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TCU Offensive Players to Watch Vs. Texas Tech

TCU returns six starters but has questions at the most important position entering the regular season.

Sonny Dykes is known for two things in the world of college football. The first is stellar quarterback play. The second is an efficient offense. 

Dykes is set to take over as head coach for TCU following his success at SMU. Quarterbacks have often been linked to his name, as he's developed some of the top passers in recent memory in college. During his time at Cal, he turned Jared Goff into the No. 1 overall pick. At SMU, Shane Buechele became a two-time 3,000-yard passer on the way to leading the Mustangs to back-to-back winning records. 

Currently, Dykes is watching two very different passers battle it out in Fort Worth for starting reps. He could elect to go with Max Duggan, who's been TCU's primary starter since 2019. Then again, Dykes' relationship with Chandler Morris might carry weight moving into Week 1. 

Outside of quarterback. TCU's offense will be looking for more explosive plays from its backfield following the departure of running back Zach Evans. Prior to transferring to Ole Miss this offseason, Evans averaged 7.0 yards per carry on the way to rushing for 648 yards. 

Can the Horned Frogs find their balance before Week 10's showdown against Texas Tech? 

Be sure to stick with as we preview every aspect of the matchup with the Horned Frogs throughout the week.

Now, here’s a look at some of the top offensive players to watch for TCU.

QB Max Duggan 

Duggan has the reps and the experience. Most coaches won't care about that when electing to join a new roster, but that could be a difference-maker for Dykes if TCU is looking to be a contender right out the gate. 

Last season. Duggan actually posted a career-high in completion percentage (63.9), yards per passing attempt (9.0) and touchdowns (16). He also took 20 sacks and never seemed to feel comfortable behind the line of scrimmage. Under Dykes, Duggan beleives his role will be much easier in terms of decision-making and mental processing. 

“It’s really quarterback friendly. You can tell by the past teams and quarterbacks he’s had,” Duggan said. “There have been a ton of great ones that played in the NFL, that were great in college. There’s excitement playing with coach (Garrett) Riley and coach Dykes’ offense. The friendliness of it.”

QB Chandler Morris

Prior to joining TCU, Dykes actually tried to court Morris to join him in Dallas at SMU following his decision to transfer from Oklahoma. The son of former SMU and Arkansas coach, Chad Morris, Chandler ended up making the most of his two starts in 2021. 

Last season in place of Duggan, Morris threw for a career-high 461 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Horned Frogs to a monumental 30-28 upset over then-No. 12 Baylor. Against Oklahoma State, he threw for 103 yards while completing only 55 percent of his passes.

“I know Chandler well,” Dykes said at Big 12 Media Days last month. “I had a chance to watch him play at Highland Park (High School) when I was at SMU, and he comes from a football background. It's very similar to mine. His dad (long-time coach Chad Morris) was a head coach. He’s kind of one of those kids who grew up hanging around the field.”

Morris told reporters earlier this week that his focus has been on the mental processing and pocket awareness of the position this offseason. He also is looking to play at a more consistent basis. 

RB Kendre Miller Jr. 

Miller filled in as the Horned Frogs' starter after Evans suffered a season-ending injury . He finished second in rushing yards with 623 and scored a team-high seven touchdowns on the ground. Miller also averaged 7.5 yards per play, fourth-highest in program history. 

Production will be key for the junior running back this fall. Since arriving in Fort Worth, he's yet to finish with 100 carries in a season. That being said, Red Raider fans likely remember Miller well following his career-high 185 yards, three touchdown performance against Tech last year in Lubbock. 

WR Quentin Johnston 

Johnston is the star of the offense for TCU. He's projected to be in the conversation of WR1 for the 2023 NFL Draft and has all the tools to be a future All-Pro at the next level. 

Last season. Johnston utilized his 6-4 frame to his advantage, leading the Horned Frogs in receiving yards (648), yards per catch (18.5) and touchdowns (six). He also has blazing speed that allows him to win at the point of attack downfield as a vertical option. 

When asked about his role at Big 12 Media Days, Johnston said he tries to model his game after another 6-4 receiver that was known for wearing purple. The name? Hall of Fame All-Pro Randy Moss. 

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