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Texas Tech Week 10 Opponent Preview: TCU Horned Frogs

The Red Raiders continue Big 12 play against Sonny Dykes and TCU in Week 10 on the road at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

Change is coming to the Big 12 in 2023 with the addition of four new teams. For now, the biggest change comes to the state of Texas with TCU and its new coaching staff. 

After two decades at the helm, the Gary Patterson era is over in Fort Worth. The Horned Frogs and Patterson parted ways last season after starting the year 3-5. He now is working with Steve Sarkisian at Texas while Sonny Dykes is set to begin a new chapter. 

Dykes, the son of legendary Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, didn't have to move far for his next stop in coaching. Hired away from SMU, Sonny Dykes led the Mustangs to three winning seasons during his four seasons at the helm, including a 10-win season in 2019. Prior to Sonny Dykes' arrival, SMU had finished above .500 just once since 2012. 

The Horned Frogs will be replacing multiple players on both sides of the football. Perhaps the biggest name leaving the program is running back Zach Evans, who elected to transfer to Ole Miss following the hiring of Dykes. Defensively, TCU is also replacing pass rusher Ochaun Mathis, who led the team with four sacks before transferring to Nebraska.

Texas Tech, which also is starting fresh with new coach Joey McGuire, could be in line for a big in-state win over the Horned Frogs. And with Dykes' history in Lubbock, this could be viewed as a rivalry on the rise

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

TCU Horned Frogs

2021 Record: 5-7 (3-6 Big 12)

Head coach: Sonny Dykes

Dykes is entering his first year as head coach at TCU.

Offensive Set: Multiple

Defensive Set: 3-3-5

Returning starters on offense: 6 

Replacing the production of Evans is likely the second-biggest concern for Dykes' offense entering 2022. Finding a consistent No. 1 quarterback is likely the first. Max Duggan started 10 games last season before being benched for Chandler Morris down the stretch. 

Morris, a transfer from Oklahoma, made the most of his role as the team's starter. Against Baylor, Morris threw for a career-high 461 yards and two touchdowns, leading the Horned Frogs to a monumental 30-28 upset. 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.”

Regardless of who the Horned Frogs start under center, he'll have a go-to weapon on the edge in receiver Quentin Johnston. Last season as the team's boundary receiver, Johnston averaged 18.5 yards per catch while tallying six receiving touchdowns. 

On the offensive line, the Horned Frogs added SMU transfer Alan Ali to pair along with First-team All-Big 12 center Steve Avila. TCU is also expecting a big season from offensive lineman Andrew Coker, who is expected to start at right tackle. 

Projected offensive starters:

QB: Max Duggan* OR Chandler Morris 

RB: Kendre Miller Jr. 

WR (X): Quentin Johnston*

WR (Z): Quincy Brown 

WR (SLOT): Derius Davis*

TE: Geor'Quarius Spivey

LT Marcus Williams*

LG Brandon Coleman*

C Steve Avila*

RG Alan Ali

RT Andrew Coker*

* denotes returning starter

Returning starters on defense: 8

New defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie is changing up the formation for the first time since the turn of the century. One thing Patterson was known for was his patented 4-2-5 approach. Now, the Horned Frogs will be running more of a 3-3-5 look under the former Tulsa defensive coordinator. 

Several players won't be changing much to their style of play. Linebacker Dee Winters is still expected to be the thumper but will shift more toward the edge. The same could be said for first-team All-Big 12 cornerback Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, who still will play the perimeter. 

The Horned Frogs also added Navy linebacker Johnny Hodges and Colorado safety Mark Perry via the transfer portal. Hodges recorded 50 total tackles during his final year with the Midshipmen and is expected to play the WILL-backer role. Perry, who recorded 66 tackles and three interceptions, will start at strong safety. 

Projected defensive starters:

DL: Dylan Horton*

NT: Soni Misi 

DL: Terrell Cooper*

WILL: Johnny Hodges

MIKE: Jamoi Hodge*

SAM: Dee Winters*

CB: Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson*

CB Noah Daniels*

FS: Bud Clark*

SS: Mark Perry

WS/Nickel: Nook Bradford*

* denotes returning starter

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