Here is everything you need to know about the Horned Frogs opener in our TCU vs. Jackson State preview.
Kickoff: September 2nd, 2017 | 7 p.m. CT | Amon G. Carter Stadium
Radio: WBAP 870-AM, KTCU 88.7 FM
DE Keontre Anderson
Anderson was named as the Southwest Athletic Conference preseason defensive player of the year after leading the nation with 25.5 tackles for a loss to go along with nine sacks and six hurries. He was actually a three-star recruit in high school who committed to Ole Miss before his senior season. He backed off and was also recruited hard by Tennessee and Auburn. He chose Jackson State for personal reasons (family ties), not because anything happened that would makes schools cool off for his services, and it’s worked out well for Anderson.
QB Brent Lyles
Lyles was named the starting quarterback for the Tigers this week. The junior played in 7 games last season, completing 47 percent of his passes. But he’s a dual-threat players as well, rushing for nearly 100 yards per game. It will be up to him to figure out how to carve up a stout TCU Horned Frogs defense at home.
But, Jackson State’s head coach Troy Hughes has said JUCO transfer Jarrad Hayes will see time as well. So TCU should be prepared for both.
RB Darius Anderson
Games like this are usually a good opportunity for teams to rest their starters and see what they have in some of their back ups. TCU isn’t going to run Kyle Hicks into the ground on Saturday, so expect Darius Anderson to get plenty of run. He was a former 3-star running back in high school who held offers from Texas A&M, UCLA, Texas and others. In 27 carries last year he averaged 8.5 yards per carry. I’m excited to see Anderson get more reps.
WR Jalen Reagor
The 4-star freshman has been getting a ton of hype this summer and it’s time to finally see what he’s all about. He’s listed as a starter and will see some time with Kenny Hill, who always torches lesser competition. Here’s a chance for both the shine.
Decent test for TCU’s offensive line
Between Anderson at defensive end, Jackson State has another preseason All-Conference player in linebacker Shawn Bishop. It’s not a Big 12 or Power 5 front seven, but it’s something to give this TCU offensive line a relative test, which returns four of five starters and has a combined 70 starts between those players.
Last season TCU had just 13 seniors on the roster, but this season they have 32, with 21 on scholarship. A senior-led team should be focused as ever, regardless of opponent, especially when coming off a disappointing 2016 season. Is that kind of leadership and focus evident right as the game begins?
TCU goes on the road to Arkansas for a big revenge game next week. If this game gets out of hand early, are the starters pulled by halftime? Is the playbook relatively vanilla to not tip off the Razorbacks for next week? I’d like to think the starters get into the third quarter to simply get into game shape, but we will see.
TCU 41, Jackson State 13
I think Gary Patterson shows right off the bat that the defense is a different animal than the one last season that struggled at times. Jackson State’s offense struggled last season and now they have to go up against what will likely be the best defense in the Big 12. That’s no easy task, especially when your head coach is still trying to figure out his quarterback situation.
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