Here we go!
Week Zero is behind us which means week one is ahead; after watching a handful of teams try to play football last Saturday, we get the main course this weekend, with tantalizing matchups across the sport.
Here though, we are looking forward to a game that — on paper — doesn’t move the needle much, simply because it’s our first opportunity to watch the Horned Frogs play in 2021. After last season’s slow start but encouraging finish, Frog fans have reason to be excited for what’s ahead.
I wrote last week about how I think the Frogs can make it to a Big 12 championship game: I see a path to 10-2, but maybe 8-4/9-3 feels more realistically optimistic. Now we want to know how you think TCU Football will do this year. Drop your final record prediction in the comments and we will see who gets it right this fall.
Additionally, we will be doing weekly staff/fan picks as well, so looking for your chance to pick Saturday’s score later this week.
GAME WEEK QUICK HITS
There are a couple of significant players that aren’t expected to suit up in the opener, though most of these guys fall under the “if it wasn’t Duquesne they could probably go” category.
Defensive end Khari Coleman, who has been battle some small injuries over the last several weeks is likely out. Gary Patterson spoke a couple weeks ago about Noah Daniels’ progress not being where he needed to be, and at this point, he may not play in the opener as well. At DT, both George Ellis and Terrell Cooper have been banged up and are unlikely to play Saturday, but Corey Bethley appears to be ready to go after missing most of last season due to an injury suffered against Baylor. On the offensive line, Wes Harris is expected to sit Saturday but be full bore by week two, and at wide receiver, Mikel Barkley remains out with a foot injury — and might be out for a while.
EZE DOES IT?
Offensive lineman Obinna Eze made some waves last week when he was quoted as saying “TCU has a reputation of being a defensive school and I understand how so. But with all due respect to Coach P, I wouldn’t say that TCU right now is a defensive school. It’s a tug-of-war right now. Our offense is pretty loaded. If we play to the level of the talent and just to the capacity that we’re capable of, there’s really no limit to what we can do this season” in a really excellent article by Drew Davison.
The last several years, we have gotten some version of this quote from Gary Patterson in August: “the defense has looked really good. I don’t know if that says more about the defense or the offense.” So if you’re telling me that we’ve got a tug-o-war for which unit comes out on top day to day? Well, tell me more.
If this defense wasn’t so loaded with talent and experience at key positions, you might be able to say “well, maybe the defense is just down.” But by all reports coming out of fall camp, this offense is legit, talented, and causing all kinds of problems for a defensive unit that most expect to be very good this fall.
CALLING MY SHOT:
TCU Football Offensive MVP: Max Duggan
If the QB isn’t the MVP this season, TCU probably isn’t competing for a conference title.
TCU Football Defensive MVP: Noah Daniels
Tre Tomlinson is going to be awesome. Ochaun Mathis is going to cause folks major problems. But Daniels comes in with a big ol’ chip on his shoulder and something to prove, and I think he’s going to have an All Conference campaign.
Rookie of the Year: Bud Clark
If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know that I am a big Bud fan. If you’re on twitter, and you saw this, well, now you know part of the reason why. With Deshaun McCuin missing some time over the last few practices, Bud is competing for a starting safety job. I think he gets it and has a huge season this fall.
Most Improved Player: Andrew Coker
The young offensive lineman has a chance to establish himself as an anchor of that unit, and playing alongside talented veterans like Eze and Steve Avila give me a lot of confidence that he will.
After a redshirt season and injury issues, Coker is going to become the next NFL-caliber prospect for TCU on the o-line.
Final Regular Season Record: 9-3
Bowl Game: Alamo Bowl vs UCLA (Frogs win 38-31)
Give us your predictions in the comments!