Defensively the TCU Horned Frogs were lights out in their first game of the season against Grambling. The Tigers managed just 70 yards and 5 first downs. Anyone else nervous? Despite some pretty significant losses this is a group that does have some fairly dynamic playmakers and will test the Kansas offense from start to finish.
LE 90 Stansly Maponga 6-2 265 Jr.
Maponga is going to be priority number one for the Kansas offensive line and he will be the most dangerous player on the field for TCU. Maponga was named preseason all Big 12, he was first team MWC a year ago and his name shows up on four different watch lists heading into this season. He's going to be a load for either tackle and it will be interesting to see how the, offensive line and maybe even more importantly Dayne Crist, respond.
DT 57 Davion Pierson 6-2 305 RFr.
DT 98 Jon Lewis 6-2 290 So
RE 95 Devonte Fields 6-4 240 Fr
The rest of the defensive line is obviously a very young group. Lewis started once and played as a true freshman. Pierson and Fields are in their first seasons at the division one level. No question this group is anchored by Maponga, but Fields did have a pretty nice first outing against Grambling recording a sack, 3 TFL's and 5 tackles total. In fact Fields tied for second on the team in tackles in his debut. Pierson and Lewis were fairly uninvolved but part of that could be that many of the starters took a back seat after this game got out of hand. It does give some hope that Kansas might be able to attack the middle, but I don't think we have a great read on what they are capable of after the Grambling game.
MLB 47 Paul Dawson 6-2 230 So.
SLB 51 Kenny Cain 6-1 225 Sr.
Cain led the team in tackles a year ago and Dawson led the team in tackles during week one. The base defense is a 4-2-5 for TCU so these two are going to be your more traditional in the box linebacker types, at least as far as traditional goes in the Big 12. These two do make up a strong unit for the Horned Frogs and for any optimism that might come from seeing a potential weakness at DT, these two help to fill any potential hole in the middle.
SS 17 Sam Carter 6-1 220 So
FS 6 Elisha Olabode 5-10 192 Jr
WS 41 Jonathan Anderson 6-3 208 So
CB 2 Jason Verrett 5-10 180 Jr
CB 25 Kevin White 5-10 174 So
First thing I'll say is that Sam Carter is as big as any linebacker we start. The second thing I'll say is that Anderson is one player on the Frog roster that could be poised for a breakout year. The 3rd concern is that Jason Verrett is a very solid corner. Carter and Anderson will help in run support out of the 4-2-5 while Olabode, Verrett and White will play more traditional roles. This is a good group and another cause for concern when looking to the Kansas passing attack for a lift this week.
Gary Patterson has built some tremendous defenses at TCU. He's a very strong defensive coach, his players play fast and they play hard. This group might not be as talented as some from his past, but they have every bit the potential. Week one provided very little in the way of a challenge for TCU. Either way though, 70 yards and just 5 first downs is a heck of a way to kick off the season.