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Iowa State vs TCU Odds, Prediction: Can Frogs Cap Undefeated Season?

Iowa State vs TCU Odds, Prediction: Can Frogs Cap Undefeated Season? article feature image
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Tom Pennington/Getty Images Pictured: TCU quarterback Max Duggan (left) and wide receiver Gunnar Henderson.

Iowa State vs TCU Odds

Saturday, Nov. 26
4 p.m. ET
FOX
Iowa State Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
+9.5
-104
46.5
-108o / -112u
+280
TCU Odds
Spread Total Moneyline
-9.5
-118
46.5
-108o / -112u
-360
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute college football odds here.

The final leg of the magical ride that is TCU’s regular season takes place on Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs pulled off another fourth-quarter comeback last week, with Griffin Kell knocking in a game-winning field goal as time expired to beat Baylor.

Meanwhile, for Iowa State, it’s been a bit of a heartbreaking season overall. Matt Campbell’s team enters this one at 4-7, but the Clones have been in quite literally every game all season. Six of their seven losses have been by one possession, including four by four points or less.

TCU is playing for an undefeated regular season and a College Football Playoff berth. For Iowa State, it’s a spoiler role. There’s a scenario in which a couple of 5-7 teams will be needed to fill bowl spots, and ISU ranks near the top of the APR list, so a win could give the Cyclones a chance to go bowling.

Will Matt Campbell’s bunch mail it in after another close loss last week? Or is TCU destined to find itself in yet another close one? Let’s discuss.


Iowa State Cyclones

The difference between 7-4 and 4-7 in today’s college football world is razor-thin. Campbell can point to a play here or a play there that has ultimately cost his team in multiple games.

The biggest reason for the inability to finish has been a lackluster offense. The Cyclones really miss Breece Hall’s playmaking abilities out of the backfield, and it shows in their 126th Rush Success ranking out of 131 FBS teams.

The offensive line has struggled to get a push all season, leaving quarterback Hunter Dekkers in third-and-long situations. Dekkers has made a lot of mistakes in those spots, totaling 13 interceptions on the year.

The junior will need to take much better care of the ball on Saturday when he squares off against an opportunistic TCU defense. When Iowa State has moved the ball offensively, more times than not the ball has gone to star wideout Xavier Hutchinson.

Hutchinson went for over 100 yards of receiving last year against TCU, so it’s safe to assume he will be the main focus of TCU defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie.

As poor as Iowa State’s offense has been, the defense is elite once again. Campbell has built his program around physicality and toughness, and this group embodies that.

The Cyclones have stopped the run all season, and they do not allow big plays. That will make this matchup really interesting against a TCU team that has lived on explosive plays all season.

Additionally, ISU ranks sixth nationally in Defensive Finishing Drives, which has allowed it to stay in games despite not scoring many points of its own.

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TCU Horned Frogs

Man, has it been a fun ride for TCU fans this season. Sonny Dykes came over from rival SMU and injected a ton of energy into this program, and he has seen big-time results in Year 1.

The biggest reason for that success? Senior quarterback Max Duggan. In my eyes, Duggan should be a lock to get to New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation and should be firmly in the mix to win the award.

Duggan is the heart and soul of this team, and his play this season has been the best in his career by far. Duggan’s dual-threat ability has kept defenses on their toes all year, and in the game-winning drive against Baylor last week, he used his legs to pick up a critical first down.

Dykes has plenty of other dynamic weapons in his offense in addition to Duggan. Wide receiver Quentin Johnston will likely be a top-10 NFL Draft pick next year, and running back Kendre Miller has been running people over all season.

Both Johnston and Miller got banged up last week in the Baylor game, and as of now, both players’ statuses are unknown for Saturday. Either would be a big loss, but Johnston gives the passing attack an added dimension with his size and speed.

The Horned Frogs defense has gotten better over the course of the season, and it has shown in how they’re winning games.

Many of the wins early on came in high-scoring affairs, but that hasn’t been the case in recent weeks.

Gillespie’s unit completely stifled Texas in a win in Austin and also dominated Texas Tech in a home win earlier this month. The offense wasn’t as crisp in those two, and the Frogs won because of their defense.

Taking away the Iowa State rushing attack and forcing the Cyclones into obvious passing situations will be key in this one.


Iowa State vs TCU Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Iowa State and TCU match up statistically:

Iowa State Offense vs. TCU Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 126 71
Line Yards 125 46
Pass Success 61 28
Pass Blocking** 89 113
Havoc 79 54
Finishing Drives 98 109
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

TCU Offense vs. Iowa State Defense
Offense
Defense
Edge
Rush Success 26 38
Line Yards 58 27
Pass Success 64 57
Pass Blocking** 31 64
Havoc 36 55
Finishing Drives 61 6
** Pass Blocking (Off.) vs. Pass Rush (Def.)

Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling 81 32
PFF Coverage 63 71
SP+ Special Teams 128 38
Seconds per Play 26.8 (78) 27.3 (87)
Rush Rate 45.1% (114) 55.7% (54)
Data via CollegeFootballData.com (CFBD), FootballOutsiders, SP+, Pro Football Focus and SportSource Analytics.

Iowa State vs TCU Betting Pick

Sometimes you don’t need to overcomplicate things. Both of these teams have played in tight games all season.

The Frogs have made the key plays to win all of theirs, and the Clones have made costly mistakes at critical times to lose most of theirs.

TCU has won just one Big 12 game by double digits, and Iowa State has lost only one conference game by more than 10. I don’t see that changing this week.

Iowa State’s defense will continue to be elite and get some stops, allowing the Cyclones to hang around in this one. As noted earlier, TCU is a bit beat up in its skill position areas, which should take away some of the explosiveness the Frogs offense possesses.

I ultimately expect TCU to pull this one out and get to 12-0, but I don’t see a blowout. Give me Iowa State getting the points in what should be a fun one Saturday afternoon.

I’m also going to endorse a play on the under here, as TCU’s defense continues to improve and now faces the worst offense it’s seen in some time.

Pick: Iowa State +10.5 · Under 48

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