Extra Points

KU — Who’s Got What?

November 19, 2021

As we get deeper into November and Saturdays’ Senior Day home finale for this year, the over-arching thought comes to mind as I think of TCU vs. Kansas.

Who’s got what?

TCU is coming off a 63-17 blowout loss to a very good Oklahoma State team. Better than the CFP committee has them ranked.

Against Oklahoma State, Quentin Johnston had five receptions for 152 yards for his third 100-yard game in the last four contests. Courtesy of TC Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Quentin Johnston had five receptions for 152 yards for his third 100-yard game in the last four contests. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

What will the Frogs have in the tank emotionally this Saturday and who will play? Interim Coach Jerry Kill said he’s never seen anything like the injury flu that the Frogs have suffered through this season. That’s 40 years of coaching experience saying that and the Frogs will likely have to move some players around to get through this one. Last week, they had to move Ahmonte Watkins from cornerback to running and he did pretty well: four carries for 21 yards and he caught two passes. Coach Kill said he and his staff may have to get creative again this week just to have decent depth at quarterback. The list of the injured/not available is long, but those who can go have to get up off the mat and get ready. What will the Frogs have?

Kansas is coming off its biggest win in forever. A 57-56 basketball on grass OT win over Texas. In Austin. With two wins all year, fans are starting to believe what new coach Lance Leipold is saying. If you’re not familiar with Coach Leipold, then Google him and give him a listen. He’s Jim Wacker-ish with his message and his delivery and, like Wacker, has won everywhere he’s coached. He won at Wisconsin-Whitewater, his alma mater, and at Buffalo. He’s now taken on a mess at Kansas and seems to be moving Kansas in the right direction one play at a time. He reminds me of my old coach. The only thing missing is a “Sonuvagun!” or an “Unbeleeevable!!”

The question again is what will Kansas have left after the emotionally draining extended game at Texas?

Kansas has been working through the depth chart all year trying to find the right combination.

On offense, Kansas has played two quarterbacks, #17 Jason Bean and #6 Jalon Daniels. It’s Daniels who had the hot hand at Texas last week and led the Jayhawks to the upset. KU got a big recruiting prize with freshman running back #4 Devin Neal. He’s run for 648 yards and has three 100-yard games this year (Duke, Oklahoma, Texas). Slot receiver #8 Kwamie Lassiter is slippery and he has 1404 career receiving yards. He showed up in a big way last week, tying his career high with eight catches at Texas to go along with his third TD of the season.

Defensively, Kansas is still trying to figure it out. At Texas, it gave up 574 yards and 56 points after giving up close to 500 yards to Kansas State and 535 to Oklahoma State. The Jayhawks are allowing close to 500 yards per game, they’re last in the nation in scoring defense, and they’re not very effective on third downs. There’s work to do here and it probably won’t be solved without some recruiting to find larger, better defensive linemen. The Jayhawks get no pressure.

Frog fans, as a former player I can tell you that Senior Day is an emotional time. For most of the players, this is it. Their organized football career is coming to an end. You hug your coach and run out on the field and five minutes later you have to have your tears dried, your breath caught and go play. This has been an excruciating couple of years for these 18 TCU seniors who’ll take a bow Saturday for the last time at The Carter. Between the pandemic and a disappointing season, they’ve been through it. Perhaps no class in TCU Football history has had to go through so much just to get to the field. Come out and support them and say thanks. And be a part of their “what.”

We’ll be on the air LIVE on the Horned Frog Sports Network at 2 p.m. CT for what should be a beautiful day. Great weather and 72 degrees at kickoff.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Stirring it Up in Stillwater

November 12, 2021

The season rolls on. And what a difference a win makes.

After an entertaining, breath-taking, unexpected and energizing win over No. 12 Baylor last week, the Frogs get a reward.

The prize? No. 10 Oklahoma State in Stillwater at night.

