The 2021 season brings new and high hopes, but will bring the same mediocre results we have come to expect from the TCU Horned Frogs (6-4, 5-4 Big 12 in 2020).
The Horned Frogs bring the same weak schedule as they always do into 2020, playing one or even possibly two ranked teams (that aren’t even in serious playoff contention) all year long. They will keep tradition, they will finish with a winning record, but strength of schedule will only have them looking at an early joke of a bowl come Bowl Week.
QB Max Duggan looks to finally be an uncontested clear cut favorite as the starter. Duggan is entering his third season for the Horned Frogs and for the first year, he will not have to fight for the QB1 spot. Duggan set freshman records for passing yards and throwing touchdowns. In 2020, Duggan threw went 146 of 240 (60.8%) with 1,795 yards, 10 TDs and 4 INTs.
The Horned Frogs are deep at the running back position…VERY DEEP, but the talent runs thin…VERY THIN. In the Horned Frogs’ 10 games last year, not a single running back even topped the 500 yard mark. Darwin Barlow (428 yds), Zach Evans (415 yds) and Kendre Miller (388 yds) have a lot of improving to do if the Horned Frogs want to improve on that 6-4 record in 2020.
Duggan’s primary targets will be seniors Taye Barber and Derius Davis. This leaves the Horned Frogs doubtful on a turnaround year. Barber and Davis had a combined 527 yards and 3 TDs for the entire 2020 season.
There are three returning starters and the addition of junior left tackle Obinna Eze, who has transferred from Memphis with 25 starts in his back pocket. With the Horned Frogs ranked 40th or worst in every offensive category that matters, the 2021 season will be a long or horrendous season for the fans.
In 2020, the Horned Frog defense was ranked 30th, YES…the 30th ranked defense in college football. NO pass rush. NO pass defense. Just 11 players on the field, picking flowers and twiddling their thumbs. If the Horned Frogs are hoping for a better season, they will need to figure their defense out.
The Horned Frogs allowed 5.97% of their opponents total pass plays to go for 30 yards or more, most in the Big 12 ranked 108th in the FBS. The Horned Frogs where just promoting “air raids” against their defense, letting opponents bust one big play after another on them.
The Horned Frogs will be relying on junior DE Ochaun Mathis. With Garrett Wallow and Trevon Moehrig gone, Mathis has taken over leadership of this Horned Frogs defense. With the return of senior DT Corey Bethley (who chose to return instead of entering the NFL draft) gives the Horned Frogs a prayer in the trenches.
The secondary will be relying on transfer FS T.J. Carter and the return of CB Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson to slow down the big play attacks the cost them game after game last year.
With a powder-puff schedule, the Horned Frogs could easily go 8-4 (5-4 Big 12), with Oklahoma being their only real top 25 opponent all season (not counting on Texas to stay in top 25, starting season off ranked #20). Horned Frogs will have to figure out how to slow down their opponents, giving their offense (ranked 51st nationally in 2020) a chance to outscore their opponent. I don’t expect the Horned Frogs to finish in the top 25. Just looking for them to work on getting their identity of defense to build for their future.