TCU at BYU Preview

Provo, UT - After ending BYU's BCS hopes last season, TCU knows it has little room for error if it wants to secure a major bowl bid.

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The 10th-ranked Horned Frogs go for their ninth straight victory Saturday night, when they try to snap the 16th-ranked Cougars' conference-record 13-game home winning streak.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made TCU –2.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 66% of bets for this game have been placed on TCU –2.5 (View College Football bet percentages).

TCU (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West), which owns the nation's fourth-longest overall winning streak, goes for its second straight victory over BYU (6-1, 3-0) after defeating the then-No. 9 Cougars 32-7 on Oct. 16, 2008.

BYU had the nation's longest winning streak - 16 - heading into that visit to TCU.

"Nobody has been able to do that to BYU for a couple of years,'' Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said after the program's most lopsided win ever over a top-10 team. "No way I could have seen it coming.''

TCU, though, lost its chance at winning the Mountain West by falling 13-10 at then-No. 10 Utah on Nov. 6.

The Horned Frogs are hoping they'll still be in the BCS conversation when they host the Utes this Nov. 14, but a win over the Cougars remains their immediate priority.

"BYU, that's what I'm focused on,'' junior Jeremy Kerley said.

Kerley, fifth in punt returns in the Football Bowl Subdivision with a 17.1-yard average, has returned two for scores in the last three games. His 69-yarder in last week's 44-6 win over Colorado State gave the Frogs a 17-6 lead heading into halftime.

"That play happened at a perfect time,'' senior quarterback Andy Dalton said after completing 15 of 23 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns.

Although TCU ranks 16th in the FBS in scoring with 33.8 points per game, the Horned Frogs are averaging 3.5 in the first quarter.

"We always seem to start slow,'' said Patterson, whose team is ranked eighth in the initial BCS standings released Sunday. "I wish we'd start faster, I'd feel better."

A win in Provo would also make Patterson feel better about his team's chances of securing a MWC title.

BYU has won a record 13 straight Mountain West home games since a 41-34 overtime loss to Utah on Nov. 19, 2005. The Cougars, who have won four straight overall, are also 23-2 at home since a 51-50 defeat - also in overtime - to TCU on Sept. 24, 2005.

Senior quarterback Max Hall looks to continue BYU's dominance at LaVell Edwards Stadium after going 27 for 39 for a season-high 346 yards with three TDs in last week's 38-28 win at San Diego State.

Hall also rushed for a career-best 47 yards, including a 1-yard score with no time left in the first half.

"They had four guys in the A gap, so I just took off to the outside with it,'' he said. "It was one of those last-minute decisions where I thought, 'This is either going to be really good or really bad.' It turned out pretty good.''

Hall was not as fortunate in last season's meeting with TCU. He was intercepted twice and sacked seven times, four by All-American defensive end Jerry Hughes.

Hughes, who also forced two fumbles in that game, is tied for fourth in the FBS with eight sacks this season.

TCU ranks fourth in the nation in total defense, allowing 238.0 yards per game. It will face a stiff challenge from a BYU team averaging 38.6 points, sixth in the FBS.

Cougars junior Harvey Unga, who leads the MWC with 95.8 rushing yards per game, has ran for at least one touchdown in each of his last five games.

TCU ranks eighth in the nation in rushing defense, allowing 81.2 yards per game, and has yielded three rushing touchdowns.

Unga rushed for two scores in a 27-22 victory over the visiting Horned Frogs on Nov. 8, 2007.

BYU leads the all-time series 5-3.

Bet College Football Week 8

Posted: 10/21/09 1:40AM ET

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