2012: 7-6, 4-5 in Big 12, lost Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.
Returning starters: Offense: 6; defense: 9; kicker/punter: 2
Top players returners: DE Devonte Fields, CB Jason Verrett, WR Brandon Carter, S Sam Carter, S Elisha Olabode, RB Waymon James, K Jaden Oberkrom, RB B.J. Catalon, QB Casey Pachall, QB Travone Boykin.
Need replacing: WR Josh Boyce, LB Kenny Cain, DE Stansly Maponga, C James Fry, OG Blaize Foltz, RB Matthew Tucker, WR Skye Dawson.
TCU spent most of spring practice trying to develop depth. Coach Gary Patterson's mantra is that quality second-team players are just as important as the starters.
In Year One in the Big 12, the Horned Frogs battled injuries and inexperience on defense. Despite having just one senior starter on defense, TCU led the Big 12 in total defense. Defensive end Stansly Maponga bypassed his senior season for the NFL Draft so the Frogs have nine starters returning on defense.
Sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields (18.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks) was the Big 12 defensive player of the year. Defensive back Jason Verrett is one of the top secondary performers in the Conference; he had six interceptions last season.
Also returning is senior quarterback Casey Pachall. He was leading the Big 12 in passing efficiency through four games last season before he left the team to enter an alcohol and drug treatment center. He has returned to school and will compete with sophomore Trevone Boykin for the starting spot.
Boykin was thrust into the starting role and displayed the ability to throw it and run it. He passed for 2,054 yards and 15 touchdowns. The offense should also get a boost from the return of running back Waymon James (TCU's leading rusher in 2011) and tight end Stephen Bryant. Both missed last season with injuries.
Both kicker Jaden Oberkrom and punter Ethan Perry performed well as true freshmen in 2012. Oberkrom made 22-of-30 field goals. Perry's 44.5-yard punting average is the second-best all-time at TCU and the best average since 1981.
TCU must replace two starters (center James Fry and guard Blaize Foltz) on the offensive line. After spring practice, senior Eric Tausch had taken over as the starter at center with sophomore Jamelle Naff the heir apparent at guard as Foltz's replacement. Tausch moved to center from guard and sophomore Joey Hunt will take over at that spot.
Linebackers coach DeMontie Cross and wide receivers coach Curtis Luper are new additions to the staff. Cross was the linebackers coach at Kansas last season, while Luper served the past four years as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator at Auburn. He was on staff for the Tigers' 2010 national championship.
Coach Gary Patterson on ...
Quarterback Casey Pachall's return to the team:
"The biggest thing is he understands there are a lot of people paying attention, so he's got to make sure he walks a straight line. He's been doing the right things and you just take it one day at a time. I don't think he's any different than any other person who's dealt with this."
The quarterback battle between Pachall and sophomore Trevone Boykin:
"When we left spring last year we felt like we could only play with one quarterback and after four games we couldn't play with him. Trevone grew up a lot during the season and I think he has far surpassed that enough where that race at quarterback is very close. One beats you with his arm, one beats you with his legs and then how do both of them get better at the other part? Trevone really improved the throwing part of it."
The program's position in its second year in the Big 12:
"The key is can you grow and become a top-20 or top-15 team and top-10 team and in the Big 12 and keep it, not do it once every seven to eight years? You've got teams in this conference who have been able to do it every other year. We've got to make decisions that put us in a position to do that. That's our whole mindset."
|Aug. 31||vs. LSU (Arlington, Texas)|
|Sept. 7||SE Louisiana|
|Sept. 12||at Texas Tech*|
|Oct. 5||at Oklahoma*|
|Oct. 19||at Oklahoma State*|
|Nov. 2||West Virginia*|
|Nov. 9||at Iowa State*|
|Nov. 16||at Kansas State*|