One of the toughest places to play in the Big 12 will be packed and loaded. Boone Pickens Stadium, once known as Lewis Field, was renovated several years ago. The late, great T. Boone Pickens, an oil tycoon who loved Oklahoma A&M (that’s the original name), paid for the renovation. The most notable factoid about the stadium is that the field runs east to west. It was built that way years ago so the stands could protect the field from the fierce winds that often pepper Stillwater. Most fields are built to run north to south.

Oklahoma State starts with defense. And it’s good. OSU is No. 3 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 277 yards per game. The team is No. 2 in 3rd down defense, with opponents converting just 26 percent. Add to that the Cowboys are allowing just 16 points per game, good enough for No. 9 in the country.

In helmet and uniform, quarterback Chandler Morris runs with the football.

Chandler Morris, making his first career start against Baylor, totaled 531 yards of offense (461 passing, 70 rushing). The Horned Frogs had 562 as a team, their most since 2019. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles runs a multiple, attacking defense that comes at offenses from all angles and uses five defensive backs and two linebackers in ways that smother and confuse opposing quarterbacks. They swirl around like a dust devil and Frogs’ trigger man Chandler Morris will have to have his radar on, much like he did last week when he “Houdini’d” the Frogs to a win in his first start.

To put it in perspective, last week Oklahoma State had 8 sacks and 12 tackles for loss against West Virginia and held the Mountaineers to 17 net yards rushing. The same West Virginia team that ran for 229 yards on TCU.

Quick throws and being secure with the football will be key as OSU does a great job stripping the ball and creating turnovers. Last year, the Frogs turned it over five times against OSU.

TCU’s offensive line will be in for a test and will have to give Morris some time and protection if the Frogs are to have a chance.

On offense, the Cowboys have had to reload and, as usual, head coach Mike Gundy has done just that. Gone are running back Chubba Hubbard, WR Tylan Hubbard and some great offensive linemen. Not to worry as Utah State transfer #7 Jaylen Warren has moved in at running back and has put up some huge numbers, including a 218 yard performance against Boise State. Tay Martin (#1) has taken over as the class of wide receivers and have scored at least one touchdown in each of the last three games and has taken over as the go-to wideout.

Quarterback Spencer Sanders (#3) is now a junior and is one of three players in OSU history with more than 4,000 passing yards and 1,000 rushing yards in his career. His best game this year was against Kansas State, when he threw for 344 yards and 2 TDs while completing 65 percent. The OSU offense isn’t dynamic, but they are sound and take what opponents give them. They’ll slow it down, run it and then hit you with a deep ball. Mike Gundy knows what he’s doing and he’ll have a great game plan.

The scary part for Oklahoma State is what will they see out of TCU. Lots of new players appeared on defense and the offense was completely different from an efficiency standpoint with TCU quarterback Morris at the controls.

A fast start and an early lead will serve the Frogs well as OSU’s offense is not super dynamic and haven’t played from a behind much this year. The Frogs can put pressure on Oklahoma State by getting a lead early and keeping the chains moving. Taking advantage of OSU’s speed and over-pursuit with screens and misdirection have worked for other teams. It will work for Meacham & Co.

Did You Know?

  • Oklahoma State have won five of the last six games vs. TCU in Stillwater. The Frogs lone win in Stillwater in the Big 12 era came in 2017, a 44-31 win for TCU.
  • TCU Interim head coach Jerry Kill was a young coach on the staff at Midwest City High School in 1984. The quarterback on that team was current OSU head coach Mike Gundy.
  • Mike Gundy has been the head coach at OSU since 2005

We’re on the air live from Stillwater on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 6 p.m. CT. Join us on WBAP 820 AM, XM 381, the Riff Ram and Varsity Network apps.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Reeling in the Years — Thanks, Coach P

November 5, 2021

This has been a week. A week to reflect. A week to be thankful. A week that made us pause.

And a week to get over.

Coach Gary Patterson speaks to media at the Big 12 Media Days. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Coach Gary Patterson speaks to media at the Big 12 Media Days. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

For the first time since December 2000, Gary Patterson will not lead the Frogs onto the field. And what a run it has been.

We’ve all reeled in the years since the news broke late Sunday that TCU and its winningest coach in school history were parting ways.

And there’s lots to review.

The file is large, the successes larger. Iconic wins in Pasadena, Atlanta, Norman, Austin, just to name of few of the 181 joyous game days that he gave us over a 21-year reign.

Seniors this year at TCU were infants when the news came down in December 2000 that Coach Dennis Franchione would not coach the Frogs on the Mobile Bowl (he had taken the Alabama job) and Frogs Defensive Coordinator Gary Patterson was THE man. A generation of Frog fans have known nothing but winning and bowl games and championships and the coach with the shoe-tying, pants-hitching magic.

Contrast the last 21 years with any 21 years in the history of program football and the impact is unmistakable. Take, for instance the 21 football seasons from 1971 to 1991, when TCU won a total of 68 games, including a run of eight straight years when the Frogs won two or fewer games each year. Old-timers remember the lean years and relish in the last 20+ years of those nightmares from the ’70s and ’80s being buried by a ton of winning.

The bar had been set high. Thank you, Coach P.

That high standard of winning became the expected and, ultimately, Patterson was measured against the standard that he set. Winning is fragile and Patterson knew it. That’s why he was so vigilant throughout his tenure as head coach at TCU.

No year showed the fragile nature of winning more than this year, when the Frogs’ injuries mixed with untimely mistakes in games leading to a streak of losses, punctuated by meltdowns on offense, and big-play yielding on the defensive side of the ball. It has not been the season we were expecting. When I left the spring game on April 17th, I thought this was going to be 2014 all over again. I was enthused. Now as I prep for tomorrow’s Baylor game, my game chart and the players on it are a shadow of the 2-deep chart the Frogs came out of spring ball sporting.

Such is college football. A game of attrition, a game of collisions. This week, TCU’s expectations for this season collided with reality.

We now must move on.

Moving on involves the Baylor Bears, a “came out of nowhere” team that won all of two games last year. The Bears have re-tooled and brought in seasoned transfers in key positions to add to the already “old” players they had on the roster. Baylor is one of the most experienced teams in the nation — tons of career starts along the offensive line and in the secondary. The revival started when head coach Dave Aranda cleaned out his offensive staff and started over, bringing in OC Jeff Grimes from BYU. The “Reliable Violent Offense” features a power running game (watch out for #7 Abram Smith, a converted contact-happy linebacker, who’s run for 930 yards and 11 touchdowns) and short passes that I call extended handoffs that go for big yards.

On defense, a grown up group of defenders are led by gigantic LSU transfer #62 nose tackle Apu Ika, who rolls in a 350 pounds. Frogs center Steve Avila will need to have an epic day to neutralize Baylor’s man in the middle.

Baylor features some of the best special teams in the nation and the Frogs will have to work hard for return yards. Punter Isaac Power is in the Top 3 in the nation in net punting at 42.2 yards per punt, and kickoff man Noah Rauschenberg has had 7 kickoffs returned all year. Both these guys sport big league legs.

The key for TCU is to go play and have fun. The interim head coach said the Frogs will “play for Gary Patterson” this week, and I suspect the play book will be wide open for this one. Open it up, take chances, have fun. What has TCU got to lose?

I hope you’ll show up. The Frogs need you.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. CT on WBAP 820 AM, Sirius 98, XM200 and the Varsity and Riff Ram apps. Until air time, here’s to Coach P! We won’t forget.

Kick ‘Em High!

Headed to the Little Apple

October 29, 2021

Another Friday has sneaked up on us and the Frogs are headed to Manhattan, Kansas, and an appointment with Kansas State.

A critical appointment.

The Frogs are 3-4 after a disappointing Saturday last week that saw West Virginia knock over the Homecoming punch bowl and crash the party with a running game that kept the ball away from the Frogs.

