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Houston calling: Cougars make their Big 12 debut against TCU with both teams seeking momentum

TCU (1-1) at Houston (1-1), Saturday, 8 p.m. ET (FOX)

Line: TCU by 7 ½, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Houston leads 13-12.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Both teams are in need of a win in their Big 12 opener after both teams suffered disappointing losses in the first two weeks of the season. TCU followed up last season’s trip to the national championship with a season-opening loss to Colorado. The Cougars won their opener against UTSA before falling to cross-town rival Rice in double overtime last weekend. Saturday is Houston’s Big 12 debut after the Cougars moved up from the American Athletic Conference this season.

KEY MATCHUP

Houston QB Donovan Smith vs. TCU’s secondary. The Horned Frogs rank 126th in the nation in giving up 343.5 yards passing per game. Smith, a transfer from Texas Tech, has thrown for 493 yards with four touchdowns and has 88 yards rushing with three more scores.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

TCU: QB Chandler Morris. The sophomore has thrown for 542 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions. He’s also a threat to run and has 93 yards rushing with two more TDs.

Houston: WR Samuel Brown leads the Big 12 with 15 receptions and 244 yards receiving. His 244 yards receiving are the most by a Cougar through two games in the last 20 years.

FACTS & FIGURES

These teams are in the same conference for the third time after playing in the Southwest Conference together from 1976-1995 and Conference USA from 2001-04. … TCU coach Sonny Dykes and Houston coach Dana Holgorsen worked as assistants at Texas Tech under Mike Leach from 2000-06. … This is the first meeting between the teams since Andy Dalton led TCU to a 20-13 win over Case Keenum and the Cougars in the 2007 Texas Bowl. … TCU has won the last eight meetings in the series. Houston’s last win over the Horned Frogs was a 49-46 victory in 1992. … TCU has won six straight true road games.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll