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TCU Preview

One of the nation’s top teams comes to Lawrence this weekend, can the Jayhawks be competitive?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

TCU’s Gary Patterson has proved to be one of the country’s best active coaches. He has maintained a .732 winning percentage (120-44), seventh among active coaches nationally with at least 5 years. One of the reasons for success is in his ability to adapt and react to the fluid demands of an ever changing game as highlighted in recent coaching changes. TCU comes to memorial stadium touting a playoff-bound resume and looking to impress the committee. With only Texas and Iowa State on the slate after Kansas, make no mistake, TCU will be on a mission of dominance.

TCU holds an 18-8-4 edge over Kansas all time with KU’s last win coming in Lawrence in 1997. The Horned Frogs are currently rated 7th in F/+ with an offensive rating of 16th and defensive rank of 7th (the best the Jayhawks will face this season).

OFFENSE

Patterson made several coaching changes in the offseason including re-purposing his co-offensive coordinators and bringing in two new co-offensive coordinators. New co-coordinators Doug Meacham and Sonny Cumbie brought in a Mike Leach style air raid offense and TCU has shown a drastic improvement from an offense rated 94th in F/+ at the end of last season.

Junior QB Trevone Boykin leads the Big 12 in total yards per game with 369.8 (61 rushing) and has the offense humming to the tune of 550 yards per game (2nd in the nation). TCU has the 8th best interception percentage at just 1.22%. Junior wide receivers Deante’ Grey and Josh Doctson have combined for 14 TD’s and 16.0 yards per reception on the season. In total, 10 players have recorded a receiving touchdown in 2014.

Junior running back BJ Catalon (656 yards from scrimmage, 5.9 yards per touch) leads a rushing attack which averages 5.8 yards per rush (10th).

DEFENSE

Dick Bumpas joined TCU in February 2004 as the defensive coordinator and defensive line coach and, together with Patterson, has maintained a well run machine. Their base 4-2-5 defense, multiple looks, and read-and-react aggression have been a college football trademark for 10 years. The scheme gives the Horned Frogs the ability to be flexible against up tempo offenses allowing them to remain in the same set with the same players, neutralizing the attack.

The results, a bend-but-don’t-break defense that ranks 17th in yards per rush (3.3) while giving up 7.6 yards per pass (98th). When it counts the Frogs are steady, allowing an impressive 29% 3rd down conversion rate and less than 40% touchdowns in the redzone.

Senior Linebacker Paul Dawson, who leads TCU with 95 tackles, is the lone player in the nation with at least 13 tackles for loss and three interceptions (with a touchdown return). Junior defensive back Chris Hackett has been a beast in coverage accounting for 21 disruptive plays (including 5 interceptions and 10 passes broken up).

PREDICTION

TCU is at -27.5, take the Frogs and don’t look back.