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Bet on the TCU Horned Frogs
TCU – South Florida 9-25-04
The TCU Horned Frogs are comingoff one of the biggest embarrassments in their recent footballhistory, following last week’s 70-35 humiliation at the handsof Texas Tech.
So what one word is James Kruger’s Vegas SportsAuthority using this week to describe TCU as it prepares for itshome Conference USA game against South Florida?
That’s right, value.
After giving up a “70-spot” last weekto former Southwest Conference rival Tech, the Horned Frogs havebeen established as an early 9-point favorites over the BullsSaturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
And that is despite the fact that starting quarterbackTye Gunn will likely sit out the contest due to an ankle injury.
However, the Horned Frogs’ backup quarterbackresponsibilities are in good hands. While some Division I programshave tremendous dropoffs in talent and experience from their first-to second-team quarterback, TCU is in much better shape with BrandonHassell.
In Gunn’s absence last year, Hassell handled thesignal-calling duties in able fashion and is actually consideredthe better runner among the two. On a given day, Hassell mightactually out-play Gunn. But obviously someone has to be the starter.
In the case of many Division I programs facedwith an injury at this position, teams are changing from a quarterbackwho has taken virtually every snap the past two or three seasonsto one who has only played in limited, mop-up duty.
Known for its stellar defense in the recent past,TCU is now much more of an “offensive” team than a “defensive”one. The Frogs boast two talented quarterbacks; two tailbackswho could both start at a lot of programs (Lonta Hobbs and RobertMerrell); and a game-breaking wide receiver who can extend thefield vertically (Reggie Harrell).
South Florida, meanwhile, will play its secondstraight road game after losing to SEC East member South Carolina,34-3, last Saturday in Columbia.
In that game, the Bulls gave up more than 200yards receiving to speedy Gamecock wide out Troy Williamson andcould have similar problems with Harrell.
We see TCU wanting to regain some respect afterlast week’s debacle and do not feel South Florida has enough offensivefirepower in its arsenal to stay close in a game which could climbinto the 30s.
We also view 9 as a solid number to lay sincethe bookmaker obviously feels the Horned Frogs are better thana touchdown favorite. And since points are most typically scoredin increments of 6, 1 and 3 points, we like the 9-point lay.
Look for the Horned Frogs to win by double digits.
To learn more about James Kruger’s Vegas SportsAuthority, please visit www.vegassportsauthority.com