TCU and longtime head coach Gary Patterson had another impressive season in 2017. They started the season unranked, made it to the Big XII title game, ended the season with an 11-3 record (6-8 against the number), and finished in the top 10 in postseason polls. This was the third time in the last 4 years that TCU reached double digit wins and they will go for it again in 2018.
TCU will be looking to make a bowl game for a 5th straight year and oddsmakers have different opinions for the Horned Frogs so make sure you shop for the best number. BetOnline set their season win total to 8.5 (170/-200) while you can find 7.5 at 5Dimes (-110/-110) and BetDSI (-125/-105). Keep in mind that these win totals do not include bowl games or the conference championship game. TCU has only missed a bowl game twice under Gary Patterson’s 17 completed seasons and he sure isn’t looking at missing one in 2018. Winning the conference may be within in reach as oddsmakers have them at +700 to win the Big XII (3rd best in the conference) and 110-1 to win the national championship (future odds found at 5Dimes).
TCU will only return 11 starters but has the entire coaching staff intact for the 2018 season. Only 5 starters are back on offense and the Horned Frogs will be looking for a new quarterback after Kenny Hill’s departure. They do return their leading receiver and leading rusher from last season. The defense has 6 returning starters, but they lose a lot of production as their leading tackler and leading sack man are gone from 2017.
|Date||Opponent||BangTheBook Line||Expected Wins|
|9/7 (FRI)||@ SMU||-17.5||0.94|
|9/15||Ohio State (neutral)||12||0.18|
|10/11 (THURS)||Texas Tech (off bye)||-13.5||0.84|
|10/20||Oklahoma (off bye)||5||0.36|
|11/10||@ West Virginia||3||0.43|
Total Expected Wins: 8.1
With Kenny Hill gone, sophomore Shawn Robinson looks to take over for TCU. Robinson was a highly sought after recruit and saw action in 6 games as a freshman. While he only attempted 27 passes, he managed to not throw an interception, but his accuracy needs to better than the 48% completion percentage or the job may be open up to somebody else. Robinson is a threat to run and he may have use his legs as the offensive line loses 4 starters and will have a combined 26 starts.
The backfield has Darius Anderson back as the junior averaged 6.0 yards per carry and led the team in rushing last season. He will have the chance to top 1,000 yards rushing as Kyle Hicks leaves. Hicks actually led the team in rushing attempts with 139 carries. Most of those should go to the speedy Anderson but power back Sewo Olonilua will look for a few extra too. Overall, this will be one of the better backfields in the conference with experience and different ways to attack opponents. The receivers group won’t blow anybody away but should be a solid group. Sophomore Jalen Reagor had 8 touchdowns and 576 receiving yards, both were best on the team. KaVontae Turpin is back and led the team with 41 receptions.
TCU’s calling card has been their defense and last season was no different as the team had 42 sacks to go along with leading the conference in points per game allowed (19) and yards per game allowed (331) last season. Mat Boesen is gone and led the team with 11.5 sacks. That will be a big loss on the defensive line but Ben Ban Banogu had 8.5 sacks of his own and led the team with 8 tackles for a loss as well as earning the Big XII defensive newcomer player of the year award. Ross Blacklock earned freshman All-American honors and should only get better his sophomore year. The defensive line should be set and looks to be the best in the conference and one of the best in the nation.
The linebackers lose star Travin Howard, who led the team in tackles, but do have 2 starters returning. Former defensive end Ty Summers is now in this group and while may production may drop compared to last season, this should still be an excellent group and one of the best in the conference. The defensive backs constantly are one of TCU’s strengths and Gary Patterson does an excellent job developing talent. They have to replace 2 starters, including first team Big XII player Nick Orr who had 3 picks last season but look for the secondary to continue to be one of the strengths of this defense.