This week has to be different if the Frogs are to keep bowl hopes alive. Five games left with three of those on the road at K-State on Saturday, then Oklahoma State followed by Iowa State the day after Thanksgiving. Baylor and Kansas come to visit The Carter. The Frogs are going to have to be road warriors to get to six wins.

The game plan for Kansas State involves resolve and courage.

The resolve to be physical and disruptive on defense and the courage to dig in and rely on the run game when it counts.

Kansas State is the same ol’ lunch pail program. Plan on a long drawn out battle.

The Wildcats, like TCU, have a quarterback who is gutsy and critical to their success. QB #7 Spencer Thompson has been around a while — this is his 6th year, and he played well (and on one leg) last week on the comeback win in Lubbock over Texas Tech. He makes the offense go.

Kansas State is 4-3, but with the same 1-3 conference record as the Frogs. After early season success with wins over Stanford and Nevada, they’ve lost three of their last four (two of those games without the services of Thompson), but are looking to reap momentum from their win last week. The key to the offense is running back Deuce Vaughn #22 who’s as dangerous catching the ball as he is running it. Last year he had the best freshman year ever by a running back at KSU. (Yes, even better than Darren Sproles.)

TCU vs California at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on September11, 2021.  Photo/Ellman Photography

TCU won’t have the home-team advantage Saturday. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Defensively, the 4-2-5 defense that the Wildcats run out is retooling and has reloaded after several key losses to graduation and the NFL.

Watch out for #91 Felix Anudike-Uzomah, a sack machine at defensive end. Linebacker #22 Daniel Green brings 234 pounds to every hit and means it. He’s been DQ’d twice this year for targeting, yet still leads KSU in tackles. Transfers fill the secondary with strong safety #31 Jahron McPherson in charge in the back half with Louisville transfer #2 Russ Yeast coming off a great game last week in Lubbock.

The weather will be great in Manhattan with highs in the upper 60’s and the wind forecasted to be light. (RIGHT!)

This will be the Frogs’ eighth trip to the Flint Hills, with TCU looking for its fourth win at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frog Sports Network at 1:30 pm CT with a great opportunity for the Frogs. It is time to step up.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Stormin’ Norman

October 15, 2021

The Frogs had so much fun and success in Lubbock, Texas, last weekend, they decided to go back out on the road this weekend.

To Oklahoma. Number 4 Oklahoma. And their 14-game win streak.

Max Duggan is the first TCU quarterback since 1950 (Gil Bartosh) to lead the team in rushing. Photo by Gregg Ellman

Max Duggan is the first TCU quarterback since 1950 (Gil Bartosh) to lead the team in rushing. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Gregg Ellman

It’s a tall order, for sure, but not impossible. OU’s defense has issues and the distraction of a quarterback controversy even got the best of Lincoln Riley this week. Speaking of QBs, I’m not surprised by what has happened at OU. Coach Riley is a brilliant offensive mind and it will take a special individual with extreme athletic AND mental powers to run OU’s offense. Tons of sets, complicated reads and match-up manipulation that takes brain power. The head coach moves quickly and everybody else in Crimson n’ Cream is trying to keep up. He probably needs two QBs to run that offense. You’ll see both Saturday.

The Frogs defense has been held together the last several weeks with bailing wire and Bondo. This may be Coach P’s and the defensive staff’s best-ever coaching job when you compare who played and won last week in Lubbock compared to what the Frogs finished spring ball with on the 2-deep. Many pieces are missing. Still, the defense kept the Frogs in the Texas game and made big plays when they needed to against Tech. They’ll have to stop OU’s Kennedy Brooks, who has averaged 159 rushing yards in two previous appearances against TCU. You’ll recall he took last year off during the pandemic, but he’s back at full power. Ask Texas.

It’ll be a successful night if the Frogs can hold OU to fewer than 250 rushing yards.

