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The pressure is on freshman QB Max Duggan to establish the passing game early to keep pace with an explosive Purdue offense. Courtesy of TCU

Bye weeks can be therapeutic. It is enjoyable to spend a Saturday watching games without worry of feeling the sting of your home team losing. The college football spotlight burned retinas throughout our great state as the Longhorns and Aggies each failed to achieve victory against their Top 10 Tiger opponents. The Longhorns curiously couldn’t stop LSU’s passing attack that has been laughable as recently as last year. UT tried to stymie their SEC neighbors but languished in the fourth quarter after a Tiger receiver gained a late first down before breaking a tackle to score and obtain a two-possession lead with little time remaining. Adjunct professor and Lincoln salesman Matthew McConaughey was filmed – sadly with no audio – dropping an obvious F-bomb as his beloved burnt-orange Bevos were crushed under LSU’s passing attack.

The Aggies traveled to No. 1-ranked Clemson and played one close quarter before Death Valley swallowed them whole. The Tigers exploded for 17 points in the second. The Aggs managed only a field goal and then naught through most of the remainder. The final 24-10 score smokescreens Clemson’s domination as the maroon and white found the end zone for their first and only time during the last minute of play. College football nation learned on Saturday no team from the Lone Star State is anywhere close to appearing in the playoffs this year.

Bye weeks also suck. I like caring about things, rooting for my team and not simply against others. Frog faithful can look forward to four consecutive Saturdays of the Gary Patterson gridiron grind as we start real games with the Purdue Boilermakers. Vegas hasn’t decided on the winner of this one yet. Money lines opened with the Frogs as a slight underdog and are shifting the opposite way now. Pundits appreciate Purdue after the school aired out a nice win over SEC whipping boy Vanderbilt last weekend. The Boilermakers failed their first-week test against their cupcake when they fell to the Nevada Wolfpack from the Mountain West by a field goal. Since then, they seem to be fine-tuning their passing attack to compensate for poor secondary play.

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Offensive Keys

The Boilermaker defense gave up 720 passing yards and five touchdowns between their Nevada and Vanderbilt games. That ain’t good. Each team obviously saw the train-sized holes in the secondary as each tossed the ball approximately 50 times. (No. 1) Jalen “The Juggernaut” Reagor should be back to form after a shaky opening day performance. If Reagor and freshman QB (No. 15) Max Duggan can form even a menial connection, then TCU is in good shape with their passing attack. Turnovers can’t occur, and red zone trips must yield points every time, even if they are field goals from Jonathan Song. The crowded TCU backfield should expect to carry the ball around 20 times collectively to move the chains and keep Duggan ahead of schedule and free to bomb the ball to Reagor and the increasingly dangerous (No. 87) TreVontae Hights.

Defensive Keys

It’s not complicated. Stop (No. 4) Rondale Moore and derail the Black and Gold train. The sophomore receiver gained 120 yards efficiently against Nevada before exploding for 220 on the Commodores. Moore accumulated 1,200 yards in his freshman season and is almost a third of the way back to that figure after two games. The TCU secondary must key on the 5-foot-9-inch speedster every play. Moore is a long-ball threat and can slip behind the zone. Purdue is throwing twice as much as they run. Expect that to continue until the Frogs prove they can shut it down. If the talented purple secondary can play to its potential, we will be treated to defensive end (No. 32) Ochaun Mathis and linebacker (No. 30) Garret Wallow pinning their ears back and high-fiving over the quarterback’s tattered jersey all evening.

Patterson’s bunch is not a proven commodity, especially on the road. Danger looms in Indiana if TCU can’t amass at least 35 points. Horned Frogs excel on defense, but the Boilermakers’ style of play allows them to bust the levy and score quickly. Sluggish starts from Duggan and Reagor could invite a close loss or falling off scoring pace from the kickoff.

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