On the Docket: Utah-TCU

Where: TCU

When: 7:30 p.m. ET

Why it matters: For one, the slim hopes of TCU’s national championship game appearance hangs in the balance. The Horned Frogs need to finish the season undefeated, and likely would need a convincing win this Saturday to make a strong case for the pollsters.

This is also a de facto Mountain West championship game. Both teams enter the game with a 5-0 conference record.

If Utah wins, the season finale against BYU still stands in the way of a conference title, but the Utes should be favored in that game. If TCU wins, they have already played the Cougars, and would all but seal a championship.

TCU has not beaten the Utes since 2005, but this time around the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs are favored and confident.

They are participating in Nike’s new Pro Combat uniform unveiling this weekend, and will be dressed in an revolutionary uniform that will swirl the excitement in Fort Worth.

Player to Watch: Andy Dalton has gone largely unnoticed this season across the country. Why that is so is hard to know. Dalton has completed 64 percent of his passes while throwing 16 touchdowns and three interceptions.

In the Horned Frogs’ biggest games this season (Clemson and BYU), Dalton has completed 30-of-50 passes for 467 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. He will need to continue his superior play on Saturday.

Who has the edge? TCU has looked incredibly sharp in every game this season, especially when they have come across the better opponents. That fact alone puts a lot of faith in the Horned Frogs’ chances.

That being said, Utah is more than a formidable opponent, and is probably the toughest team TCU has faced to date. The pressure is squarely on the Horned Frogs, because most of the national attention for non-BCS schools has come their way.

With every game the Horned Frogs draw closer to a perfect record, that pressure amplifies. Nevertheless, they still have the better team.


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