Leaving Lubbock last Saturday night, it was apparent that the injury bug had crossed over from the defensive side of the locker room to the offense. Max Duggan and Zach Evans headline the injury list, but the Frogs are trying to get offensive linemen well, and fingers are crossed that wideout Quentin Johnston will be running through the OU secondary tomorrow night.  The continued development of the ground game is crucial and TCU must make OU respect that element — a task made more difficult with OU’s moving defensive end #95 Isaiah Thomas to D-tackle during the Texas game last week. Thomas’ impact in the middle changed the game defensively for OU and Sooners defensive coordinator Alex Grinch looked like a genius.

Key for this one:

  • Get off to a good start. Get to the end of the 1st quarter with a lead or tied.
  • Grind on the ground. Keep testing OU and get the backs and receivers into space in the passing game. OU’s missed tackles have led to big plays.
  • Contain OU’s offense. They’ll get points, but you have to slow them down and keep the big plays to a minimum. 250 or less on the ground.
  • If Caleb Williams is QB, then bring the heat and confusion. The Frogs will have to take chances in certain situations.
  • Be great in the kicking game. If you’re going to win on the road at OU, special teams have to contribute points.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frog Sports Network at 5:30 p.m. CT from where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Heading for the South Plains

October 8, 2021

The second weekend in October will greet the Frogs in Lubbock, Texas, but it’ll feel like July. Temps tomorrow in the Hub City will be hot, around 95 degrees.

Both TCU and Tech hope to follow suit and get hot in their own right.

TCU vs California Bears at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on September 11, 2021. Photo by Gregg Ellman

TCU won’t have the home team advantage this weekend against Texas Tech. Gary Patterson’s Frogs will need to rely on a run game. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Gregg Ellman

The Frogs and Red Raiders have both fallen victim to Bevo over the last two weeks and have also sustained a bunch of injuries.

The “Battle for the Saddle” will feature a TCU team that’s been “that close” over the last two games, despite not playing its best.

Tech is an older football team, filled with lots of portal transfers. Tech coach Matt Wells has made it a point to get more experience on his football team in a hurry. He’s in his third year at Tech and is feeling the heat to produce wins. His older team features 10 “super seniors” – the most in the Big 12.

On the offense, Tech’s got old friend Sonny Cumbie calling the plays. The Tech legend was brought back to take over the offense but the plan got derailed in the Texas game when Oregon transfer and starting quarterback Tyler Shough left the game with a broken collarbone. He hopes to be back this year. Tech put in Henry Colombi, another transfer (from Utah State), who the Frogs saw last year and frustrated in the 34-18 TCU win. Cumbie & Co. want balance and the have the backs to do it with #28 Tahj Brooks and #4 SaRodorick Thompson. The air is still the preferred method of attack, though, and receiving leader #13 Erik Ezukanma will return from injury in time to face the Frogs. Tech has four other wideouts, all 6-4 or taller, who can go up and get the ball. Tech has also reinstalled the Tight End into the offense — BIG TE’s #15 Travis Koontz and #80 Mason Tharp, who’s 6-9!

On the defense, the Red Raiders are looking for an identity. Two defensive coordinators and the 3-3-5 scheme show you a lot of looks, if you’re an opposing QB. Tech will go with 3-down, 2-down and even give you a five-man front. Regardless, it’s the linebackers that the defense is built around and ol’ Raider Red leans heavily on #17 Colin Schooler and #6 Riko Jeffers to stop the run, pressure the passer and make plays in coverage. It’s a demanding scheme for linebackers and the defensive staff is struggling trying to find the right combo. The Frogs will have an opportunity for big plays in the run game when Tech goes to the 3-man front — lots of room to work.

As I mentioned, Tech is working through lots of injuries, but they are playing at home, which is always tough for the visitors, especially at night where the red and black are 43-16 under the lights at Jones Stadium since 2002. It’s also Homecoming in Lubbock. Here comes the parade.

