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August 27, 2010

Top 25 Countdown: #8 TCU Horned Frogs


2009 Record – 12-1, 8-0 Mountain West
Bowl Game – Fiesta Bowl – Lost to Boise State 10-17
Letterman Returning: 54
Stadium – Amon G. Carter Stadium (44,008)
College Location – Fort Worth, TX
Coach – Gary Patterson, 85-28 (10th year)


Key Returnees – QB Andy Dalton (below), WR Jimmy Young, WR Jermey Kerley, OT Marcus Cannon, RB Matthew Tucker

Key Losses – OT Marshall Newhouse, RB Joseph Turner

- It’s hard to pinpoint one particular area of the Horned Frogs offense that seems to make everything work. The days of LaDainian Tomlinson carrying the team on his shoulders are far and gone. Now, TCU carves through opposing defenses doing everything right, not just rushing the ball. Senior quarterback Andy Dalton has been as consistent a player to the TCU offense as any quarterback in the country. Dalton has started 36 games in his days as a Horned Frog and has lived up to any expectations set. He is the TCU leader in career passing yards at 7,457 which says quite a bit since the likes of Davey O’Brien and Sammy Baugh once donned the same jersey. As a junior last season, Dalton, the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, passed for 2,756 yards and 23 touchdowns on a 61 percent completion percentage, while also rushing for 512 yards. Keeping defenses honest in the rushing game are a pair of sophomores in running backs Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley. The two bring different running styles to the field – Tucker listed at 6’1’’ 210, Wesley at 5’9’’ 185 – however both are successful in the Horned Frogs charity back system. Tucker returns as the team’s leading rusher with 676 yards last season and eight touchdowns. Wesley finished third, not far behind with 638 yards. Both brought in better than six yards a rush. The receiving core welcomes back all four starters including senior tight end Evan Frosch. At wideout, senior Jeremy Kerley returns as the teams big play threat. Senior, Jimmy Young and junior, Antoine Hicks, also return. The two combined for 995 receiving yards last season and nine touchdowns. Kerley, who also excels in the return game being named the Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year, brought in 532 yards on 44 catches last season, while scoring seven total touchdowns in three areas of the game. Kerley was also 100 percent as a passer last season for 44 yards. The offensive line returns four starters with all-conference lineman Marcus Cannon leading the way for the veteran group that includes three senior starters. For an offense that averaged 38.3 points and 457 total yards last season, which also returns nine starters, there is no reason to expect a drop in production from the Horned Frogs in 2010.


Key Returnees – MLB Tank Carder (below), DE Wayne Daniels, DT Corey Grant, S Tejay Johnson

Key Losses – DE Jerry Hughes, OLB Daryl Washington, CB Rafael Priest

- In 2008 the Horned Frogs defense gave up just an average of 218 yards per game and a point average of just 11.3 points. It would have been downright Looney-bin silly to expect the 2009 defense to live up to or even match the numbers from a season previous. Perhaps for another team it may have been, however, not for the ’09 Horned Frogs. Last season, the defense gave up just an average of 12.8 points per game and 240 total yards a game, but one less loss in the right hand column of the score card and an undefeated regular season came along with the drop in numbers. You decide what season was technically better. This year, the defense losses two All-Americans and three total All-Conference defenders in defensive end Jerry Hughes, linebacker Daryl Washington and corner Rafael Priest. Returning, to what should be another stellar defensive class for the Horned Frogs, is another All-American, in middle linebacker Tank Carder. Carder finished second on the team in tackles last season with 89 while bringing in 10 for a loss. The junior is also a strong defender in the passing game, bringing in 11 passes defended last season. Teaming with Carder at linebacker in the Horned Frogs 4-2-5 system will be sophomore, Tanner Brock. Brock backed up what little time Washington spent on the sidelines last season, finishing with just 32 tackles. He showed promise and tremendous instincts, however, on his way to being named to second team freshman All-American. Along the defensive front, the Horned Frogs are led by a big group of senior leadership. The front returns three starters in senior end, Wayne Daniels, and senior tackles Kelly Griffin and Cory Grant. Grant earned second team All-Conference last season filling holes in the middle, while Daniels returns as the team’s leading sack man with 5.5. The defensive backfield for the Horned Frogs returns three starters, all at the three safety positions. The unit’s top defender, Tejay Johnson tied for the lead in interceptions last season with three. Alex Ibiloye and Tyler Luttrell are the opposite starters to Johnson. Senior, Jason Teague and either junior Greg McCoy or senior junior college transfer Malcolm Williams will fill the holes at corner.


- A lot of the skeptics who argue non-BCS schools, like TCU, don’t play tough enough completion to make it to the National Championship game have not done their homework on the Horned Frogs. For the last five years the Frogs have scheduled at least one BCS program to the schedule, walking away with a 7-2 record in that span. Wins include games over No.7 Oklahoma in 2005, No. 24 Texas Tech in 2006 and Stanford in 2008. Last season the Frogs walked away victorious against both Virginia and Clemson, before unleashing a beat down on their Mountain West schedule. This season, the Horned Frogs begin with yet another BCS test in a Sept. 4 meeting in Arlington against Oregon State. After a walk-through against Tennessee Tech, the Horned Frogs welcome local Baylor, to Fort Worth, Sept. 18. The team ends its non-conference schedule at WAC opponent SMU, Friday, Sept. 24. Opening conference play is Colorado State, who finished 0-8 in the conference last season. Home visits from Wyoming, BYU and Air Force dig out the center of October. October 30, the Horned Frogs travel to UNLV with a road trip a week later to Utah. You can bet the Utes would like nothing more than to beat power TCU one last time as a conference opponent. San Diego State and at New Mexico round out the Horned Frogs 2010 schedule.

Schedule rating: C-

Red = Toughest Game. Blue = Pivotal to conference.

Top Incoming Freshman:

1.) Ethan Grant, *#46 RB, 5-9 170, Coconut Creek, FL

A quick ‘back with 4.3 speed, Grant chose the Horned Frogs over a lot of SEC offers.

2.) Sam Carter, #30 QB, 6-1 210, Alief, TX

Carter, who has a rocket for an arm, chose the Frogs over powerful offensive locals SMU, Houston and Baylor.

3.) Blake Roberts, #55 OLB, 6-3 225, Tyler, TX

Roberts has a tremendous motor and ideal size and speed for the Frogs defense.

4.) Matt Brown (left) , #59 QB, 6-0 185, Allen, TX

Brown may be a bit smaller than the ideal college QB; however, he has excellent running abilities and makes things happen once he’s outside the pocket.

5.) Curtis Carter, #70 WR, 5-11 170, Stonewall, LA

Carter is another player in the 2010 recruiting class with 4.3 speed and can lineup at wideout or at running back.

*Rankings according to


Brown: Harvey Dunn/

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