It was a tale of two halves in Boulder tonight as an explosive second half propelled the Horned Frogs to their first win in the Sonny Dykes era.
The first half wasn’t exactly what you’d want to see to open the 2022 season. The Frogs’ put up only 62 yards of total offense and a whopping 0 points, but thanks to a 60-yard Derius Davis punt return they maintained a small lead heading into the break.
Maybe a 45-minute lightning delay played a part in the slow start, or maybe it was just early season jitters on the road in a packed Folsom Field. Either way, everything changed in the second half.
I don’t know what Dykes said to the team in the locker room, but whatever it was, it worked.
The Frogs opened up the second half with back-to-back scores led by Chandler Morris under center. Morris had a slow start to the ballgame but found his way in the second half.
After putting up 111 yards on 13/20 passing, Morris went down with an apparent knee injury. He wouldn’t return to the contest as Max Duggan stepped in, but Frog fans got some good news post-game.
The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reports that the Morris injury isn’t nearly as serious as it first appeared, and the week 1 starter could return within a week.
Good news for TCU: Horned Frogs QB Chandler Morris only suffered a "slight tweak" to his knee & should be able to return in a week or so, source told @ActionNetworkHQ— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) September 3, 2022
Having the most starts of any current Horned Frog on the roster, Duggan was more than ready to step in when the team needed him.
After two straight scoring possessions with Morris to start the second half, the offense didn’t skip a beat with Duggan under center.
It was short-lived, but during his time in the game Duggan put up 27 yards passing and 41 yards rushing on three designed QB runs.
Duggan led the Frogs’ third-consecutive scoring drive that was capped off by a 3-yard Kendre Miller touchdown. After that, the Buffaloes looked defeated in every sense of the matter.
Miller would end up leading the Horned Frogs’ fantastic performance on the ground with 52 yards and a touchdown on 8 carries. Aside from Miller, seven other Frogs combined for the team total of 275 rushing yards.
The Frogs went on to out-gain the Buffaloes 351 yards to 136 in the second half, only giving up a touchdown with 1:13 left in the 4th quarter.
Even though the offense took some time to find its rhythm, the defense was solid throughout all 60-minutes. Colorado did put up 212 yards in the first half, but the Frogs came up with some solid stops to hold the Buffaloes to a pair of field goals.
A few plays slipped through here and there, but all in all the new-look 3-3-5 formation seemed to work out just fine. Dee Winters and Damonic WIlliams each recorded a sack while Winters led the team in solo tackles with 4.
Williams’ sack was the first of his collegiate career and he accomplished this feat at just 17 years old. Although he turns 18 on Sunday, that’s not a common feat.
TCU finally gets there for the first sack of the season. Coverage sack by Damonic Williams. He's only 17. I say again— S. Johnson (@StevenMJohnson_) September 3, 2022
With a 1-0 record under the new coaching regime, it’s onward and upward from here. After the season-opening road trip, the Frogs are back home next week in the Carter!
TCU takes on Tarleton State for the first time in program history next Saturday, September 10th. Kickoff is set for 7 pm and the game will be broadcast on Big 12 Now on ESPN+. Let’s pack the Carter for the home opener!