TCU returns almost everyone on offense, but there are a lot of missing pieces on defense that have to be replaced, aside from the players, long-time defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas. Let’s look at the Horned Frogs.
Quick Facts on TCU
Last Year’s Record: 12-1
Location: Ft. Worth, Texas
Coach: Gary Patterson
Returning Offensive Starters: 10 (QB Trevone Boykin, WR Josh Doctson, OG Brady Foltz, WR Deante’ Gray, TB Aaron
Green, C Joey Hunt, WR Kolby Listenbee, OG Jamelle Naff, WR Ty Slanina, OT Halapoulivaati Vaita)
Returning Defensive Starters: 5 ( S Derrick Kindred, DE Terrell Lathan, DE James McFarland, DT Davion Pierson, CB Ranthony Texada)
The Morning Stake: Hays Inducted; Michigan DL Interested in Texas Tech
- QB Trevone Boykin (6-2/205: Oh, hey, this Boykin guy is pretty good. I learned that by doing some research. Pretty good is probably an understatement. Probably. Boykin was part of the Heisman conversation for most of the year, throwing for 300 yards a game, 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions with over 7.9 yards per attempt. That’s pretty good. Add to those stats, some of that rushing game of 54 yards a game and 8 touchdowns and you get a guy that should be a Heisman candidate again.
- FS Derrick Kindred (5-10/210): Kindred is the leading returning tackler and he also had 4 interceptions last year and a fumble recovery as well as 4.5 tackles for a loss and if I had to pick a guy that’s going to step it up and be the guy on defense, Kindred seems like a pretty good option. There’s a lot missing on defense and Kindred will be a senior and this makes a lot of sense.
- WR Josh Doctson (6-4/190): The thing about Doctson is that I can’t spell him name without thinking about it. Aside from that, Doctson is a guy that will absolutely explode and then he can be quiet and unassuming. Doctson had 225 yards against Oklahoma State on just 7 catches and he only had 2 other 100 yard games, against Texas and against Iowa State. So yes, Doctson can absolutely kill you. But it’s the threat and sometimes that’s more than enough.
- They’ll Just Out-Score You: This this thought that Texas Tech can just about out-score any team. You know, you can sorta think about the holes in various parts of opposing team’s offenses and think to yourself that you can just out-score them. Don’t even go there with the Horned Frogs. They return 10 of 11 starters and they look to be absolutely nightmarish to have to defend on Saturdays. The one area where you could talk me into having to TCU not being ridiculously deep is running back, but c’mon, we know that TCU has plenty of running backs, they’re just not proven, but that’s probably okay.
- Defensive Questions: The best thing that you can hope as a Texas Tech fan is that TCU does have some questions about their defense. I’m sure that the questions will be answered in short-order, but we can still talk about them. They do lose long-time defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas, who retired. Obviously, head coach Gary Patterson is fairly adept and I’m sure that he’ll take over those duties to an extent as well as Chad Glasgow and Demontie Cross as co-defensive coordinators. I am sure that there will be some drop-off because you sorta have to have that much respect for a guy like Bumpas, but I’d also guess that they’ve got things down pretty pat in the 4-2-5. Still, there’s something to be said about calling the right play and until you do that, you aren’t sure what you’ll get. The other issue for TCU is that they graduated a ton of talent defensively. The guys that moved on were pretty well the best players on the defense, including three in the secondary, both linebackers and a defensive lineman.
- Talking Offense: This is the third opponent of the first four that returns pretty much the entire offensive line with UTEP, Arkansas and now TCU returning four of five starters on the line. I think that Halapoulivaati Vaitai is one of the best in the conference, although TCU is solid pretty much up and down the entire line. The problem that defenses will face is that there’s really not a bad player on the offensive side of the ball. You look for weak points and they’ve got the big outside receivers and they’ve got really talented inside receivers. There’s really not a weak point. And TCU will be playing a relatively easy schedule leading up to Texas Tech, heading to Minnesota and then hosting Stephen F. Austin and SMU. The biggest thought I have here is that maybe the Horned Frogs won’t really be going at all cylinders when they face Texas Tech and the starters won’t have played a lot of football when this game rolls around.
- Plenty Returning on Defense: Yes, I do think that the backbone of TCU’s defense is gone, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t return any talent. I think the best of the bunch is Davion Pierson at defensive tackle, who had 30 tackles, 8 for a loss, plus 3.5 sacks and 6 quarterback hurries. Also on the line is Terrell Lathan, who had 23 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks and 6 quarterback hurries. James McFarland had 41 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and 7 sacks. I’ve already mentioned Derrick Kindred, but up-and-coming Ranthony Texada and Cameron Echols-Luper are your best bets to pick against the defense. Two young cornerbacks and I think that’s your best bet.
- 82-27: I’m not real sure where to start with this. Obviously embarrassing, a complete beat-down and one of many beat-downs that TCU handed out last year, although this was the worst. There were allegations that former defensive coordinator Matt Wallerstedt gave TCU some of Texas Tech’s defensive signals and it was a shit-show to the highest degree. The offense was looking okay early, but was clearly out-classed by the time it was all said and done with Sonny Cumbie running up the score (not a problem with this) and Texas Tech looking like they were making excuses with the stealing signals it just looked pathetic. So, it’s a year later and TCU pretty much returns the offense that put up 82 and Texas Tech pretty much returns the defense that allowed 82. So what’s the game plan here? I’m not sure. Pretty insightful, and it comes off of the week where there’s a pretty good chance that no matter the outcome, Arkansas is going to beat you up pretty good, while TCU will be relatively fresh because they will have faced SMU. The score last year was terrible and it just may have been one of those games, the type of game that you can’t really give a big explanation about how or why it happened the way that it did, just say that stuff happens and to try to give any more of an explanation looks like an excuse rather than a legitimate football talking point. Maybe the one thing that you could say is that TCU isn’t going to score 82 again and I think this is a game that’s a track meet and I think this will be a game where Texas Tech is going to have to be similar to that of Arkansas. Don’t give them the ball, long and sustained drives.