Mid-Summer Preview: TCU

Last season the week after TCU lost in a fourth quarter meltdown and an all-around shoot out to Baylor in Waco 61-58, Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson was admitting to those close to him that he messed it up. He tried to get his trademark 4-2-5 defense and his new explosive air raid offense to play together.

That is a difficult thing to do and Patterson realized that the best approach with both sides of the ball is to let them do what they do best, attack, attack, attack. The beauty of the situation is Patterson has the talent on both sides of the ball to do it and make it count for a Big 12 championship. A title the Frogs could very well have won outright last season.

Quarterback play in the Big 12 is paramount and TCU has the returning top signal caller in Trevone Boykin. The bonus is they have an experienced back-up and some very talented yet not as experienced quarterbacks behind the top duo that will give the Frogs a big chance to keep the fun going past this season.

Boykin is so dangerous with a big-time arm that has learned the mandatory throws in the option route wide open spread attack that Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie have come in and installed and have well oiled. Defenses can’t back up too much because Boykin is as dangerous tucking the ball and running.

Aaron Green and Kyle Hicks give the Frogs weapons in the backfield, and the receiver position has Josh Doctson, speedster Kolby Listenbee, Ja’Juan Story and Emmanuel Porter. Ty Slanina is an inside receiver that gets the offense and can confuse coverage. The offensive line returns four of five starters including standout left tackle Hala Vaitai and all-league candidate Joey Hunt at center.

Stopping TCU will be nearly an impossible task for any defense in college football. Go ask Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl how much fun they had trying to stop the Frogs.

The defense may need a few weeks and games to get up to any kind of level that Patterson can live with. The front is solid with defensive tackle Davion Pierson returning and also end James McFarland. However, linebackers were depleted with graduation and even though it is a 4-2-5 those two at linebacker are important. They may be starting two freshman. The other issue is the secondary will be young with only corner Ranthony Texada and free safety Derrick Kindred returning.

Patterson has the right mindset as he is keeping his team humble and hungry going into the season, just like it will be for Baylor. Any of the other teams that seemingly have a chance to break through will face TCU in November, and that will decide who wears the crown. Yes, one true champion in the Big 12.

2015 TCU HORNED FROGS (12-0 / 9-0)
9/3 @Minnesota – Tough opener with a solid team on the road but the Frogs survive 34-31.
9/12 Stephen F. Austin – Extra days to prepare for home opener spells bad news for SFA 58-13.
9/19 SMU – Chad Morris comes to town for the Iron Skillet and gets hammered by it 41-17.
9/26 @Texas Tech – Cumbie homecoming is a 49-31 TCU win.
10/3 Texas – TCU loves to pound Texas and the Horns are vulnerable 43-14.
10/10 @Kansas State – Battle of the purple goes to TCU 48-10.
10/17 @Iowa State – Frogs really unleash fury in Ames to win 66-24.
10/29 West Virginia – Thursday night national game in Fort Worth and TCU is ready to show off, 41-14.
11/7 @Oklahoma State – A little extra time to prepare for the Cowboys and TCU wins in Stillwater for the first time in the Big 12, 35-23.
11/14 Kansas – Jayhawks no match for this despite the close call last season. TCU wins 66-13.
11/21 @Oklahoma – TCU wins in Norman 54-27.
11/27 Baylor - Friday after Thanksgiving and Frogs make sure this time there is no tie at the top, winning 49-20.

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