#27 TCU Football 2021 Preview

TCU Horned Frogs
Overall Rank: #27
#4 Big 12
 TCU Logo
Like the previous two campaigns, TCU suffered through another average season in 2020. The good news is that the Horned Frogs finished strong, beating five of their last six opponents following a 1-3 start. There are some big holes to fill, especially on defense, but this is a more veteran group now and they should find a way to make 2021 look more like the end of 2020 instead of the beginning.
2020 Record: 6-4, 5-4
2020 Bowl: Texas Bowl vs. Arkansas (Canceled)
Coach: Gary Patterson (178-74 at TCU, 178-74 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Doug Meacham
Defensive Coordinator: Chad Glasgow
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: Max Duggan, QB, 526 yards
Passing: Max Duggan, QB, 1,795 yards
Receiving: Quentin Johnston, WR, 487 yards
Tackles: Dee Winters, LB, 65
Sacks: Ochaun Mathis, DE, 9.0
Interceptions: C.J. Ceasar II, CB, 3
Other Key Returnees: RB Zach Evans, RB Kendre Miller, WR Taye Barber, WR Derius Davis, WR Blair Conwright, S La’Kendrick Van Zandt, CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, DE Khari Coleman, P Jordy Sandy
Key Losses: RB Darwin Barlow, LB Garret Wallow, DB Trevon Moehrig, DB Ar’Darius Washington
TCU boasted the Big 12’s best ground game in 2020. The Horned Frogs had four different players rush for at least 100 yards in a game last season and Zach Evans and Kendre Miller are back to lead the way. Emari Demercado totaled 199 yards on the season and is more than capable of stepping up and replacing the production lost with the transfer of Darwin Barlow. Quarterback Max Duggan was the other player to rush for over 100 yards in a game and the junior actually led the team with 526 yards on the ground. He also added 1,795 yards in the air with ten touchdowns and four interceptions. Quentin Johnson made a lot of big plays as a freshman, catching 22 passes and averaged over 22 yards per catch. Taye Barber and Derius Davis will stretch the field too so Duggan should have plenty of options down the field.
The TCU pass rush got much better as the 2020 season progressed and that was a huge reason for their turnaround in fortunes. Ochaun Mathis ended the campaign with 9.0 sacks and the Horned Frogs will need him to pick up where he left off. Tackle Corey Bethley and end Khari Coleman provide the defensive line with plenty of proven players. Dee Winters is the leader at linebacker and the secondary boasts a lot of talent. C.J. Ceasar II intercepted three passes last year and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson led the Big 12 with 13 pass breakups. Memphis transfer T.J. Carter has seven career interceptions. If the pass rush can stay consistent, TCU will make enough big plays to make up for giving up the occasional big play.
The Bottom Line:
If the defense stays healthy and Duggan can add a consistent passing attack to go with his dangerous legs, TCU will be battling for a Big 12 title. Two of their first three conference games are against Texas and Oklahoma so it will not take too long to learn if the Horned Frogs are a serious contender or if they will win seven or eight games and go to a mid-level bowl.
Projected Bowl:  Cheez-It Bowl
2020 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 214.7 (20th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 196.3 (99, 8)
Total Offense: 411.0 (51, 7)
Scoring Offense: 30.8 (45, 4)
Rushing Defense: 127.5 (24, 3)
Pass Defense: 223.4 (51, 5)
Total Defense: 350.9 (30, 4)
Scoring Defense: 24.2 (35, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.20 (51, 5)
Sacks: 2.70 (33, 4)
Sacks Allowed: 2.30 (71, 6)