Entering last season, expectations for TCU, which had gone 11-14 in its first two seasons in the Big 12, were tempered. This season, it’s college football playoffs or bust.
The Horned Frogs went 12-1 last year, and although they felt slighted by missing out on an invite to the inaugural playoffs, they sent a message to the college football world with a 42-3 shellacking of Ole Miss in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Heisman candidate quarterback Trevone Boykin, top running back Aaron Green and top two receivers Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee all return, meaning TCU has a good chance to replicate last year’s silly 533 yards and 46.5 points per game. Combine that with Gary Patterson’s dominant 4-2-5 defense, and it’s no wonder the Horned Frogs are ranked No. 2 entering the year.
All that said, TCU’s opener is anything but a walkover. Minnesota loses David Cobb and Maxx Williams this year, but quarterback Mitch Leidner has reportedly made significant strides this offseason, and the defense features an excellent secondary led by NFL prospects Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Eric Murray.
Still, despite playing at home, the Golden Gophers, who lost to TCU by 23 last year, are 16-point underdogs.
Kickoff for this one is Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN. If you can’t get to a TV, here’s how to watch online and on mobile:
Watch TCU vs. Minnesota Online
If you have the log-in info for a cable subscription with access to WatchESPN, you can watch the game at WatchESPN.com. You’ll need a cable log-in and password, or the log-in and password of someone you know, to access the stream.
You can also watch ESPN through Sling TV, which is an online streaming service that provides coverage of a handful of channels (including ESPN and ESPN2) for a monthly fee. They offer a free seven-day trial.
Watch TCU vs. Minnesota on Mobile
Mobile and tablet users with access to Watch ESPN can watch the game on the Watch ESPN app. As is the case with desktop, you’ll need the log-in for a cable subscription with access to ESPN. You can download the app for free in the App Store , the Google Play store, the Amazon App store or the Windows Store.
Editor’s note: Football is around the corner, and Heavy’s partners at DraftKings have the best NFL and college contests. Sign up with DraftKings promo code HEAVY and get a $600 deposit bonus with no season-long commitment.