#32 TCU Football 2017 Preview


TCU Horned Frogs


Overall Rank: #32

#6 Big 12

TCU suffered through a very difficult 2016 campaign. With a change in quarterback entering 2016, the Horned Frogs were never able to replicate their offense that was so successful under former signal caller Trevone Boykin. The result was a disappointing 6-7 record and a loss to Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. Without improvement from quarterback Kenny Hill, TCU could be in for another tough season.
2016 Record: 6-7, 4-5
2016 Bowl: Liberty Bowl vs. Georgia (L 23-31)
Coach: Gary Patterson (149-54 at TCU, 149-54 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Sonny Cumbie, Curtis Luper
Defensive Coordinator: Chad Glasgow
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Kyle Hicks, RB, 1,042 yards
Passing: Kenny Hill, QB, 3,208 yards
Receiving: Taj Williams, WR, 702 yards
Tackles: Travin Howard, S, 130
Sacks: Matt Boesen, DE, 6.0
Interceptions: Nick Orr, S, 4
Other Key Returnees: WR John Diarse, WR KaVontae Turpin, LB Ty Summers, S Niko Small, LB Sammy Douglas, CB Jeff Glandney, CB Ranthony Texada
Key Losses: DL Josh Carraway, DL Aaron Curry, S Denzel Johnson
Kenny Hill should be improved though with a year of starting experience under his belt. He did complete a decent 61.1 percent of his passes for 3,208 yards. However, his 17 touchdowns and Big 12 high 13 interceptions need to be improved upon. There are also big questions at wide receiver. Taj Williams, John Diarse and Kyle Turpin are back, but dropped passes were a big problem last season. The return of Shaun Nixon, who caught 47 passes in 2015 before missing last year with an injury, should help. But do not be surprised if TCU sticks to the ground a little bit more in 2017. Kyle Hicks rushed for 1,042 yards and a dozen touchdowns and led the team with 47 receptions. He is a dynamic threat who can carry this team. Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua are not as dangerous in the pass catching department, but both should get plenty of carries.
One thing TCU did very well last season was get to the quarterback. They averaged 3.31 sacks per game. Only a handful of teams averaged more sacks than that. However, defensive tackle Chris Brady is the only returning starter on the line. There are options though. Mat Boesen tallied 6.0 sacks and is more than ready to start at one of the end spots. The other end will likely be manned by Louisiana-Monroe transfer Ben Banogu. Travin Howard and Ty Summers are one of the most productive linebacker duos in the country. Howard led the conference with 130 tackles last season, while Summers added 121. The secondary is loaded too. Cornerbacks Ranthony Texada, Julius Lewis and Jeff Gladney are experienced and proven playmakers. At safety, Nick Orr tallied 86 tackles and a team high four interceptions last season, while Niko Small added 83 tackles and two interceptions. As long as the front four can get bigger and tougher while still getting to the quarterback, this will be a defense that can keep TCU competitive in the Big 12. 
The Bottom Line:
The last time TCU had a losing record, in 2013, they came back and went 12-1 the following year. This group may not be able to do that again, but the Horned Frogs should be better. If everything goes right, they can compete for a Big 12 title. If not, they will meddle in the middle of the pack again. The Big 12 opener at Oklahoma State and the November 11th trip to Oklahoma will probably keep TCU out of the title chase, but every other game on the schedule is very winnable.
Projected Bowl: Cactus Bowl
2016 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 195.0 (46th in nation, 6th in conference)
Passing Offense: 268.2 (29, 5)
Total Offense: 463.2 (29, 7)
Scoring Offense: 31.0 (52, 8)
Rushing Defense: 185.8 (73, 4)
Pass Defense: 238.9 (77, 4)
Total Defense: 424.8 (73, 2)
Scoring Defense: 28.0 (64, 4)
Turnover Margin: -0.31 (90, 7)
Sacks: 3.31 (6, 2)
Sacks Allowed: 2.38 (89, 6)
Madness 2017 Recruit Rankings:
#78 Jalen Reagor
#166 Omar Manning
#205 Shawn Robinson