Players to Watch: vs. TCU

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TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (7) runs with the ball past Oklahoma State linebacker Kirk Tucker (12) during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016, in Fort Worth, Texas.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Jim Cowsert
  • Kenny Hill
  • Quarterback #7

In 2014, Hill manufactured a magical start to Texas A&M’s season. Nicknamed “Kenny Trill,” his name frequently appeared on early-season Heisman-contender lists. 

Hill has since transferred to TCU, but is still capable of putting up eye-opening numbers on offense. He has thrown for 400 yards on three occasions this year, including in a stellar five-touchdown performance against Oklahoma. 

In recent weeks though, the offense has shifted away from the air raid, meaning the senior’s passes have decreased. But with his star receiver KaVontae Turpin back from injury, Hill may find more comfort back in the pocket once again and return to his early-season success.

 

  • Kyle Hicks
  • Running back #21

The Horned Frogs suffered from a lackluster offensive performance in their 25-point loss to Oklahoma State. But the week before, Hicks propelled the unit to great success. 

The junior from Arlington ran for a career-high 192 yards and five touchdowns in Waco in a 62-22 week ten victory. Hicks has eclipsed the 100 rushing yard mark four times this season and also serves as a steady receiving threat. He ranks second on the team in receptions with 35 and third on the team in receiving yards. 

Hicks averaged fewer than two yards per carry in the 31-6 loss to Oklahoma State and will look to revert to stardom against the Texas defense.

 

  • Josh Carraway
  • Defensive end #94

The Horned Frog defense ranks eighth nationally in sacks, providing consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Texas offensive line should be most wary of Carraway, the fifth-year senior from Flower Mound. 

Carraway leads TCU with seven sacks in 2016. He has sustained success throughout a long college career, earning First Team All-Big 12 honors a season ago. Back in 2014, he recorded the first full sack in his career against the Texas Longhorns in a 48-10 victory on Thanksgiving.

 

  • Travin Howard
  • Outside linebacker #32

Howard is the multipurpose leader of the TCU defense. The junior outside linebacker has been a forceful run-stopper and a decent pass-defender. In recent weeks, he has added pass rushing to his arsenal of defensive strengths, earning 1.5 sacks in three games. 

Howard is atop the Big 12 and fifth in the nation in total tackles with 108. He tied a career-high with 19 tackles against Texas Tech’s offense in week nine, holding the Red Raider offense to 17 points in regulation. Howard has additionally accumulated two pass deflections and an interception this year, while excelling in the zone coverage. His presence will be felt around the field in Austin on Friday and may impact the game in a multitude of ways.