Taylor McHargue: What to watch for in Week 4 of college football

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gail Burton/AP/Shutterstock (13405904b) Southern Methodist quarterback Tanner Mordecal throws against Maryland in the first half of a NCAA college football game, College Park, MD SMU Football, College Park, United States – 17 Sep 2022

Taylor McHargue: What to watch for in Week 4 of college football

  1. Battle for the Iron Skillet – TCU and SMU kick off a pair of Lone Star State rivalry games early on Saturday in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. SMU’s 4th quarter mistakes let an upset over Maryland slip through their hands this past week, but there is still much to be encouraged by in their performance on the road against a Big 10 opponent. Saturday brings TCU head coach Sonny Dykes back across town to the visitors sideline of the program he was at the helm of just 9 months ago. Coach Dykes return along with the usual bad blood that this rivalry has become known for has this years Iron Skillet matchup particularly noteworthy. This game is basically a coin flip according to Vegas, but the key likely comes down to which QB handles the pressure of a Rivalry game better and takes care of the football between Max Duggan and Tanner Mordecai. If TCU can isolate and defend all world receiver Rashee Rice and force Mordecai into a turnover or two, they likely leave Dallas with a win.
  • Bayou Bucket – The other rivalry game on Saturday in the state of Texas takes place in Houston as Rice takes the 4.6 mile commute across town to take on the Houston Cougars for the Bayou Bucket. Cougar fans need not worry.. the sky is not falling! The 1-2 start is certainly not what Houston had hoped for, but the Cougars opened with one of the more difficult 3 game schedules in the country against UTSA and Texas Tech on the road and Kansas at home. The inability to stop Kansas QB Jalon Daniels certainly did not help, but if Houston can limit penalties on both sides of the ball they should win on Saturday. Houston is currently dead last in all of FBS in total penalties, which coach Holgorsen has pointed out in his post-game press conferences as repeated “stupid mistakes”. For Rice, their win over Louisiana marked one of the few bright spots in the past few seasons as they are hoping to get to a bowl for the first time since 2014. For Rice to win they’ll need to play keep away, limit possessions for Clayton Tune and the Houston offense, and convert redzone trips to touchdowns instead of field goals.
  • Texas at Texas Tech  – There isn’t a trophy on the line in this game, but to Texas Tech fans this is their biggest game of the year. Tech hasn’t upset Texas since the 2008 Graham Harrell to Michael Crabtree touchdown game that kept the Longhorns out of the National Championship. Quinn Ewers was back at practice this week but Hudson Card is expected to start at QB again for the Red Raiders as Texas is hoping that another combination of Card and Roschon Johnson at wildcat will suffice. This game is massive for both teams as a win provides validity to their early season success, and momentum into the rest of Big 12 play. If Texas’ defense plays to the level it displayed against Alabama, this should be a two score win for the Horns.

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