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TCU vs. Iowa State: 3 Things We Learned

The Horned Frogs fell flat in their season finale, kickstarting an offseason that has already seen TCU make headlines in the coaching ranks.

TCU v Iowa State Photo by David K Purdy/Getty Images

TCU failed to reach bowl eligibility on Friday, falling 48-14 in a lackluster effort against Iowa State to finish the season with a 5-7 record for the second time in three years. Cyclones running back Breece Hall was unstoppable, rushing for a season-high 242 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries while adding two receptions for 39 yards and a touchdown.

The loss officially kickstarts an offseason for the Horned Frogs that will see the football program undergo several significant changes. While interim head coach Jerry Kill has reportedly agreed to become the next head coach at New Mexico State, TCU has reportedly prepared to announce SMU head coach Sonny Dykes to replace Gary Patterson this week.

Before we examine the offseason, however, here are three things we learned from Friday’s disappointing finale against Iowa State

1. Breece Hall has a future in the NFL

The junior running back has had a phenomenal season with the Cyclones, rushing for 1,472 yards and 20 touchdowns. Hall has scored at least one touchdown in 24 straight games, which stands as the second-longest streak in NCAA Division I history. Despite back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Hall has enjoyed his best season as a pass catcher, totaling a career-high 36 receptions for 302 yards and three touchdowns, also career highs.

With Iowa State heading to a bowl game, Hall will have an important decision to make about whether or not he’ll forego his senior season to enter the 2022 NFL Draft. At nearly 4,000 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns for his three-year career, Hall could very realistically choose to leave the Cyclones early to pursue his professional career. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder showcased all of his skills against TCU, making several defenders miss on multiple runs and displaying great vision to find the right holes and explode for big plays.

2. TCU will have a very different roster next season

The Horned Frogs received some clarity regarding the quarterback position prior to the game on Friday, with Max Duggan reportedly expressing his desire to return for his senior season. Duggan has been battling through a broken bone in his foot for the last several weeks, but he finished the season with 2,400 total yards and 19 total touchdowns.

Putting Duggan aside, TCU will likely feature a revamped roster as the program moves through the offseason and prepares for the 2022 season. The Horned Frogs have several seniors and upperclassmen who are draft eligible including defensive linemen Corey Bethley, Kenny Turnier and Ochaun Mathis, cornerbacks Noah Daniels and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson and safeties La’Kendrick Van Zandt and T.J. Carter.

Offensively, TCU has several seniors and upperclassmen who could depart after this season including wide receivers Derius Davis and Taye Barber, tight ends Carter Ware and Geor’Quarius Spivey, offensive linemen Obinna Eze, Steve Avila and Wes Harris and running back Emari Demercado. Horned Frog fans will also have their eyes on sophomore running back and former five-star recruit Zach Evans, who had voiced his support on Twitter for Jackson State head coach and football legend Deion Sanders to become the TCU coach.

3. Matt Campbell has made his mark on Iowa State

The college football coaching rumor mill has extended far beyond TCU and Sonny Dykes. Within the Big 12 Conference, we’ve seen Lincoln Riley reportedly accept the offer to become the next USC head coach less than 24 hours after losing the Bedlam matchup against Oklahoma State. Texas Tech has already made a move, firing Matt Wells and hiring Joey McGuire from Baylor while also retaining former TCU coordinator Sonny Cumbie.

With some vacancies still open, eyes are shifting to Matt Campbell and whether or not he’ll leave Iowa State after an extremely successful tenure as head coach of the Cyclones. Campbell has a 39-24 record since 2017 after finishing 3-9 during his first season in 2016 and he’s clearly built a strong bond with his seniors, who’ve been with him from the start. Campbell had been connected to the USC opening before the Trojans reportedly went with Riley and other openings including Florida and TCU are reportedly off the table.

Could Campbell perhaps take over for Riley at Oklahoma as the Sooners gear up for the SEC? Would LSU consider hiring Campbell? What about Virginia Tech or Washington? It will be interesting to see whether or not the former Toledo head coach will stick around in Ames, Iowa for the foreseeable future.