Speaking of history, did you know that Tech leads the all time series 32-28-3. All three ties in the series came in three-consecutive games in Lubbock. In 1979, the Frogs and Tech tied 3-3 in a snow storm, while in 1981 TCU came back from a 24-7 halftime deficit to tie 39-39 and dampen Tech’s Homecoming. In 1983, a dust storm in Lubbock Friday morning followed by torrential rains turned the field at Jones Stadium into a slippery, chocolate milk-like surface and the two teams slid their way to a 10-10 tie in Jim Wacker’s first season.

We’re on the air Saturday night at 5 p.m. on the Horned Frog Sports Network to get you ready for a 6 o’clock kick.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!


October 1, 2021

In the aftermath of the SMU game, Frogs fans have come forth with multiple opinions, theories, belly-aches and concerns.

More than a few, including your scribe, have lost some sleep.

Granted, SMU ran for 350 yards and has an offensive line/running backs combo that’s the best since the Pony Express days of the early 1980s. That’s saying something.

Add to it that the Frogs were not at their sharpest and just had a bad day. Missed tackles and dropped balls, along with an unfortunate turnover inside the Frogs’ five yard line and you have a recipe for misery.

Now on to UT. The Frogs have had success here, winning 7 of the last 9. Especially impressive, when you consider that the Frogs did not beat UT from 1968 to 1991. That’s too long.

The Longhorns come in hot, coming off of wins over Rice and Texas Tech. They’ve changed quarterbacks and junior Casey Thompson has gotten the Texas offense moving. They’ve scored on 24 of their last 27 possessions. That’s efficient.

But the Longhorns have had their issues.

UT’s game at Arkansas revealed that perfection has not yet arrived in Austin, Texas.

Missed assignments along the offensive line and big plays given up in the secondary, just to name a couple.

Steve Sarkisian is a crafty coach and he will move skill players around in search of the right matchup against the TCU defense.

In last week's game against SMU, Zach Evans had 113 yards rushing on 15 carries. He landed a 46-yard touchdown catch for the first receiving score of his career. Courtesy of TCU Athletics

In last week’s game against SMU, Zach Evans had 113 yards rushing on 15 carries. He landed a 46-yard touchdown catch for the first receiving score of his career. Courtesy of TCU Athletics

Quarterback Thompson has been good, but it’s been in garbage time vs. Arkansas and in starts against Rice and Texas Tech. He has yet to face pressure and the Frogs must bring it. It you like running backs, this is the game for you. The Horns will run Bijan Robinson to counter TCU’s Zach Evans. This will be fun to watch.

The Texas offensive line has experience but not much depth. Against Arkansas, they broke down and the Hogs attacked at will. TCU will need to find a way to disrupt this group. The starting five will play the entire game for Texas.

Keep an eye on #8 Xavier Worthy and #4 Jordan Whittington are speedy options at receiver. Keep an eye out for #6 Joshua Moore — a dangerous target in the deep ball game, but he turned an ankle this week in practice and will be a game time decision.

Defensively, Texas has gone to a multiple set that will feature a four-man front along with a 3-3-5 look, depending on the situation. The D-Line for Texas is led by big #99 Keondre Coburn at 346 pounds. His nickname is “Snacks” and he is the team comedian. Does stand-up comedy in the locker room.

At the defensive end spots, #46 Ray Thornton and #3 Jacoby Jones powerful on the edge and TCU’s tackles will be tasked with keeping them neutralized.

#0 Demarvion Overshown is a force at linebacker and walk-on Luke Brockermeyer, #47, has fought his way onto this football team at middle linebacker.

The secondary has not had a great start to the year and there will be deep ball opportunities for the Frogs. They’ll need to make those plays.

This one comes down to the TCU defensive line going up against the UT offensive line. The outcome will be decided here in Fort Worth.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 10 a.m. Join for the 92nd meeting between these two proud programs.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Hall of Fame Weekend

September 22, 2021

As the Frogs get ready to welcome SMU this weekend, we also get ready to welcome back some of TCU’s greatest to be honored as the newest members of the TCU Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame Weekend is managed and administered by the TCU Block T Association, which is made up of more than 2,000 current and former TCU athletes.

