TCU got some terrible news on Saturday afternoon, when head coach Gary Patterson revealed in his post game press conference that cornerback Noah Daniels and offensive guard Wes Harris are likely done for the season with injuries.
Daniels, a junior, had been one of TCU’s best players to open the season, allowing just 4 catches for 38 yards through the first three games, with five passes defended. He finally came into the season healthy after an injury-riddled first two seasons on campus, and looked like he was ready to fill Jeff Gladney’s massive shoes at corner.
Cornerback is an unforgiving position to play in TCU’s defense, as Gary Patterson often asks them to play man on an island, and Daniels had risen to the occasion so far this season.
Without Daniels TCU will turn to sophomore Kee’Yon Stewart who played in nine games (starting six) last season due to injuries to Daniels and Julius Lewis. Stewart entered Saturday’s contest against Oklahoma in the second quarter, and was targeted several times on deep plays, eventually conceding a 61-yard touchdown pass from Spencer Rattler to Marvin Mims.
Daniels was TCU’s highest-graded defender according to Pro Football Focus, and had the lowest completion percentage allowed of any power five defensive back in college football through three games.
Meanwhile Wes Harris was part of a TCU offensive line that was already struggling, and will now have to work without their starting right guard. Harris had struggled at times early, but now the offensive line has to adjust to a new makeup.
Things had started to shuffle with the line coming into the Oklahoma game, as TJ Storment was given the nod at right tackle over Austin Myers, and John Lanz subbed in a left guard for an injured Quazzel White. Austin Myers spent time both at guard and at tackle on the day, while Coy McMillon also spent some time at guard.
It seems, based on the shuffling, that the TCU coaches are looking for a lineup that can gel quickly and have some success in protecting Max Duggan.
As TCU players and coaches always say, it’s “next man up” for the Horned Frogs.