2015 K-State Football Preview: TCU

TCU HORNED FROGS

TCUTCU enters 2015 looking to make the College Football Playoff after barely missing the cut in 2014 and destroying Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl. The Horned Frogs return seventeen starters from the 2014 Big XII Championship squad in addition to head coach Gary Patterson returning for his 15th season with the school.

The Horned Frogs return almost all of the offensive firepower from 2014’s explosive offense, seeing popular 2015 Heisman candidate Trevone Boykin return with weapons at running back and wide receiver with the protection behind four returning starters on the offensive line. Not only does TCU return almost every offensive player, most of TCU’s key players (e.g. quarterback Boykin, running back Aaron Green, wide receivers Josh Doctson, Kolby Listenbee, and Deante’ Gray) are all seniors. TCU also returns 98 starts on the offensive line, a line featuring center Joey Hunt and right tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai. The only seen foreseen weakness in TCU’s 2015 team is inexperience at  linebacker and in the secondary, a weakness that will most likely be addressed well under Gary Patterson, who has a reputation at TCU for establishing strong defenses year after year. TCU must also replace defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas after he retired this February after 11 years at TCU. Unlike other positions on defense, the defensive line was not affected by departures like the other parts of the defense, only losing Chucky Hunter at defensive tackle. TCU also returns key parts of a solid special teams unit in kicker Jaden Oberkrom and punter Ethan Perry.

TCU travels to Manhattan seeking to achieve the program’s first road victory against the Wildcats as a member of the Big XII and for the first time since 1985. While TCU has a clear athletic advantage over the Wildcats, Kansas State has the potential to pull the upset if K-State can exploit the potential Horned Frog defensive weaknesses and if the Wildcats can learn from last year’s beatdown in Fort Worth on how to stop the potent TCU offense.

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Trevor Elwell-Cuddy

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