Max Duggan entered his senior season at TCU as a three-year starter at quarterback. But with a regime change and Sonny Dykes taking over as head coach, Duggan competed with redshirt freshmen Chandler Morris and Sam Jackson for the starting role, with Morris ultimately winning the battle in camp and earning the nod against Colorado in Week 1.
Duggan was forced back into action, however, with Morris exiting the game against the Buffaloes due to a knee injury. Since then, Duggan has played the best football of his career at TCU and Dykes has spoken glowingly on multiple occasions about Duggan’s commitment to the program and the leadership he’s displayed during camp and on the football field.
Sonny Dykes got emotional talking about @TCUFootball senior QB Max Duggan, who lost the head coach that recruited him, then his starting job under Dykes...and never pouted.— Jeff Kolb (@JeffKolbFOX4) September 24, 2022
Sonny: "Emotional about it honestly just because I think he's the way you'd want your son to handle that." pic.twitter.com/gj8vH4vAWm
Duggan has shined in three consecutive outings, completing 68-of-91 passes (74.7 percent) for 970 yards and 11 touchdowns without a single interception in wins over Tarleton State, SMU and No. 18 Oklahoma. Duggan also rushed for a season-high 116 yards and two touchdowns on five carries against the Sooners. His 74.5 percent completion rate is a career best by a wide margin and he’s averaging career-bests in yards per game (249.3) and yards per attempt (10.6). Duggan’s play is a big reason why TCU is 4-0 to start the season.
Max Duggan became just the 2nd player over the last 15 years with a 60-yard Pass TD and a 60-yard Rush TD in the 1st quarter of a game.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 1, 2022
The other is Lamar Jackson, who did so twice in 2016. pic.twitter.com/lV2RDOICgo
Duggan has made plays on the ground throughout his collegiate career, entering the 2022 campaign with 17 career rushing touchdowns and over 1,300 yards rushing. Duggan’s improved passing statistics are the most noticeable differences between what we’ve seen this season and what we’ve seen since the former four-star prospect arrived in 2019. The senior quarterback looks much more comfortable operating under Dykes and new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, who cater to Duggan’s strengths by allowing his wide receivers and tight ends to utilize their combination of size and speed to make plays.
TCU QB @MaxDuggan_10 could've left when things didn't go his way, but he couldn't leave Fort Worth or his brothers behind.— S. Johnson (@StevenMJohnson_) September 30, 2022
Inside his decision to stay.
“Come hell or high water, he wants (TCU) to have success no matter what the cost is,”
Read more at: https://t.co/dTlMRIWZky
As TCU fans saw during Saturday’s win over the Sooners, Duggan completed many of his passes with easy throws, hitting speedsters like Derius Davis, Taye Barber and even Jordan Hudson on short-yardage routes near the line of scrimmage where they can use their speed and elusiveness to earn yards after catch. Duggan also challenged Oklahoma’s secondary with throws down the field, primarily to bigger targets like 6-foot-5 Savion Williams, who scored a touchdown on a jump-ball fade, and 6-foot-4 Quentin Johnston, who drew two 15-yard pass interference penalties in 1-on-1 matchups. Utilizing TCU’s skill players in ways that play to their strengths has been a tremendous boost to Duggan’s play this season.
Can you guess what the TCU standout does in his free time? https://t.co/4OsMYYR8Va— Fort Worth Star-Telegram (@startelegram) September 30, 2022
Another boost for Duggan has been a much improved offensive line, which held the Sooners to one sack on Saturday after conceding six to the Mustangs last week, many of which were coverage sacks where SMU’s coverage prevented Duggan from finding any open receivers. Additionally, running backs Kendre Miller, Emari Demercado and Emani Bailey have performed well, with Miller averaging 7.6 yards per carry and Demercado averaging a career-best 7.6 yards per carry. Altogether, TCU’s combination of strong offensive line play, potent rushing offense and a variety of passing-game weapons under a new staff has allowed Duggan to play free, confident and the best he’s played as a Frog.