Please please please play fast.
In TCU’s last game, a 49-24 loss to Iowa State, the Frogs had trouble moving the ball until the second half. That’s when the passing game opened up and the tempo increased. But installing a faster tempo isn’t a priority for the Frogs, and the second half’s offensive scheme against Iowa State was due in large part to TCU needing to erase a massive deficit.
Patterson said the Frogs don’t have the personnel to run the same type of high-octane offense they did in the 2014-15 seasons with Trevone Boykin at quarterback.
“We’re still not even close to where we were in ’14 and ’15,” he said. “It doesn’t have to do with just Max (Duggan). We have a bunch of redshirt freshman wide receivers. The bottom line is, we’re going to keep getting better every week.”
Getting these two receivers back is HUGE.
▪ Wide receivers Mikel Barkley and Taye Barber could return to game action this week, Patterson said. Barkley and Barber would provide more speed and outside options for the Frogs’ passing game opposite Jalen Reagor.
▪ K-State coach Chris Klieman said it’s “doubtful” that top receiver Malik Knowles will return to practice this week.
▪ TCU fifth-year senior Alex Delton is expected to play in his return to Manhattan, Kansas, Patterson said. Delton started the first two games of the season before being demoted to backup duties behind Duggan. But Delton has remained a team captain, and Patterson called him the “consummate teammate.”
Strength vs weakness in the run game?
Re-establishing the running game. The Wildcats haven’t topped 150 rushing yards since their second game, and that’s one of the main reasons why they remain winless in conference play. Klieman wants to change that moving forward, but it won’t be easy this week. TCU boasts the Big 12’s best rushing defense, allowing 101.2 yards per game on the ground.
A pair of playmakers. K-State defenders will need to focus on two TCU skill players in this game. Receiver Jalen Reagor has as much talent as any pass-catcher in the conference and has caught 15 passes for 186 yards and three touchdowns this season. Running back Darius Anderson is also dangerous on the ground. He has rushed for 532 yards and six touchdowns.
I ran into Coach Dixon at a volleyball game, and asked him how his off-season was going. His reply? “What off-season?”.
The Frogs are also in the mix for four-star point guard KK Robinson, who grew up near Little Rock and is now playing at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia.
St. Mark’s has some high-end talent in the coming years, too, with five-star prospect Harrison Ingram in the 2021 class and three-star guard Noah Shelby in the 2022 class.
“This is the busiest stretch now for us,” Dixon said. “They’re 12-hour days once you get going, but we also feel good about where we’re at in recruiting.”