By Will Martin
The following disclaimer shall be put forth before proceeding.
When practices commenced two weeks ago with Coach Gary Patterson and his TCU players/staff I was quick to learn that the term with the preceding hashtag on this title was not the Coach’s preference.
“THAT was marketing! We choose to live by a different credo. All for one!”
Looking back at 2013 you might also be driven to say ‘All 411’!
As in four losses by a total of 11 points. What wound up being a 4-8 season could have easily been 8-4. Tight tough battles at Oklahoma, at home against West Virginia, ditto Baylor. I still recall the 33-31 heartbreak that befell the Frogs when traveling to Manhattan, Kansas.
Missing the post season bowl party for the first time in a decade was unfamiliar territory for Coach Patterson and his TCU football program.
Two new faces who intend to bolster the way things work offensively are Co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie.
Even better news is that TCU welcomes back four of their top five rushers from 2013. The Horned Frogs also welcome back five of their top six receivers. There will also be three of five offensive linemen returning for the 2014 season.
First look at the depth charts offensively for TCU you have Trevone Boykin and Zach Allen in what will in all likelihood be a platoon system at Quarterback. B.J. Catalon, Kyle Hicks, Aaron Green, and Trevorris Johnson at the tailback position.
Ja’Juan Story, David Porter, and Josh Doctson look to shore things up at the wide receiver position. Cliff Murphy and Buck Jones at Tight End, Joseph Noteboom and Aviante Collins at the Right Tackle spot, Frank Kee and Matt Pryor at Right Guard, Joey Hunt and Brady Foltz at Center, Jamelle Naff and Bobby Thompson at Left Guard, while the left tackle position will be manned by Halapoulivaati Vaitai and Tayo Fabuluje.
Trevone Boykin was the 1st Horned Frog in history to accrue a 100 yard rushing, a 100 yard receiving, and a 200 yard passing game in 2013.
Josh Doctson had 27 catches in the final five games, which included a 92 yard game and touchdown 11/2/13 against West Virginia.
Buck Jones played in all 12 games in 2013. Also the son of TCU letterman Gregg Jones (1985-1987)
Brady Foltz appeared in 22 of his last 23 games while lettering.
B.J. Catalon led TCU in rushing for a second straight season (589 yards) in becoming the first Horned Frog to have that distinction since Joseph Turner (2007-2009).
On the defensive side of the ball TCU will have nine starters returning from 2013. A team that led the Big 12 in rushing defense, allowing only 130.8 yards a game. The Frogs would also finish a close second in total defense, allowing 356.4 yards a game. A mere 6.2 yards behind the Sooners of Oklahoma who played for 40 less snaps.
Going by the depth chart you can look for Kevin White and Travoskey Garrett at the cornerback position. Ranthony Texada and Cyd Calvin at the left corner spot. Chris Hackett and Kenny Iloka at wide safety, Derrick Kindred and Geoff Hooker at free safety, Sam Carter and Denzel Johnson at strong safety.
Jonathan Anderson and Paul Whitmill will be your 1 and 2 at the middle linebacker position. Marcus Mallet and Paul Dawson at sam linebacker.
Terrell Lathan and Devonte Fields will man the right side of the defensive end. Davion Pierson (who coach Patterson had said has been lights out during the duration of summer practices) and Devin Lawson to line up on the right defensive tackle position.
Chucky Hunter and Mike Tuaua line up over at the left defensive tackle mark. Rounding out the defensive side of the ball for the 2014 TCU Horned Frogs will be James McFarland and Josh Carraway.
Sam Carter placed 6th for TCU with 7.5 sacks inclusive of 49 tackles. His four sacks tied for second on TCU for 2013.
Geoff Hooker nabbed his 1st interception against West Virginia. He made his first start in the SMU game.
Devonte Fields as a true freshman led the Big 12 with 18.5 tackles, placing third with ten sacks. Fields was also your 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player Of The Year. Look for a big year for Mr. Fields!
Chucky Hunter is a 2-time All-Big 12 Selection. In 2013 Hunter led the TCU defensemen with 43 tackles.
Paul Dawson led all Frogmen with 91 tackles. Of that number ten were for losses. Five of the last seven games of 2013 were double digit totals including 17 in the victory over Kansas.
As for special teams Jaden Oberkrom and Ethan Perry return for the kicking and punting duties. Oberkrom in 2013 converted on 14 of 18 field goals. That number includes 13 of 14 from inside the 50. In the loss to Kansas State Oberkrom connected on a 56-yard field goal to place TCU ahead of the Wildcats 31-30 with 2:13 left to play.
Perry’s punting prowess was such that in five of his last six contests Ethan nailed a punt of 54 yards. The special teams on punt returns was such that the opposition had only 17 run backs would occur.
B.J. Catalon and Cameron Echols-Luper should be your battery return men for kickoffs and punt returns. Who can forget the way last year began in the Cowboy Classic when Catalon ran back a kickoff 100 yards on LSU?
Gary Patterson returns for his 14th season as TCU coach and 17th season overall in Ft. Worth. Currently the career leader in wins with 120 Coach Patterson sits second in games coached at 164. Dutch Meyer holds the current mark at 201. Come 2017 that distinction could fall into Gary’s lap.
An overall career record of 120-44 in Frogs country TCU has the best record in Texas since 2005 (88-27). Ranked #8 nationally since 2005 with that .786 winning percentage. Amongst active FBS Coaches with a minimum of 5 years in one place Coach Patterson ranks #7 with his 120-44 mark.
Ahead of him are Les Miles at LSU (123-45), Mark Richt at Georgia(126-45), Nick Saban at Alabama (170-57-1), Bob Stoops at Oklahoma (160-39), Urban Meyer at Ohio State (128-25), and Chris Peterson (92-12).
Since 2001 defense has been preached in Horned Frogs country. With so many returning players this should work in their favor. 4 losses by 11 points. That alone should be incentive for the 2014 class.
There will be a two week break within a five game stretch to begin the season.
TCU 2014 Schedule:
Aug. 30th (H) Samford
Sept. 13th (H) Minnesota
Sept. 27th (A) SMU
Oct. 4th (H) Oklahoma
Oct. 11th (A) Baylor
Oct. 18th (H) Oklahoma State
Oct. 25th (H) Texas Tech
Nov. 1st (A) West Virginia
Nov. 8th (H) Kansas State
Nov. 15th (A) Kansas
Nov. 27th (A) Texas
Dec. 6th (H) Iowa State
4-8 was the 2013 mark. No doubt in my mind this 2014 squad can get to 9-3 and back to Big 12 dominance with a Bowl appearance.