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TCU 45, Duquesne 3: Taking Care of Business

TCU moved to 1-0 on Saturday night.

Melissa Triebwasser

TCU opened their 2021 campaign with a solid drubbing of a vastly inferior opponent. There have been seasons where the FCS or low D1 opponent TCU pays to come in have given the Frogs some trouble, but that wasn’t the case on Saturday night.

TCU leveled Duquesne 45-3. Max Duggan and the rest of the starters played only the first half, showcasing a reinvented offense under new/old offensive coordinator Doug Meacham. The offense was varied, with plenty of motion, a seemingly full route tree, and a lot (early on) of passes from Duggan.

In one half of play, Max finished with 14 completions on 19 attempts, for 207 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. He also added a rushing touchdown to his ledger, opening the scoring for the Frogs with an 8-yard designed keeper up the middle.

On that same drive, Duggan also eclipsed the 4,000 yard passing mark for his career.

The Frogs opened the game with three drives and three touchdowns - all rushing - and some great play calling. Friend of the site Parker Fleming (@statsowar) tracked things early on.

At the end of the first half TCU tallied 35 points and over 300 yards of offense, and while it was against an FCS opponent it was still nice to see.

Quentin Johnston, Derius Davis, and Savion Williams were the first receivers on the field tonight, but there was a healthy rotation of Blair Conwright, JD Spielman and Marcel Brooks too, and Duggan found them all.

Duggan looked confident, the offensive line gave him plenty of time, and he was accurate - save two passes.

Defensively, TCU held Duquesne to 20 first-half yards as the Frogs swarmed the Dukes consistently. It didn’t help matters for Duquesne that their starting quarterback, Joe Mischler, went down with an injury in the second quarter and never returned to the game.

Duggan’s lone touchdown pass came in the red zone. He threw a pass out to JD Spielman in the flat and, as he said after the game, “let JD do the rest.”

“He makes my job easy when I just have to get it out there to him,” Duggan said after the game. “He makes everyone’s job easy when he has the ball in his hands. He’s a great guy to have in the locker room.”

Emari Demercado got the start in place of Zach Evans, who sat the first two series after violating team rules related to NLI.

Demercado ran hard, as he always does, and it resulted in his first rushing touchdown at TCU.

The Frogs carried a 35-0 lead into the break, with really nothing to complain about.

When the teams came out for the second half, the referee came over the loudspeakers to announce that the teams had agreed to shorten the 3rd and 4th quarters from 15 to 12 minutes.

In the shortened half, TCU managed to play all of Matthew Downing, Chandler Morris, and Sam Jackson.

Downing was first off the bench, matching was Patterson had reiterated multiple times during fall camp that he was the No. 2 QB right now. He looked comfortable in the pocket, making a few good throws, but his drives all ended in punts and field goals.

Chandler Morris saw time as the fourth quarter got under way, handing the ball off to Daimarqua Foster and Deryl Reynolds until finally uncorking one pass over the middle to a wide open Blake Nowell for a 21-yard touchdown.

Jackson only saw one drive, but managed two nice runs as time expired on the game clock.

The Frogs now move forward to face Cal Berkley this Saturday, at 2:30 in the Carter.

You can check out all the postgame press conference interviews here: