second in scoring defense, only surrendering about 11 points a game.

This is a HUGE non-conference game for the Horned Frogs. They will open up with new leaders filling in some of the small holes left from their predecessors who graduated.

UVA will look to open up the field on the Frogs D; special teams, time of possession, and average starting field position are all factors that will determine the outcome of this almost evenly-matched duel.


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