What You Need To Know About The TCU Defense
– TCU always seems to know how to fill in the gaps, but there are some massive ones this year. Losing DE Matt Boesen off the line is a problem, and Travin Howard was a terrific all-around linebacker. The big issues, though, are in the secondary, with all-star cover-corner Ranthony Texada gone from one side, and Nick Orr gone from the three-man safety group.
– The pass rush will keep on coming. TCU has become a factory now for pass rushers, with a Big 12-leading 42 sacks last year after coming up with 43 in 2016. Boesen led the way with 11.5, but LB Ty Summers and DEs L.J. Collier and Ben Banogu lead another good front six that will camp out behind the line.
The secondary will get into the backfield act, too. Also helping the cause is Northern Illinois grad transfer Jawuan Johnson, a safety-sized linebacker ho came up with 98 tackles, four sacks, 18 tackles for loss and five picks last season, taking two for scores.
The tackles for loss will start rolling in.
– It’s all relative in the Big 12. Yeah, TCU allowed 228 yards per game through the air, but it was also the most productive secondary in the pass-happy conference. However, the Horned Frogs gave up a few too many deep plays – mostly to Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph. As long as the pass rush keeps on working, the secondary will be okay.
Biggest Key To The TCU Defense
Pick off two passes every game. The Horned Frogs only came up with 13 interceptions last season, but they were 4-0 – including wins over Oklahoma State and Stanford – when getting multiple picks.
Under Gary Patterson, TCU has won its last 13 games and is 15-1 over the last four years when coming up with two or more interceptions. That one loss? The epic 61-58 heartbreaker to Baylor in 2014.
Nick Orr led the team with just three interceptions, but most of the rest of the big plays were spread out. Attacking the ball is a must for a D that came up with 26 interceptions in 2014, and just 28 over the following three seasons.