#11 TCU Football 2016 Preview

TCU Horned Frogs
Overall Rank: #11
#2 Big 12
Injuries hampered TCU’s 2015 season, but the Horned Frogs still only lost two games, at Oklahoma State and at Oklahoma. The team ended the year with an impressive offensive showing in a 47-41 win over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl and they will ride that momentum into 2016. The offense has some big holes to fill, most notably at quarterback, but if the defense can get healthy and stay healthy, TCU will be eyeing a Big 12 title.
2015 Record: 11-2, 7-2
2015 Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. Oregon (W 47-41)
Coach: Gary Patterson (143-47 at TCU, 143-47 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Sonny Cumbie, Doug Meacham
Defensive Coordinator: Chad Glasgow
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Kyle Hicks, RB, 262 yards; Trevorris Johnson, RB, 262 yards
Passing: None
Receiving: KaVontae Turpin, WR, 649 yards
Tackles: Travin Howard, LB, 105
Sacks: Josh Carraway, DE, 9.0
Interceptions: 4 tied with 1
Other Key Returnees: WR Shaun Nixon, S Denzel Johnson, LB Montrel Wilson, S Nick Orr, LB Ty Summers
Key Losses: RB Aaron Green, QB Trevone Boykin, WR Josh Doctson, WR Koby Listenbee, OL Joey Hunt, OL Halapoulivaati Vaitai, DT Davion Pierson, S Derrick Kindred, CB Corry O’Meally
The front line will welcome the return of James McFarland, who led the team with 7.0 sacks in 2014. He missed all of last season with a broken toe. McFarland will team up with last year’s sack leader, Josh Carraway, to form a very dangerous pass rushing duo. The group at linebacker was pretty much thrown together last season, but suddenly it is a very talented and experienced group. Travin Howard led the team with 105 tackles last season after making the move from safety. Montrel Wilson, who totaled 61 tackles, also moved from safety to linebacker last season and played very well. Ty Summers ranked third on the team with 86 tackles as a freshman. They will be joined by Sammy Douglas who started week one last season before missing the rest of the year with an injury. The secondary has a few more concerns. Nick Orr and Denzel Johnson return at safety, but TCU will miss Derrick Kindred, who recorded 87 tackles and led the team with two interceptions. At cornerback, redshirt freshman Jeff Gladney will likely be thrown into the mix and TCU will have to rely heavily on Ranthony Texada, who missed most of last season with an injury. As a freshman two years ago, Texada started all 13 games and was a Freshman All-American according to some outlets.
TCU’s Air Raid offense will have a lot of new pieces in it this year. Last year it was Trevone Boykin throwing to Josh Doctson over and over again. Those two are gone. Kenny Hill and Foster Sawyer are fighting for the starting quarterback spot. Hill is a transfer from Texas A&M and Sawyer threw 27 passes for TCU last season as one of the backups to Boykin. KaVontae Turpin is the top returning receiver, catching 45 passes for 649 yards and eight touchdowns. Fellow sophomores Jarrison Stewart and Jaelan Austin are back as well. Deante’ Gray will be in the mix too. He missed last season after catching 36 passes for 582 yards and eight touchdowns in 2014. At running back, Kyle Hicks and Shaun Nixon will have to carry the load. Hicks rushed for 262 yards and three touchdowns on 55 carries last season. Nixon spent most of the season at wide receiver, where he caught 47 passes for 501 yards, but he is a running back who just has the versatility to switch out wide when needed. Look for Hicks to attempt to pick up the tough yards, while Nixon is a better fit for the offense with his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. 
The Bottom Line:
TCU has the potential to have a superb defense. However, the offense has the potential to come nowhere close to putting up 42.1 points per game again this year. The offensive line has to reload and rebuild and that could spell trouble with a new quarterback, new top wide receiver and new top running back. The Horned Frogs will not have to wait long to see where they stand. Their Big 12 opener, on October 1st, is at home against Oklahoma. A win there and TCU will be the favorite to win the conference heading into a three game stretch against Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas in November.
Projected Bowl: Sugar Bowl
2015 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 215.4 (24th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 347.5 (8, 3)
Total Offense: 562.8 (3, 3)
Scoring Offense: 42.1 (7, 4)
Rushing Defense: 182.6 (80, 5)
Pass Defense: 215.8 (56, 2)
Total Defense: 398.4 (63, 4)
Scoring Defense: 27.2 (64, 3)
Turnover Margin: 0.00 (66, 6)
Sacks: 2.46 (35, 6)
Sacks Allowed: 1.38 (27, 2)

Madness 2016 Recruit Rankings:
#126 Austin Myers
#146 Isiah Graham
#166 Sewo Olonilua