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2015 Game Review: TCU @ Minnesota

The Frogs opened a season rife with promise on the road in Big 10 country. While things didn't go quite as anticipated, TCU managed to come away with a win.

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Frogs came into the 2015 season with National Championship aspirations; fresh off of a 12-1 2014 campaign and the demolition of a highly-thought of Ole Miss team in the Peach Bowl, the number two ranked team returned nearly every offensive starter from a group that shattered nearly every record on that side of the ball in the previous season. But the defense was a question mark to say the least, as that unit had been gutted by graduations and the NFL draft.

Nothing would come easy in 2015 for TCU, and that was a lesson well-learned from the opening kickoff.

After never seeming awed by the moment a season prior, Trevone Boykin looked a little unsteady in the first game of the 2015 campaign, as he wasn't as sharp as expected against a Minnesota defense bound and determined to slow down the frenetic Frog attack. Boykin finished with 264 yards on 26/42 passing, with one touchdown and an interception. He also ran for 92 yards and a score, on a nifty 19 yard run.

The Frogs benefitted from a big game by Josh Doctson, who had 74 yards on eight catches, and was on the receiving end of Boykin's lone TD toss. Running back Aaron Green added 88 yards on the ground, and Shaun Nixon and Desmon White combined for 104 yards on ten receptions. Jaden Oberkrom had a solid game for the special teams unit, booting field goals of 53, 45, and 33 yards.

TCU also showed some new wrinkles on the offensive side of the ball, mixing and matching players out of the backfield and at the edges, having eight different players catch passes and five take snaps at running back. The versatility and flexibility would become a theme, as the Frogs would go deep into the depth chart over the course of the season due to injuries on both sides of the ball.

Defensively, the young Frogs looked solid, holding the Golden Gophers to a paltry 341 yards,  4/15 on third downs, and forcing two turnovers. They forced seven punts on 15 total drives. The biggest story of the game on the defensive side of the ball was the play of true freshman linebacker Mike Freeze, who introduced himself to TCU fans by way of a forced fumble and seven tackles. Sadly, the introduction to the Mike Freeze era was also the goodbye, as he would leave the team just days later, and never returned to TCU.

Ultimately, game one wasn't the start to the season that most fans expected, as an offense that was predicted to be one of the best ever sputtered at times. But, the win, and the way they earned it, would set TCU on the course for the season that lied ahead.