The TCU Horned Frogs have a new head coach for the first time since the year 2000. Gary Patterson elected to retire after the 2021 season resulting in the hire of Sonny Dykes. TCU has not won seven or more games since the 2018 season. Dykes will be looking to bring TCU back to the mid 2010s when Patterson had them at the top of the Big 12 consistently. From 2014 to 2017 the Horned Frogs won at least 11 games in three of the four seasons. Today’s 99 Things will look into Sonny Dykes’ first season leading the Horned Frogs.
One of the first tasks for Dykes is determining a starting quarterback. Max Duggan is the incumbent quarterback who has started 29 games in his career. Duggan threw for 2,048 yards, 16 touchdowns and six interceptions las season. He is likely to be named the starter again but he will be challenged by Chandler Morris. Morris transferred from Oklahoma where he was the 18th ranked dual threat quarterback in the 2020 class. Morris stepped in against Baylor having one of the best performances of the season. He completed 29 of 41 pass attempts for 461 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown. Sam Jackson is also competing with Duggan and Morris. Jackson is a former wide receiver with elite potential as a runner. He still needs to work on his throwing ability before taking over at the starting quarterback.
The biggest loss on the offense was Zach Evans. Evans chose to enter the transfer portal before eventually choosing Ole Miss. The Horned Frogs already have a formidable replacement on the roster in Kendre Miller. Miller was second on the team in rushing yards last season. He finished with 623 yards and seven touchdowns while also averaging 7.5 yards per carry. The receivers are led by Quentin Johnston. Johnston only played in eight games but still led the team with 634 yards and six touchdowns. He averaged a staggering 19.2 yards per reception. Derius Davis and Taye Barber also return to help the offense. Davis and Barber combined for over 60 receptions, 1,000 receiving yards and four total touchdowns.
The defense is undertaking a full overhaul. Dykes will be switching the defensive scheme from a 4-2-5 to a 3-3-5. Last year’s defense was poor in numerous facets of the game. They allowed 35 points per game, had a nonexistent pass rush, could not force turnovers and were one of the worst in third down situations. The defense forced a total of three fumbles over the course of the season. Only three players registered at least 2.0 sacks and only eight registered at least 1.0 sacks. TCU was 124th in third down defense allowing opponents to convert on almost 47% of attempts. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson was one of the lone bright spots on the defense. He registered 41 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and seven passes defended. Hodges-Tomlinson will likely be one of the leaders of the TCU defense.
TCU opens their non-conference slate on the road against Colorado. Tarleton State is their next opponent after the Buffaloes. The Horned Frogs will travel to SMU in week three. TCU’s Big 12 schedule is highlighted by a visit from Oklahoma. They will also host Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Iowa State and Texas Tech. Dykes and his team will make trips to Kansas, West Virginia, Kansas and Texas. The first year of Sonny Dykes is likely to be a rebuilding season. Can the Horned Frogs return to prominence under Dykes and contend for the Big 12 in the near future?