If you haven’t been to the TCU Hall of Fame, you should visit it in Schollmaier Arena. There’s a lot to see. The Justin Foundation provided the funding for the new Hall of Fame.

This year’s honorees, representing the 53rd class to be inducted, include Michael Cannon '86 (men’s track and field), Jamie MacCurdy-Kizer '02 (women’s swimming and diving), Victor Payne '02 (football) and Roy Williams '01 (men’s track and field). Additionally, Nolan Brawley '64 (men’s track and field) is this year’s Vintage inductee with longtime TCU Senior Associate Athletics Director for Facilities and Operations T. Ross Bailey ’76 the first-ever honoree in the Special Contributor category.

Courtesy of TCU Block T Association

This year’s honorees, representing the 53rd class to be inducted, include Michael Cannon ’86 (men’s track and field), Jamie MacCurdy-Kizer ’02 (women’s swimming and diving), Victor Payne ’02 (football) and Roy Williams ’01 (men’s track and field). Additionally, Nolan Brawley ’64 (men’s track and field) is this year’s Vintage inductee with longtime TCU Senior Associate Athletics Director for Facilities and Operations T. Ross Bailey ’76 the first-ever honoree in the Special Contributor category.

Induction ceremonies will take place Thursday night with the class recognized on the field at the end of the first quarter during the SMU game.

Cannon was a two-time All-American in both the 400m and 4×400. He was a Southwest Conference champion in the 4×400 and finished fifth at the 1985 NCAA Championship. He was also a quarterfinalist at the 1984 Olympic Trials in the 400m. He established a TCU record in the 400m of 45.14 seconds that stood for 19 years.

MacCurdy-Kizer was a member of the Conference USA All-Decade Team while only swimming one year in the league. She won four events and was runner-up in two more at the 2002 C-USA Championships. She was named TCU’s Athlete of the Year for all sports in 2002 and TCU’s Most Valuable Swimmer all four years.

Payne was first-team All-Conference USA as a senior in 2001 and named by Sporting News as the conference’s Best Blocker. He made 36 career starts and was a key part of LaDainian Tomlinson leading the nation in rushing in 1999 and 2000.

Williams was a 2000 NCAA Champion in the 4×400 and a national runner-up in 1998. A three-time All-American, he was on the winning 4×400 at the 2000 Penn Relays. He was a 10-time All-WAC recipient and the 2000 and 2001 champion in the 400m. He was also on three WAC Championship 4×400 teams (1998-00).

Brawley was a three-year letterman in track and field and co-captain of the 1963-64 team. He was the Southwest Conference runner-up in the mile and all-conference in the event.

Bailey has had a six-decade association with the Horned Frogs, including being named head athletics trainer at the age of 24. He moved into an administrative role in 1998 and served as the senior associate athletics director for facilities and operations until his retirement in December 2020.

Friday, we’ll get ready for SMU.  It’s the 100th game in the series that dates all the way back to 1915.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

Time to Bear Down

September 10, 2021

Week 2 brings a still-unranked (and underrated) TCU team a visit from the PAC-12 as the Cal Bears look to erase the memory of a disappointing loss to Nevada in their opener.

Like TCU, Cal has become known for its defense under head coach Justin Wilcox. The problem for the Bears in recent times has been that they haven’t gotten support from their offense.

