Four matchups to watch in TCU’s Big 12 opener at Houston

There are a number of intriguing matchups to watch during TCU’s Big 12 opener at Houston Saturday night.

The obvious one is the battle of the quarterbacks between Chandler Morris and Donovan Smith, but there are more including a number of fascinating matchups in the secondary and one up front.

Here are three that could decide the outcome of the Horned Frogs’ battle with the Cougars:

Josh Newton vs. Sam Brown

The best cornerback in the Big 12 versus the conference’s leader in receiving yards and receptions should be a fun one. Newton was fantastic in TCU’s win over Nicholls State and looked like the All-American that he is while Brown had his second straight 100-yard receiving game. Can Newton be the first one to keep him under the century mark?

Andrew Coker vs. Nelson Ceasar

The only player on Houston’s roster to record a sack so far is Ceasar, who is tied with a few other players for the most sacks in the Big 12 with three. Coker, TCU’s left tackle, could find himself matched up the most with Ceasar. The Horned Frogs haven’t given up a sack yet this season, can they keep Morris clean for another game?

Savion Williams vs. Malik Fleming

Williams has yet to break out and become TCU’s No. 1 receiver after having just two catches against Colorado and sitting out last week’s win over Nicholls. Saturday would be an ideal time for Williams to showcase his talent, but he could matched up with the small, but tough Fleming. Fleming has the second most interceptions in the league and plays much bigger than his 5-foot-8 stature.

Chandler Morris vs. Donovan Smith

Last but not least you have to take a look at the matchup under center. Both Morris and Smith have shown flashes of brilliance while also having some frustrating moments. For Morris that was throwing two costly picks against Colorado; for Smith it was watching Rice jump out to a 28-0 lead as his offense was out of sorts.

We know both are talented, dual-threat quarterbacks, but the key will be about who plays the cleanest game and is able to make the simple plays more consistently. I’m talking about being accurate and on time on third and shorts and avoiding turnovers in the redzone. Whoever is able to do that will have a greater chance of leading their team to a conference win.