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Friday, September 14, 2012
Who will transform tomorrow: Week 3

By David Ubben

Tomorrow's a snooze-worthy set of Big 12 games, but league play starts off in Lawrence, Kansas, where TCU makes a trip to KU for its first conference game as a Big 12 member.

Looking for the player who'll transform on Saturday? Look no further than Memorial Stadium.

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall's an under-the-radar star in this league, and that may not necessarily change after this weekend, but he's about to offer Big 12 fans a big reminder of what they have to face when TCU's the team on the schedule.

Pachall's got good speed and hardly needs to even use it, thanks to a big, accurate arm and solid pocket presence.

Big 12 fans are used to big numbers in the passing game, so even though he set a school record with his 2,921 yards last year, most folks around the league mostly shrug at the number.

That's not wholly fair, though, especially for an improving second-year starter preparing for conference play to begin on Saturday. Pachall threw just 343 passes a year ago, which would have ranked just seventh in the league.

Look a little closer, though, considering that lack of attempts. First off, the biggest reason why was TCU's penchant for blowing out teams in Mountain West conference games. The Frogs might do it again on Saturday, but it won't happen often in the Big 12.

That means more pass attempts for Pachall, which should mean big numbers and a new school record. Pachall averaged 8.5 yards per attempt last season. Only Baylor's Robert Griffin III was better last year.

Pachall's yards per attempt were even higher than Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden. He threw just seven interceptions to 25 touchdowns.

He completed just 66 percent of his passes, and he'd surely like to see that number grow, but he's already off to a good start. He completed all nine of his passes against Grambling last week for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

It'll be tough to duplicate that eye-popping passer rating (397.6), but Pachall's going to be great as TCU breaks the seal on Big 12 play.