TCU starts with a couple of easy games and then they take on Ohio State in a great non-conference matchup. While the game is at a neutral field, it’s right down the road from TCU and they will hope that gives them some type of home hedge. Immediately after the contest against Ohio State, they have to travel to Texas, which is a tricky set of back-to-back games. They have another set of back to back games on the road against West Virginia and Baylor near the end of the season and anytime you have to travel to Morgantown, WV, it’s a tricky spot. Bang the Book lines have them as favorites in 8 games as of now which seems right going into the season.
Win Total Pick: Lean Over 7.5 (5Dimes)
The expected win total comes out to 8.01 but I would stay away from this play because while this defense should still be one of the best in the conference, if not the best, I don’t want to get involved with a team that has an inexperienced offensive line and a new quarterback. With a great coach in Gary Patterson, it wouldn’t shock me to see TCU have a chance at double digit wins again.
-END OF 2018 PREVIEW-
The Texas Christian Horned Frogs finished the last season with a 6-7 (4-5) record, ranking fifth in the Big 12 conference. They didn’t hold up to the preseason expectations as they ranked second in the preseason poll.
Their starting QB, Kenny Hill, was voted for the Newcomer of the Year 2016 preseason award. He threw for 3208 total yards last year but he also recorded most season INTs in his three years long college football career (13). At the end of the year only three Horned Frogs made it to the All-Big 12 team as defensive linemen Josh Carraway and James McFarland made it on the defensive end and KaVontae Turpin was selected on offense as kick/punt returner. Gary Patterson’s 17th year at the helm of TCU is about to begin and they actually might go further this season as pressure that has existed before the last season start isn’t that high this time.
TEXAS CHRSTIAN UNIVERSITY HORNED FROGS
- Jackson State Tigers (Sep. 2)
- at Arkansas Razorbacks(Sep. 9)
- SMU Mustangs (Sep.16)
- at Oklahoma State Cowboys (Sep. 23)
- OFF (Sep. 28)
- West Virginia Mountaineers (Oct. 7)
- at Kansas State Wildcats (Oct. 14)
- Kansas Jayhawks (Oct. 21)
- at Iowa State Cyclones (Oct. 28)
- Texas Longhorns (Nov. 4)
- at Oklahoma Sooners (Nov. 11)
- at Texas Tech Raiders (Nov. 18)
- Baylor Bears (Nov. 25)
According to 5dimes Sportsbook Odds for 2017 Season Win Totals: 7.5; Over -140; Under +120;
The Horned Frogs ranked 29th nationally in total offense last year with 463.2 yards per game and 6.08 yards per play. Through the air they averaged 6.93 yards per attempt and 268.2 yards per game (also 29th in the NCAA and fifth in the Big 12).
First season with the new team for junior QB Kenny Hill didn’t go as planned as he recorded most INTs (13) and recorded lowest completion percentage in one season so far (61.1%). He did throw for 3208 yards along with 17 TDs but we can’t escape the impression that he underperformed. His most often target was junior WR Taj Williams who recorded 702 receiving yards and 5 TDs. This duo should lead the passing offense in the upcoming season too.
On the ground, team averaged 195.0 yards per match and 5.19 yards per rush (tied 46th in the NCAA). Their leading rusher was junior RB Kyle Hicks who recorded 1042 total yards rushing (5.1 yards per carry) along with 417 receiving yards and 14 total TDs. Future NFL prospect might have his best college football year in front of him.
On the defensive end the Horned Frogs were average, allowing 424.8 total yards per game and 5.49 yards per play (73rd in the NCAA). They did lead the conference in number of sacks (43) but their passing defense didn’t profit much as they ranked 77th nationally allowing 238.9 yards per game and 7.26 yards per attempt. Their rushing defense was also average-like with 185.8 yards per contest and 4.18 yards per rush allowed. Junior LB Travin Howard led the team in total tackles with 130 while junior Safety Nick Orr posted a big threat for the opposing QB’s, collecting 4 INTs and 86 total tackles (tied 3rd on the team).
