TCU football preview for 2016, including keys to success for the Horned Frogs, best players and season prediction.
What You Need To Know About TCU’s Offense
Even with star quarterback Trevone Boykin banged up for stretches, the Horned Frogs still finished third in the nation in total offense and seventh in scoring. It might be more of the same, even with seven starters gone.
The quarterback situation is front and center with Texas A&M transfer Kenny Hill battling with Foster Sawyer. Neither one is expected to be Boykin right away, but Hill has the upside to become a big-time statistical producer if everything progresses as hoped for this fall.
Leading rusher Aaron Green is gone, with Trevorris Johnson and Kyle Hicks both back after each rushing for 262 yards. It might not necessarily be running back by committee, but the Horned Frogs should be just fine with a good rotation of quick, versatile options.
Also gone is dangerous playmaking receiver Josh Doctson, but there’s lots and lots of speed to keep the passing game vertical with KaVontae Turpin leading another dangerous corps. There are plenty of weapons to spread the ball around.
Just one starter is back on the line, but this is still a front five full of upperclassmen with a few different options to play around with. It’s going to take a little while to come up with the right combination around veteran Joseph Noteboom at one tackle spot.
Biggest Key To The TCU Offense
The quarterback situation has to be settled as soon as possible. No one thought Trevone Boykin was going to be Trevone Boykin two years ago when the offense shifted styles, but he managed to be the exact right fit with his running ability and deep passing skills. Kenny Hill has the pure passing talent to put up massive numbers if he can make the job his. Foster Sawyer, though, saw a little time including plenty of work against Oklahoma, but he struggled. Even so, he looked strong in spring ball to make it a battle. One has to emerge right away as the sure-thing No. 1 in fall camp.
What You Need To Know About TCU’s Defense
A massive concern going into last year with several new parts and a few late losses, the defense turned out to be okay, but inconsistent. This year it has the potential to be a killer with seven starters back and a nice group of young reserves ready to make a huge splash.
The linebacking corps in the 4-2-5 alignment will standout, starting with big tackler Travin Howard and with the combination of Montrel Wilson and Ty Summers as sound as any in the Big 12. This group won’t make mistakes.
The three safeties should be a strength with versatile options to change around on the fly and plenty of good athletes who swarm around the ball. Ranthony Texada is great-looking corner who’s back to be the shut-down guy after being out most of last year hurt. It might take a little bit, but the secondary should be okay in time.
Josh Carraway is one of the Big 12’s best ends, and he’ll have just enough help on the other side to keep the pressure and attention off. Aaron Curry came through as a decent tackle last season, and now he should be even more of a factor for an okay interior.
Biggest Key To The TCU Defense
The Horned Frogs need more out of the run defense. There were a few too many tackles happening down the field, and while the front four wasn’t necessarily shoved around, it didn’t do enough to take over games. There should be a solid rotation, and Aaron Curry is a good one to work everything around, but after having too many problems slowing down Oklahoma – giving up 333 yards – and allowing six rushing touchdowns to Kansas State and five against Texas Tech, this was an unTCU-like season. In 2014, the Horned Frogs allowed 1,414 yards, under three yards per carry, and nine scores. Last year they gave up 4.22 yards per carry and 27 scores.
TCU Football Will Be Far Better If …
The offense keeps on firing without Trevone Boykin. When No. 2 was right, the offense blew up scoring 40 points or more in seven straight games after the opener against Minnesota. The offense failed to hit the 30-point mark in November before blowing up in the epic comeback bowl win over Oregon. Kenny Hill should be able to be the quarterback needed to ramp things back up, but the offense needs to have the same efficiency now that its playmaker is gone. 40+ points has to be the norm again.
Best Offensive Player
WR/KR KaVontae Turpin – Turpin might not be able to match Josh Doctson’s 79 catches, 1,327 yards and 14 scores, but he’s going to be a difference-maker whenever he gets the ball in his hands. While he’s not all that big at 5-9 and 152 pounds, he’s a devastating punt returner and a good enough target to be get the ball in his hands at least five times a game. The talent is there to make defensive coordinators worry.
Best Defensive Player
DE Josh Carraway – The defense needed a disruptive force up front, and it found one in the 6-4, 250-pound Carraway with a team-leading nine sacks. When he was on last season, he was able to take over games at times with a great first step and the athleticism to always demand the double-team. If former Boise State transfer Mat Boesen can be a factor on the other side, Carraway should hit double-digit sacks.
Key Player To A Successful Season
CB Ranthony Texada – Expected to be one of the Big 12’s best corners after a terrific 2014 season making 31 tackles and broke up seven passes, he got hurt early on last season taking away the playmaking shut-down corner the team needed. The secondary should be fine thanks to a good group of safeties, but if the defense is going to hold up in the biggest of big games in the pass-happy conference, it’s going to need Texada to be back to his previous form coming off his knee injury.
The TCU Football Season Will Be A Success If …
It’s a Big 12 championship campaign. There might be several key parts of the puzzle that’ll need to be put together in fall camp, and a quarterback has to prove to be like another Trevone Boykin, but the defense should be far better and the schedule isn’t that bad. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are two of the big stars, and those two have to come to Fort Worth. The Baylor and Texas games are at home, but after the way the team has played over the last two seasons, at least getting a split in those two games isn’t asking a lot.
Oct. 1 vs. Oklahoma – It’s the Big 12 opener and, obviously, the tone-setter for the rest of the season, but it’s also the end of a great home run of four games in the first five – with the “road” game at SMU. Three of the next four games are on the road, and there are only three home games after this, so it’s not getting too crazy to think a loss all but ends the Big 12 title hopes before the conference season really starts.
Fun Stats From 2015
– Second Half Scoring: TCU 270 – Opponents 117
– Fumbles: Opponents 24 (lost 12) – TCU 12 (lost 4)
– Penalties: TCU 94 for 922 yards – Opponents 74 for 684 yards
Season Prediction For 2016
What’s going to happen to TCU football this season? Check out what the final record is going to be …