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After soaking in a nail-biting affair, the ESPN College GameDay crew capitalizes on a heavyweight Week 3 matchup to travel to Texas.
There, a clash with season-long implications occurs when the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes take on the No. 15 TCU Horned Frogs, two teams with undefeated marks after two blowouts apiece and sharing championship aspirations.
Rece Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Lee Corso and the rest of the crew were on hand for a classic between Clemson and Texas A&M the week prior, a 28-26 win for the Tigers. Another unique matchup with huge things swinging in the balance, Ohio State-TCU could raise the bar even farther for ESPN’s flagship program.
College GameDay Week 3 Info
Date: Saturday, September 15
Time (ET): 9 a.m. to noon; game is at 8 p.m.
Location: AT&T Stadium
Live Stream: WatchESPN
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You ready, Fort Worth?!
The game is at AT&T Stadium, but GameDay will be on the TCU campus ahead of Ohio State-TCU! https://t.co/xxozVusmnc
It’s only fitting these two get to have their dance at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, even if TCU probably saw how great it was for Texas A&M to host their big game a week ago at Kyle Field.
That said, TCU head coach Gary Patterson is doing his best to downplay the importance of one game.
“It’s win or lose, and then your season is going forward or getting over with,” Patterson said, according to Stats LLC (via ESPN.com). “The worst thing we could do at TCU is put all of our balls in one basket. If you can win it, you’re going to be part of that 1/8playoff 3/8 conversation. If you don’t win it, you don’t.”
This game-at-a-time approach has been reflected in the Horned Frogs’ performance so far over two games, a 55-7 thumping of Southern before overcoming a slow start to sail past SMU, 42-12.
In the latter of the two wins, KaVontae Turpin returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown and led the Horned Frogs in receiving with four catches for 64 yards and a score, setting a record in the process:
TCU Football @TCUFootball
There’s the record! KaVontae Turpin sets a TCU record with five special teams touchdowns! #TurpinTime https://t.co/NKl22W0dPW
Turpin is the heart of the offense, but it sure doesn’t hurt quarterback Shawn Robinson is a dual-threat player who helped key the running game piling up 239 yards and three touchdowns on a 5.8 per-carry average.
For top NFL draft prospect Nick Bosa, this Horned Frogs attack is one of the most talented his Buckeyes will face all year:
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Nick Bosa said he believes TCU will be one of the two best teams Ohio State plays all season based on what he’s seen on film.
But Bosa’s Buckeyes haven’t exactly been looking ahead to this matchup either. The season started with a 77-31 dismissal of Oregon State followed by a 52-3 rout of Rutgers. Dwayne Haskins tossed four scores in the latter while his ground game drummed up 225 yards and two more scores on a 5.6 average. Bosa, as usual, had a sack and led the Buckeyes in tackles.
So far, the lack of Urban Meyer on the sidelines hasn’t hindered the Buckeyes, but it will be interesting to see how his guys react to the huge stage Saturday night. For both teams, the just-another-game mantra remains the approach regardless of venue.
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There is a reason the Buckeyes are 13-point favorites here, according to OddsShark.
This number has only blossomed since opening because Bosa’s defense should have the Buckeyes coming out ahead without too many problems. Turpin is an incredible talent, but the Horned Frogs offense doesn’t have the ability to air it out effectively to keep things balanced.
The same doesn’t apply to Ohio State, which already has Haskins on a roll and a deep depth chart of capable rushers. Meyer or not, the Buckeyes should have plenty of supporters making the trip to Arlington for an event like this, so chalk it up as an advantage TCU won’t enjoy.
It all adds up to a comfortable Ohio State win before getting Meyer back before heading into Big Ten play at the end of the month.
Prediction: Ohio State 40, TCU 24