Nickname: Horned Frogs
Kickoff: November 6th
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, TX)
Conference: Big 12
Head Coach: Gary Patterson (he’s been there forever)
Last Year’s Record: 6-4
Notable Outcomes: Lost to Iowa State 37-34; beat Baylor 33-23; lost to West Virginia 24-6
Key Losses: Trevon Moehrig, S; Ar’Darius Washington, S; Garret Wallow, LB
Strength: Quarterback. TCU has struggled offensively more or less since the departure of Trevone Boykin. However, I think quarterback Max Duggan is finally in a position to take the Horned Frogs’ offense to the next level and get it at least closer to the points machine that it was in 2014. Duggan is extremely fast on his feet and has shown flashes of development in his passing game. Assuming that progress continues, Duggan figures to be one of the better quarterbacks in the Big 12 this season.
Weakness: Safety. Gary Patterson’s TCU teams have consistently been known for their defense. While that calling card will likely remain this season, the safety position is an area that teams will be able to exploit as the Horned Frogs lost two elite safeties in Trevon Moehrig and Ar’Darius Washington. TCU did pick up Memphis transfer T.J. Carter at the position, but it remains to be seen if he can fill and provide an immediate impact. Regardless, by game nine of the season, I imagine Patterson will have this position figured out to where it is at least serviceable.
Way Too Early Prediction: After a somewhat bumpy 2020 season, I expect TCU to be in the upper half of the Big 12 this year. If Baylor wants to claw back up into that upper pack, they need to win a few games like this where the line will be close but the Bears will be picked against. I think that starts on defense: Baylor and TCU both absolutely have the tools to make this a brutally low scoring affair, much like the 2018 and 2019 meetings. At that point, it comes down to who can get a few breakout plays to sneak some points in. I think TCU’s potential safety issues provide a key weakness in this type of game, where one or two mistakes can cost them the game. I’ll take Baylor in a low scoring affair.