TCU Horned Frogs 2010 college football preview

Top 25 Team Previews

6
<a href=TCU Horned Frogs"/>

Top 25 Athlon Team Previews: TCU Horned Frogs

2009 Record: 12-1 (8-0 in Mountain West)
Head Coach: Gary Patterson
Andy Dalton :: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty
2010 Schedule
Sept. 4 Oregon State (Arlington, Texas)
Sept. 11 Tennessee Tech
Sept. 18 Baylor
Sept. 24 at SMU
Oct. 2 at Colorado State
Oct. 9 Wyoming
Oct. 16 BYU
Oct. 23 Air Force
Oct. 30 at UNLV
Nov. 6 at Utah
Nov. 13 San Diego State
Nov. 27 at New Mexico
2009 Results
Sept. 12 at Virginia W 30-14
Sept. 19 Texas State W 56-21
Sept. 26 at Clemson W 14-10
Oct. 3 SMU W 39-14
Oct. 10 at Air Force W 20-17
Oct. 17 Colorado State W 44-6
Oct. 24 at BYU W 38-7
Oct. 31 UNLV W 41-0
Nov. 7 at San Diego State W 55-12
Nov. 14 Utah W 55-28
Nov. 21 at Wyoming W 45-10
Nov. 28 New Mexico W 51-10
Jan. 4 Boise State (Fiesta Bowl) L 10-17
2009 Rankings
OFFENSE PER GAME MWC NAT'L
Scoring 38.3 ppg 1 5
Rushing 239.5 ypg 2 5
Passing 217.2 ypg 5 59
Total 456.7 ypg 1 7
DEFENSE PER GAME MWC NAT'L
Scoring 12.8 ppg 1 6
Rushing 80.2 ypg 1 3
Passing 159.5 ypg 2 6
Total 239.7 ypg 1 1
TO MARGIN PER GAME MWC NAT'L
+2 +0.15 4 51
2010 Projected Rosters
OFFENSE
WR Antoine Hicks (Jr.) Josh Boyce (Fr.)
WR Jimmy Young (Sr.) Alonzo Adams (Sr.)
WR Jeremy Kerley (Sr.) Skye Dawson (So.)
LT Marcus Cannon (Sr.) James Dunbar (Fr.)
LG Kyle Dooley (Jr.) Blaize Foltz (So.)
C Jake Kirkpatrick (Sr.) James Fry (So.)
RG Josh Vernon (Sr.) Ty Horn (Fr.)
RT Jeff Olson (Jr.) John Wooldridge (Fr.)
TE Evan Frosch (Sr.) Logan Brock (Jr.)
QB Andy Dalton (Sr.) Yogi Gallegos (So.)
RB Ed Wesley (So.) Matthew Tucker (So.)
DEFENSE
DE Ross Forrest (So.) Stansly Maponga (Fr.)
NT Kelly Griffin (Sr.) Jeremy Coleman (So.)
DT Cory Grant (Sr.) D.J. Yendrey (So.)
DE Wayne Daniels (Sr.) Clarence Leatch (Sr.)
SLB Tanner Brock (So.) Kris Gardner (Jr.)
MLB Tank Carder (Jr.) Kenny Cain (So.)
CB Jason Teague (Sr.) Malcolm Williams (Sr.)
CB Greg McCoy (Jr.) Travaras Battle-Smith (Fr.)
SS Jurell Thompson (So.) Tyler Luttrell (Sr.)
FS Tejay Johnson (Sr.) Johnny Fobbs (Jr.)
WS Alex Ibiloye (Sr.) Tekerrein Cuba (Jr.)
SPECIAL TEAMS
K Ross Evans (Jr.) KR Jeremy Kerley (Sr.)
P Anson Kelton (Jr.) PR Jeremy Kerley (Sr.)
RETURNING LEADERS
Passing: Andy Dalton (2,756 yards, 23 TDs, 8 TDs)
Rushing: Matthew Tucker (105 car, 676 yds, 8 TDs)
Receiving: Jeremy Kerley (44 rec, 532 yds, 2 TDs)
Tackles: Tank Carder (89, 51 solo)
Sacks: Wayne Daniels (5.5)
Interceptions: Tejay Johnson (3 for 22 yds)
MORE FROM ATHLON
More from AthlonFor full coverage of College Football before, during and after the season, visit AthlonSports.com/si.
PLAYERS TO WATCH

