TCU Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 TCU Football Predictions

TCU head coach Gary Patterson has amassed a record of 116-36 in his dozen seasons at the school, with a combined five conference championships (four in the Big West, one in Conference USA), an undefeated 2010 squad and seven bowl wins. The school’s all-time winningest coach, Patterson has turned down jobs at higher-profile schools to remain at Fort Worth, which enjoyed a sub-par 2012 season, finishing 7-6 and losing to Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

Injuries took a major toll on the 2012 Horned Frogs, primarily on the offensive side, and it’s hoped that the return of the wounded will contribute to a turnaround in 2013. QB Casey Pachall missed the final nine games last fall, and in his absence, redshirt freshman Trevone Boykin directed the offense capably, but Pachall is a much more prototypical QB with superior arm strength. Boykin is a better athlete, adept at improvising, setting up an interesting situation. At worst, the competition gives Patterson options, which could work to the team’s advantage at some point.

Another injury victim, RB Waymon James, also returns, giving the offense a proven producer in the ground game. Behind him are a handful of returnees and some highly-touted newcomers to provide depth. Still another injury casualty, TE Stephen Bryant, is another former starter who will be eager to resume his promising career. The wide receiving corps doesn’t dazzle, but is productive and deep.

The O-line is a work-in-progress, with the biggest concern being quality depth. Obviously, the Frogs cannot afford another rash of injuries to re-visit them in 2013.

The Big 12’s top-ranked defense (and 16th nationally) returns nine starters, and despite the loss of two key components, LB Kenny Cain and DE Stansly Maponga, there’s more than enough depth and new faces on the roster to adequately make up for their absence. The Frogs have standouts littered throughout the defense, led by All-American CB Jason Verrett, safety Sam Carter, and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields at DE.

Fields reigned terror on opposing QBs last fall, registering 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, while Verrett and Carter were the ringleaders of a secondary that intercepted 21 passes, which is huge in a pass-happy conference like the Big 12.

The weak link for the Frogs on defense is the linebacking corps, which does a good job versus the run but struggles with short-to-medium pass defense. Look for returnees Marcus Mallet and Joel Hasley to provide leadership and production among this group. Special team play should also be a strength for TCU, with both kickers (Jaden Oberkrom, Ethan Perry) returning for their sophomore seasons after impressive debuts, while the return game is in the capable and explosive hands of Deanté Gray and Brandon Carter.

This 2013 edition of the Horned Frogs is loaded with experience (15 of 22 expected starters being juniors or seniors), and if Patterson can find consistency at both QB and within the LB corps, TCU appears to be as conference championship-worthy as any school in the Big 12.

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