2008 TCU Horned Frogs Football Preview
TCU 2007 Record: (8-5, 4-4 MWC)
2007 Bowl: Texas Bowl vs. Houston (W 20-13)
TCU Head Coach: Gary Patterson (62-25 at TCU, 62-25 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Schultz
Defensive Coordinator: Dick Bumpas
Returning Leaders for TCU:
- Rushing: Joseph Turner, RB, 597 yards
- Passing: Andy Dalton, QB, 2,459 yards
- Receiving: Donald Massey, WR, 364 yards
- Tackles: Jason Phillips, LB, 87
- Sacks: Stephen Hodge, S, 8.0
- Interceptions: Steven Coleman, S, 3; Rafael Priest, CB, 3
Other Key Returnees: RB Aaron Brown, DT Kelly Griffin, G Giles Montgomery, DT Cody Moore, OT Marshall Newhouse, TE Shae Reagan, OT Nic Richmond, CB Nick Sanders, C Blake Schlueter
Key Losses: DE Tommy Blake, S Brian Bonner, WR Marcus Brock, TE Quinton Cunigan, WR Ervin Dickerson, LB David Hawthorne, G Matty Lindner, DE Chase Ortiz, S David Roach
The defense was good last year, but not as dominating as expected. The season never really got off the ground after Tommy Blake took his leave of absence. And now the defense will have to do without Blake for the entire season and a few other key defensive players. In time the defense will be fine, but for now the offense is the experienced group of players.
Year in and year out the offense has gotten help from the defense. Early in the 2008 campaign it is the offense that needs to pay back the favor. Eight starters are returning, including quarterback Andy Dalton and running back Aaron Brown. Dalton was in way over his head as a freshman last year, but he put together some decent stretches. With a year of experience, he has the potential to be a solid signal caller. Brown missed some time with an ankle injury, but if he is back to full strength the Horned Frogs will be chewing up clock extremely effectively. Even if Brown continues to be slowed by the injury, Joseph Turner showed last year that he can handle his fair share of carries. And with four linemen returning, led by center Blake Schleuter, the running game will be great no matter who carries the ball.
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Losing Blake and Chase Ortiz off of the ends of the defensive line hurts. Matt Panfil and Jerry Hughes have some potential and experience, but those are really big shoes to fill. Fortunately, Kelly Griffin and Cody Moore are back to man the middle of the line and James Vees will likely take over Griffin’s starting job after starting in 2006 and missing 2007 due to a violation of team policy. The team consistently got pressure on the quarterback last year, ranking 12 th in the nation in sacks. With all that pressure, it made the defensive backs job a lot easier. Rafael Priest and Nick Sanders will be three year starters, but can they stick with quality receivers if the quarterback has time to throw? They rarely have had to during their careers, but they will be tested more this year.
The Bottom Line for the Horned Frogs:
With linebackers Jason Phillips and Robert Henson back, the defense should at least be as good as last year’s disappointing, at least by TCU standards, defense. If the ends can get some pressure, the defense could be even better than the 2007 version. And if the offense uses their year of experience to develop some consistency, the Horned Frogs have enough talent to compete for a MWC title.
2007 TCU Horned Frogs Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 165.00 (46th in nation, 4th in conference)
Passing Offense: 221.62 (60, 4)
Total Offense: 386.62 (64, 3)
Scoring Offense: 26.08 (70, 4)
Rushing Defense: 103.46 (11, 2)
Pass Defense: 220.15 (45, 7)
Total Defense: 323.62 (15, 3)
Scoring Defense: 18.69 (10, 3)
Turnover Margin: -.54 (99, 8)
Sacks: 3.15 (12, 1)
Sacks Allowed: 1.77 (45, 3)
By Joel Welser
CollegeSports-fans.com Senior Guest Writer
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