While the original forecast for temperatures below 30 and plenty of snow have died down the weather will still play a big factor for this game. Temperatures in mid 30'sare expected and between 1-3 inches of snow. The biggest factor here will be the wind now with gusts up to 55mph expected. That could play havoc with special teams and tehe passing game. A 70 yard field may be possible one direction while a twenty yard field goal attempt is impossible heading the other way.
The University certainly has been pumping this game up over the last week as Wyoming is undefeated in conference play and coming off a big win over San Diego State. This is also the last appearance that TCU will likely ever be making at War Memorial now that they are headed to the Big 12. I don't believe TCU would have much interest in continuing a series with Wyoming past this year.
While the defense for TCU is not nearly as dominant as the past few years, they certainly aren't slouches. Wyoming will certainly be able to move the ball easier then the last two years but all those yards will heavily earned.
2011 TCU Defensive Rankings
|Total Defense||348.1 yards||38th|
|Passing Defense||222.5 yards||61st|
|Rushing Defense||125.63 yards||35th|
|Scoring Defense||22.6 points||36th|
While Wyoming has their three headed running attack the Horned Frogs certainly take it up a notch. Waymon James, Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley all have over 400 yards rushing this year. If the conditions force teams to abandon the passing game that won't really hurt TCU. San Diego State had to rely on Ronnie Hillman to pick up lots of yards last week. Being able to rotate all three running backs and not lose production is a big help to TCU. With Wyoming's weakness at stopping the run this could cause plenty of problems.
This will be a big game for Brett Smith after helping lead the team to an upset of San Diego State last week. He will face a much more aggressive defense then last week and this will be his first test of playing in a Wyoming winter. While he had a tendency to either fumble or throw an interception earlier in the season he has improved his decision making even more recently. He has not had a turnover since throwing an interception against Utah State which was back in week 6. Smith and the rest of his teammates will need to make sure that they hold onto the ball and not give TCU a short field.
Ideally Wyoming could give Gary Patterson two final parting gifts tomorrow: a pair of suspenders to keep his pants up and their first conference loss. I'll chip in for the pair of suspenders so we don't have to watch GP constantly tug at his waistband. This is still a very good TCU team but this crew isn't smelling any roses this year. Wyoming has a greatly improved offense this year and there will be opportunities to put some points on the board. No better time to get that sixth win then this game.
Baylor and Southern Methodist have beaten TCU which they hadn't done in a long time. The Pokes beat TCU 24-21 in 2007, no reason they can't do it again. By winning the turnover battle and converting a converting on third down Wyoming can help keep their defense off the field and control the clock.