#22 TCU Football Preview

Texas Christian University

Overall Rank: #22
#2 Mountain West Conference
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2010 Record: (13-0, 8-0)
2010 Bowl: Rose Bowl vs. Wisconsin (W 21-19)
Coach: Gary Patterson (98-28)
Offensive Coordinator: Jarrett Anderson and Justin Fuente
Defensive Coordinator: Dick Bumpas

Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Ed Wesley, RB, 1,093 yards
Passing: Casey Pachall, QB, 78 yards
Receiving: Josh Boyce, WR, 646 yards
Tackles: Tanner Brock, LB, 106
Sacks: Tank Carder, LB, 3.5
Interceptions: Greg McCoy, CB, 2

Other Key Returnees: Logan Brock TE, Kyle Dooley G, Antoine Hicks WR, Greg McCoy CB

Key Losses: Andy Dalton QB, Jeremy Kerley WR, Marcus Cannon T, Cory Grant DT, Tejay Johnson S, Jason Teague CB

The loss of Andy Dalton appears a crucial loss to the powerful Horned Frogs, but the real strength of this team is the defense. Six defensive starters return in 2011 after a year in which TCU led the nation in total defense, passing defense, and scoring defense. They also ranked fifth in rushing defense, granting an advantage in tempo and time of possession battles.
The offense loses Dalton, two of three starting receivers, and four linemen. The difference between upperclass and underclass wide receivers can be negligible in a predominantly spread style offensive scheme, so replacing them should not prove too difficult. However, the losses of Dalton and four starting linemen, tackles Marcus Cannon and Zach Roth, guard Josh Vernon, and center Jake Kirkpatrick, will be difficult to overcome. Three underclassmen will be tasked with taking over on the front five, and a sophomore at quarterback.

The running game was monstrous in 2010 averaging nearly 250 yards and three touchdowns per game. Coach Gary Patterson runs a unique offense that is most similar to the old West Coast Offense. He tends to keep defenses off balance with shifts and motions into several one-back sets. This opens the field enough to support a strong running attack with efficient passing mixed in. If quarterback Casey Pachall can effectively keep the defenses guessing, he could display a high accuracy rating and big passing numbers.

The Horned Frog’s schedule remains weak, which continues to hurt their chances of a top-2 ranking. The Mountain West lost the University of Utah to the Pac-12, but added Boise State. Non-conference games against Baylor, Louisiana-Monroe, Portland State, and Southern Methodist will not help The Horned Frog’s bid. In 2012, TCU will be headed to the Big East Conference in an obvious attempt to nab a BCS bid from a perceived weak conference. For this season, however, they must run the table and get some help if they want a chance for an at-large bid.

The Bottom Line:
The loss of some key components to the offense, mainly in the form of offensive linemen, should put a damper on an otherwise strong overall team. Boise State will be tough to overcome for a conference championship, leaving TCU to pick up the scraps in a non-BCS bowl game. Expect a great showing from the defense, especially considering weak opponents for the majority of the season, exceptions being San Diego State, Boise State, and potentially Brigham Young.

Projected Bowl: Poinsettia Bowl

2010 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 247.38 (10th in nation, 2nd in conference)
Passing Offense: 229.46 (53, 3)
Total Offense: 476.85 (12, 1)
Scoring Offense: 41.62 (4, 1)
Rushing Defense: 99.69 (5, 1)
Pass Defense: 128.77 (1, 1)
Total Defense: 228.46 (1, 1)
Scoring Defense: 12.00 (1, 1)
Turnover Margin: .69 (20, 1)
Sacks: 2.08 (54, 3)
Sacks Allowed: .69 (5, 2)

Madness 2012 NFL Draft Rankings:
#86 Tank Carder

Madness 2011 Football Recruit Rankings:
#123 LaDarius Brown

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