On the special teams, the Horned Frogs averaged 23.84 yards per kickoff return (14th nationally) and solid 9.82 yards per punt return (3rd in Big 12 and 32nd nationally). Their kickoff return defense was also good as they ranked 31st in the NCAA with 19.00 yards per kickoff allowed. Team averaged only 3.95 yards per punt allowed (16th nationally). Leading kick returner was Deante’ Gray who switched the NCAA for NFL (22.5 yards per kick return) while leading punt returner was sophomore KaVontae Turpin who averaged 12.5 yards per punt return..
Garry Patterson is in TCU for almost twenty years (as an offensive coordinator or head coach) and he has a 149-54 (93-38) record so far. Last season wasn’t satisfying as they finished ranked 5th in the Big 12, losing the 2016 Liberty Bowl against Georgia Bulldogs, 31:23 in their final game. Coach who led the team in 6 Big 12 championship titles and 10 Bowl wins surely isn’t done yet. In August last year, his contract had been extended through 2022, with an annual base salary of $4.75 Million. Motivation enough.
Team’s departures and recruits
- Josh Carraway, senior OLB, declared for the 2017 NFL draft and was picked by Tennessee Titans in the seventh round as 227th overall pick.
- Deante’ Gray, senior WR, declared for the 2017 NFL draft and was signed as an undrafted free agent by Houston Texans.
- Aviante Collins, senior OL, declared for the 2017 NFL draft and was signed as an undrafted free agent by Minnesota Vikings.
- Denzel Johnson, senior LB, declared for the 2017 NFL draft and was signed as an undrafted free agent by Tennessee Titans.
- Cyd Calvin, senior CB, graduated.
- Aaron Curry, senior DT, graduated.
- Trevorris Johnson, senior RB, graduated.
- Preston Miller, senior WR, graduated.
- Steve Wesley, senior CB, graduated.
- Derrick Green, senior RB, graduated.
- Kenny Illoka, senior S, graduated.
- Gabe Merigian, senior FB, graduated.
- Caylin Moore, senior S, graduated.
- Connor Osborne, senior WR, graduated.
- Ryan Watkins, senior FB, Graduated.
There were 2 enrolled players and 21 players who were signed after the letter of intent.
- Wes Harris, OG, Aledo, Aledo, TX;
- Shawn Robinson, DUAL, DeSoto, DeSoto, TX;
Signed Letter of intent:
- Jalen Reagor, WR, Waxahachie, Waxahachie, TX;
- Omar Manning, WR, Lancaster, Lancaster, TX;
- Corey Bethley, DT, Katy, Katy, TX;
- Dennis Collins, WDE, West Monroe, West Monroe, LA;
- Michael Onyemaobi, ATH, Chaparral, Temecula, CA;
- Lakendrick Van Zandt, ATH, Henderson, Henderson, TX;
- Kenedy Snell, WR, Waxahachie, Waxahachie, TX;
- Al’dontre Davis, WR, Lutcher, Lutcher, LA;
- Noah Daniels, CB, Clear Creek, League City, TX;
- Garret Wallow, S, John Curtis, New Orleans, LA;
- George Ellis III, DT, American Heritage, Fort Lauderdale, FL;
- Quazell White, OG, Lincoln, Tacoma, WA;
- Michael Epley, WDE, Tyler J.C., Tyler, TX;
- Coy McMillon, TE, Abilene, Abilene, TX;
- Ezra Tu’ua, DT, Los Angeles Harbor College, Wilmington, CA;
- Alex Bush, ILB, Cerritos College, Norwalk, CA;
- Kerry Johnson, S, Westfield, Houston, TX;
- Christian Williams, TE, Fullerton College, Fullerton, CA;
- Terrell Cooper, SDE, Lindale, Lindale, TX;
- Nijeel Meeking, ATH, Union Parish, Farmerville, LA;
- Keenan Reed, CB, Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, Miami, OK;
Total wins predictions
This could be a very successful season for the Horned Frogs because the last season’s main players especially on the offense are still here and more experienced. Total wins bar is set for 7.5 and I think that they can go over this number of total wins relatively easy. Kenny Hill, Taj Williams and Kyle Hicks are entering their final college football years and big-numbers season must be their prime goal.
Total wins prediction: 7.5, Over -140.