Big 12 Previews

Top Three Questions For TCU Heading Into Big 12 Media Days

Sonny Dykes

Big 12 Media Days are right around the corner, which means the 2023 college football season is less than two months away.

The burning questions for every team are starting to build some momentum and at media days we will finally get the answers to some of those questions.

As each fanbase prepares itself for another season of Big 12 football, we’re here to help with the three biggest questions that each team is facing before heading to Arlington for Media Days on July 12-13.

With that being said, here are the three biggest questions that the TCU Horned Frogs are facing heading into 2023 Big 12 Football Media Days.

 

Can Chandler Morris Step Into Max Duggan’s Shoes?

Last year, Max Duggan did what the best quarterbacks in the country do: he elevated the players around him. Duggan threw for 3,698 yards and 32 touchdowns to eight interceptions while completing 63.7% of his passes, adding 423 yards and nine scores on the ground on his way to an appearance as a Heisman finalist. In 2023, Chandler Morris will be expected to lead the Horned Frogs’ offense, but will it be to the efficiency that Duggan had last season? Potentially, but it’s still too early to say. Morris is as athletic as they come at the quarterback position, and has showcased his ability in limited action over the past two seasons. In eight total games played over the past two seasons, Morris has completed 66% of his passes for 862 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, adding 107 yards and a score on the ground. If he can maintain those numbers over the course of a season, TCU’s offense will hum along without much of an issue.

How Does TCU Replace Stars From a Season Ago?

TCU had a school-record eight players selected in the 2023 NFL Draft: WR Quentin Johnston (No. 21), OL Steve Avila (No. 36), RB Kendre Miller (No. 71), DE Dylan Horton (No. 109), WR Derius Davis (No. 125), Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (No. 182), LB Dee Winters (No. 216), and QB Max Duggan (No. 239). They also had three players signed as free agents with Taye Barber, Emari Demercado, and Alan Ali all signing with NFL squads. So, with 11 starters moving on to the NFL, how will the Horned Frogs replace so much production in 2023? TCU ranks 118th out of 133 teams in returning production, which means that a lot of new faces will need to step up in 2023. TCU was aggressive in the transfer portal, adding several former blue-chip players like the Alabama trio of RB Trey Sanders, WR JoJo Earle, and OL Tommy Brockermeyer. If they can get instant production from those guys alone, it would offset a lot of what they’re missing from last season, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it took a few weeks, at least, for them to find a groove.

What is Deemed Success/Failure After Year 1 Under Sonny Dykes?

After going 13-2 in his first season at TCU, is that the expectation in Year 2? If you’re reading this, and that’s what you are expecting, I’d tell you to reel it back in just a bit. I do think the roster is talented enough once again to make a run at the Big 12 Championship but to expect a 12-0 regular season and another appearance in the National Championship? That’s a big ask. Replacing pieces like Quentin Johnston and Kendre Miller will be tough enough, but to replace the heart and soul of last year’s squad in Max Duggan is an entirely different animal. There were times when Duggan simply willed TCU to victory last year, and to expect that of Chandler Morris without seeing him as a full-time starter to this point in his career would be foolish. Plus, the Horned Frogs will be breaking in a new offensive coordinator as Garrett Riley is now at Clemson. Kendall Briles has plenty of experience calling plays, but his system differs quite a bit from what the Horned Frogs ran last season. So what is a reasonable expectation in 2023? I’d say expecting the Horned Frogs to go 9-3 in the regular season and be in contention for the Big 12 Championship is reasonable, and anything less than 7-5 would be a disappointment.

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