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2022 TCU Football Recap: Offense

The Horned Frogs saw a dramatic turnaround under new head coach Sonny Dykes. Can they replicate their success with a new offensive coordinator in 2023?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 09 CFP National Championship Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2022 TCU football season saw a massive resurgence on the offensive side of the ball. Under new head coach Sonny Dykes and offensive coordinator Garrett Riley, TCU finished tied for ninth in the nation in scoring offense, averaging 38.8 points per game despite totaling only seven points in the College Football Playoff National Championship. The Horned Frogs scored 582 offensive points this season, ranking third behind only Georgia and Tennessee. Will TCU be able to replicate its offensive success next season?

The Horned Frogs continued to run the football effectively during the 2022 season, averaging 193.3 yards per game and leading the Big 12 Conference with 37 rushing touchdowns. TCU’s 2,899 rushing yards for the season ranked second in the Big 12 behind only Kansas State, who finished with 2,916. While TCU’s offensive numbers are partly weighed down by the poor performance in the national championship, the Horned Frogs ended the season ranked 31st in rushing offense, continuing the trend established from 2019-2021, when TCU finished with a top-30 rushing offense in each of those three years.

Replicating that success could prove challenging in 2023, as the Horned Frogs will be losing starting running back Kendre Miller as well as change-of-pace running back Emari Demercado. Both players have declared for the draft after career seasons, with Miller rushing for 1,399 yards and 17 touchdowns while Demercado added 681 yards and six touchdowns. TCU will also lose starting quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan, who enjoyed a career season passing but made good use of his legs, rushing for 423 yards and nine touchdowns. Duggan rushed for 28 touchdowns in his four-year career.

Former Louisiana-Lafayette transfer Emani Bailey could be next in line to carry the load for the Horned Frogs. Bailey served as the third back this season, rushing for 250 yards and two touchdowns while averaging 8.1 yards per carry. Bailey rushed for 642 yards and eight touchdowns for the Ragin’ Cajuns during the 2021 season. TCU also earned the commitment of Alabama transfer running back Trey Sanders, who spent four seasons with the Crimson Tide and will look for a fresh start in Fort Worth. The former five-star recruit totaled 528 rushing yards and three touchdowns in his four-year career with Alabama.

Former Florida State transfer Corey Wren and quarterback-turned-running back Trent Battle each played sparingly during the 2022 season, but could see increased roles next season. TCU’s 2023 recruiting class also includes four-star running back Cameron Cook, who will bring a lot of speed to the Horned Frog backfield. On the offensive line, TCU will be losing three starters including sixth-year senior Wes Harris as well as Steve Avila and Alan Ali, who have each declared for the draft. While tackles Brandon Coleman and Andrew Coker are likely returning for the 2023 season, TCU will need to replenish its interior protection.

Among potential risers on the offensive line are former four-star recruit Garrett Hayes as well as Alabama transfer Tommy Brockermeyer and Jackson State transfer Willis Patrick, who each committed to the Horned Frogs during the offseason. TCU also has former four-star recruit and Arizona State transfer Ezra Dotson-Oyetade, who was second on the depth chart at the center position behind Ali. With Duggan declaring for the draft as well, Chandler Morris appears primed to be the starting quarterback for the 2023 season, which will be TCU’s first under new offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, who was recently hired to replace Riley, who left the Horned Frogs to become Clemson’s new offensive coordinator.

Under Dykes and Riley, TCU saw an increase in passing offense, finishing 39th nationally with 261.7 yards per game and 13th nationally with 3,926 passing yards. The two also helped Duggan develop into one of college football’s best quarterbacks, with the senior throwing for 3,698 yards and 32 touchdowns while adding only eight interceptions. In addition to finishing second in the Heisman voting, Duggan earned the Davey O’Brien Award as well as the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, two of the most prestigious honors for college quarterbacks. Duggan was also named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year this season.

TCU fielded a plethora of talented receivers including potential first-round draft pick Quentin Johnston, who declared for the draft after recording a career-high 1,069 yards and six touchdowns this season. Slot receivers Taye Barber and Derius Davis also had career seasons this fall, with Barber totaling 613 yards and five touchdowns while Davis added 531 yards and five touchdowns. All three receivers started or played significant reps during the 2022 season and will need to be replaced next season. The Horned Frogs have addressed the position heavily in the portal, adding transfers John Paul Richardson (Oklahoma State), Jack Bech (LSU), JoJo Earle (Alabama) and most recently Jaylon Robinson (Ole Miss).

All four transfers should compete for immediate playing time alongside returning players like Savion Williams, who finished with 392 yards and four touchdowns on the outside. TCU will also have two youngsters primed for potential breakout campaigns including freshman standout Jordan Hudson as well as 2023 four-star recruit Cordale Russell, who shined during the recent All-American Bowl. Hudson made the most of limited reps, hauling in three touchdowns on 174 receiving yards and showing rapport with Morris during TCU’s blowout win against Iowa State. One notable loss will be former four-star receiver Quincy Brown, who entered the portal after missing most of the 2022 season with an injury.

Should Morris be named TCU’s starting quarterback for the 2023 season, one must wonder what the depth will look like behind the former Oklahoma transfer. While the Horned Frogs will have freshman Josh Hoover back in the fold, TCU hasn’t added a veteran signal caller from the portal and the 2023 recruiting class doesn’t include a quarterback. That could soon change as National Signing Day approaches, with news coming out that Briles recently flew to California to meet with five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, who was initially committed to Miami before signing with Florida with promises of an NIL deal worth over $13 million. Rashada was ultimately released from his letter and is now uncommitted, with TCU and Arizona State reportedly among the many schools in the mix for his services.

The Horned Frogs have several offensive starters departing, but the team will have its top two tight ends returning in Jared Wiley and Geor’Quarius Spivey. Wiley was effective after transferring in from Texas, recording 245 yards and four touchdowns, while Spivey saw an increased role as the Y-slot receiver, finishing with 136 yards and one touchdown. The two seniors should remain involved in the TCU offense as the 2023 season approaches. Redshirt freshman and former four-star recruit D’Andre Rogers could see more time as well.

The TCU offense thrived on big plays and a wealth of experience at several position groups during the 2022 season. While the Horned Frogs will have a new offensive coordinator as well as multiple new starters during the 2023 season, TCU remains a threat to be one of the top scoring offenses in the Big 12 because of its talent and potential. Remolding the offensive line, naming the next quarterback and building rapport with the influx of new and returning wide receivers will be major keys as the Horned Frogs move through the spring.