TCU vs Duquesne football at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on September 4, 2021. Photo by Gregg Ellman

TCU quarterback Max Duggan’s 207 yards in the air against Duquesne put him over the 4,000-yard career mark. He’s now at 4,079 which ranks ninth in TCU history. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Gregg Ellman

Cal’s quarterback Chase Garbers has wheels and would rather run than throw. He’s not as comfortable throwing the football, but if he gets in rhythm he can be a problem. Former NFL assistant Bill Musgrave is Cal’s offensive coordinator and he want to run a complex offensive system, but the QB position appears to be the hold up to fully exploiting all facets of the offense. Garbers can move, though: Last year, he outran USC’s secondary on a play that opened some eyes. The Frogs will need to be patient and sound on defense as Cal will huddle, slow things down and run it with #28 Damien Moore, who doesn’t need much room to pop a big play. Follow him with stocky back #34 Christopher Brooks at 235 and there’s the power game. There are ample WRs, but getting them the ball with accurate throws has been an ongoing problem and was Cal’s blight last week vs. Nevada.

Cal’s offensive line has been shuffled due to season-ending injuries to their center and right tackle. The left side of the Cal O-Line is the stronger side.

Defensively, Cal rolls out two giant nose tackles at 340 pounds apiece, #58 Stanley McKenzie and #91 Ricky Correia. The defense is built around the linebackers. #54 Evan Tattersall is fast and covers well. Outside linebacker #19 Cameron Goode can do it all — rush the passer, play the run, cover in space.

The secondary will disguise coverages and show a lot of man coverage. Big play opportunities lurk as size mismatches in the back half favor the Frogs.

With the way both of these teams like to run the ball, this could be a short game as the clock will run. Heat and humidity will be a factor and it will be interesting to see how Cal handles the heat late in the game. High temp in Berkeley, California, today was 68 degrees.

The forecast for tomorrow at The Carter calls for a high of 95 with winds out of the south at 20 mph.

We’re on the air on the Horned Frogs Sports Network at 1:30 p.m. CT. Join us!

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

This Much We Know

September 8, 2021

Game 1 has come and gone and the Frogs find themselves at 1-0.

That was part of the plan scheduling FCS opponent Duquesne.

TCU Football players in uniform face the crowd with hands forming the "frog sign." Photo by Ellman Photography

As TCU faced Duquesne on Sept. 4, Quentin Johnston (#1) and Dee Winters (#13) proved to be key Horned Frogs on the football roster. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Gregg Ellman

Observations and thoughts from Saturday’s game:

  • The 54-minute game was the first I’ve ever seen in my life with 12-minute quarters in the 2nd half. It was completely understandable, given the injuries and depth issues that Duquesne found themselves facing.
  • The TCU offense had 10 different receivers get in the act and eight different ball carriers. Lots of options here. Quentin Johnston on the large end of the scale. Derius Davis on the blur end of the scale.
  • The offensive line got a good workout in and will only get better when Wes Harris returns to the lineup.
  • The defense is fast. Gary Patterson wants them to be “quick” instead of fast. I think they’re that, too.
  • JD Spielman can make a huge difference for this team as a playmaker. I hope we get to see the player he was at Nebraska, where he had three-straight 800-yard seasons. The only ‘Husker ever to do it.
  • Max Duggan looks much more comfortable throwing the ball downfield. And he’ll have plenty of chances.
  • Max’s backups Matthew Downing (UGA TR) and Chandler Morris (OU TR) are more than capable.
  • The wideouts are deep and talented. This will provide headaches for opposing defensive coordinators.
  • Watch out for running back Zach Evans.
  • And Kendre Miller — who’s bigger and stronger than last year.
  • The defensive line will get deeper — and I can’t wait.
  • Dee Winters is the next elite TCU linebacker. He can get to the ball.
  • Tre Hodges-Tomlinson knows where the ball is at all times. It’s a gift that extreme talents at corner have.
  • All three phases of the game have had a chance to stretch their legs and are now ready to meet the raised bar.
  • TCU didn’t show much of the playbook in the win over Duquesne.

Cal comes to town after a rough opener at the hands of Nevada (you remember Nevada, don’t you? Google Boise State loss at Nevada 2010). Chances are they’ll be ready to play and redeem themselves. Question is: Can they handle the Frogs and the Texas heat. The forecast for Saturday is sunny and 98.

Friday, we’ll take a deeper look into the Bears’ den. It’s an up-and-coming program.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!