Andy Dalton, QB: The first-team All-MWC signal caller set a school single-season record with 2,756 passing yards.

Marcus Cannon, OT: The mammoth senior anchors an experienced offensive line.

Wayne Daniels, DE: He will assume the role of lead sack artist after star Jerry Hughes' departure.

IMPORTANT LOSSES

Jerry Hughes, DE: The first-team All-America had 26.5 sacks over the last two seasons.

Daryl Washington, LB: The Frogs will miss their leading tackler in '09.

Rafael Priest, CB: His departure after 50 career starts leaves depth concerns in the secondary.

NUMBERS GAME

4: TCU has led the nation in total defense four times since 2000, including the past two seasons. During that same period, only Virginia Tech has finished first in the nation in defense more than once.

OFFENSE

Andy Dalton returns for his fourth season as a starter, and does so as the winningest active quarterback in the nation. He's the reigning Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, and his 29 victories are also tied for the most in TCU history with Sammy Baugh, the godfather of the modern passing game.

As he did last year, Dalton will have a deep group of running backs and receivers to help carry the offensive load behind a line that returns four of five starters.

Sophomores Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley figure to lead the ground game after stellar freshman campaigns rushing and receiving. Two freshmen and a sophomore could also be in the mix. And Aundre Dean, a transfer from UCLA who was originally slated to play in the secondary, will get a look at tailback as well.

At receiver, Jimmy Young moves inside along with Jeremy Kerley, while Antoine Hicks will be the big-play weapon on the outside.

Marcus Cannon, the Horned Frogs' top pro prospect, moves from right tackle to the left side, and Rimington Trophy finalist Jack Kirkpatrick anchors the line at center.

DEFENSE

In addition to top playmakers Jerry Hughes and Daryl Washington, TCU must also replace two four-year starters at cornerback. That quartet helped the 2009 unit lead the nation in total defense for a second straight year.

Cornerback is the biggest concern for Gary Patterson. Confidence is high in Jason Teague and Greg McCoy, but at least one true freshman will be on the two-deep depth chart.

Redshirt freshman Stansly Maponga and sophomore Ross Forrest will battle to replace Hughes on a senior-laden line, and linebacker Tank Carder will be ready to go for his second year as a starter after offseason shoulder surgery. He will be joined by Tanner Brock, a sophomore who made his name last year on special teams. Tejay Johnson leads an experienced group of safeties in TCU's 4-2-5 scheme.

SPECIALISTS

Kerley, one of the nation's most electrifying return men, is back for his senior season. He returned two punts for touchdowns and had more than 1,000 yards handling kickoff and punt returns. He's a difference maker on special teams. Kicker Ross Evans and punter Anson Kelton are back, but the kicking game will miss snapper Clint Gresham. He was one of only two snappers invited to the NFL Combine.

FINAL ANALYSIS

TCU should again find itself in the mix for a BCS bowl game. The Frogs have a large group of core seniors who are motivated to get back after a Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State to end last season.

Dalton will make the offense go, and it should be as productive or even better than the 2009 unit that set a school record for points. TCU is a defense-first team, and though four key playmakers have departed, Patterson always plugs the holes without much decline.

The Frogs' schedule is fairly friendly, though Oregon State, Baylor and SMU will be out-of-conference challenges. Those games, though, will be played no more than an hour from home, and the toughest game will be Nov. 6 at Utah. TCU has not won in Salt Lake City since joining the Mountain West.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.