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Mailbag: The Day Before Kickoff

You asked, we answered!

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Earlier this week we put out a call to action, asking all of you readers for questions about the upcoming season, and you did not disappoint! Alright, let’s dive into the bag, and naturally the first question has to be...

Who will score the first touchdown this year? (Hopefully Turpin on opening kickoff obviously).

Well this is an interesting question that I hadn’t really thought about until it was asked the other day, but it is such a crap shoot when trying to pick who’s going to be toting the rock across the end-zone for the first time of the season. There’s a lot of schools of thought for this one.

-Are we going to run the ball when we get into the redzone?

-Are we going to be running QB draws/Will the QB scamper and try to create a TD out of a broken down play?

-I hope not, but are we going to see the return of the Sewocat/WildFrog formation on the first time we are in the redzone?

The list goes on and on. However, my guess is that it will be a receiver, specifically Reagor. After watching an unhealthy amount of Shawn Robinson highlights, I’ve learned how much the guy just loves to throw bombs. Who’s going to be the fastest player lining up outside? The man wearing number one. I think our first score this year is a bomb from Robinson to Reagor (ooh I got chills just saying that) as the speedster beats his man in 1x1 coverage.

Who do y’all think will end up leading the team in receptions? Who will end up with the most carries?

Receptions is interesting because I feel like Reagor is the easy answer, however I don’t see us in an offense where we just force feed him - which I mean I am always here to see big boys eat - but I actually think it might be Sewo Olonilua. In the 2016 season, Kyle Hicks led the team in rushing and receptions. I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that we see a lot of check downs, or even curls out of the back field from the big bodied junior. It might be a stretch to say he is going to lead the team in receptions, but if you are looking for a receiver, I wouldn’t count out senior WR Jarrison Stewart to have a comeback season.

As for most carries, if we are talking sans WildFrog carries, then my money is still on Darius Anderson.

Obviously both is nice but Assuming the Frogs win Saturday, which would you rather see:

- the O put up 50+ points OR

- the D pitch a shutout

It depends. Which side of the ball do you have more questions about that you want to see answered? For me at this point, it’s the offense. I want us to show how explosive we can be, but at the same time I wouldn’t mind watching a 4/5 minute methodical drive. I trust Gary and the talent enough on the other end...but I would love to see Big Ol’ Ben “Ostrich Eggs” Banogu get 5 sacks to start the season.

If you had to pick a fight with one TCU coach, who would it be and how would you start the fight?

Well, I was honestly thinking about saying Big Z, coach Zarnell Fitch, because I’m the type of guy that has seen the film “Shot Caller” once and of course makes me think I could take on anyone in a fight...but that would go downhill so fast for me. I think I’d have the best chance against Coach Cumbie, ONLY because I would try to appeal to his kind nature and then run away as fast as I can.

What position group has the most to prove this season?

I love this question, because I basically look at it like, “who are we all most uncertain about?” and I feel like the obvious answer is the QB. After losing Alamo Bowl MVP (and MVP of my heart) Kenny Hill, we lost a senior leader of the team and now Shawn, who we’ve only see play in a game where he was banged up and throwing into 40 mph wind... is still a bit of an enigma. That being said, I’m sure everyone has already scoured the net for any clips of Robinson by now. The unit that I think is detrimental to our success this year is the offensive line. The defensive line is a known quantity, even without Blacklock, we still have Banogu, Bethley, and Collier. The offensive line lost Noteboom, Schlottman, Collins, and Patrick Morris. I’d say they have the most to prove and if they don’t learn by week 3 against Nick Bosa and that Ohio State D-line... well we may just have to pray for Shawn leading up to that game.

Another unit that I’m really intrigued with is the corner situation. Jeff Gladney has been frustrating at times the past couple of years, but he has shown his ability to make plays and he also has elite speed. In addition, I believe in Julius Lewis, but he needs to prove that he can play a full season. We lost Texada, another senior play maker who finished with an excellent season, and in a pass happy league the Frogs are going to need the guys outside to make a lot of plays this year.

If Jon Snow were a TCU football player, who would he be?

Well first off, I hope nobody on the TCU football team is as perpetually sad as Jon Snow appears to be... but if I had to guess I would say it’s Jeff Gladney. Now here is why:

-2013 Jason Verrett, the CB Lord, the king of Feevah Island - Ned Stark

-2014 Kevin White AKA K-witty, was an elite lock down corner and bullied almost every receiver he went against that year.

-2015/2016/2017 Texada was being groomed in his first year but then he went down during his Sophomore year, just to return stronger the following two years, so maybe he is Jon Snow?

-2018 now is Jeff Gladney’s time to take over as head of the Night’s Watch. Ranthony’s watch has ended and we need a new leader of the defensive backs.

Given that the biggest strength of last year’s TCU team was its defense, whereas most anticipation for this current squad is on how its offense matures… which unit’s fate do you think is more critical to our overall success?

Woof. This is a super philosophical question. This year we know we have playmakers up front on D, but so does the rest of the nation now. We need them to continue their production in order to keep us in games where the offense isn’t firing on all cylinders or whenever we find ourselves in those dog fights. On the other hand though, I don’t want to live in a world where every game is like the 2015 season where we are winning every game by the skin of our teeth and I lose 8 years off of my life. On top of all of that, our HC’s specialty is defense, so it makes sense that when his strength is the team’s strength we excel.

However... if you put a gun to my head I think the answer is the offense. We have got to have an offense that can keep coordinators up at night. We need an offense that can torch the opposite team in a lot of different ways, with the ability to be dynamic, if we want to take the conference crown from OU. Not even a Georgia defense could slow down a high flying OU offense last year and Kyler Murray is no bum. It was players like Sonny Michael and Nick Chubb ripping off huge runs, in combination with clutch throws from their QB in the second half that won them the game against the Sooners. (plus OU’s conservative effort in the second half of the Rose Bowl). In my eyes, that all starts with the O-line. If they cannot protect the QB and get him time to go through his reads, or open up those lanes for Anderson and Olonilua to run through then we are in for a tough season this year. But just like the Polar Express, you just gotta believe.

Thanks for all of your questions, this was a ton of fun! If you’re question didn’t get answered, fear not! We’ll be sure to do another one in a couple of weeks.

-Go Frogs and beat Southern.