2012 TCU Preview - Offense
TCU WR Josh Boyce
CollegeFootballNews.com 2012 Preview - TCU Horned Frog Offense
Preview 2012 - Offense
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What You Need To Know: The Horned Frogs couldn’t be better equipped to jump into the Big 12. The offense exploded for close to 41 points per game, and if the left tackle situation can be solidified, the numbers should be special once again. QB Casey Pachall has the potential to be one of the league’s best passers and a top pro prospect. The passing game should shine with a tremendous receiving corps to work with led by Josh Boyce and a deep group that will be as good as any in the new league. The running game should once again be among the nation’s most effective with three backs – Ed Wesley, Matthew Tucker, and Waymon James – who ran for 700 yards or more,
but Wesley might not be back after leaving the team for family reasons. The line has potential, and it was able to produce despite losing four starters last year, but there are question marks at tackle.
Star of the offense: Junior QB Casey Pachall
Passing: Casey Pachall
228-343, 2,921 yds, 25 TD, 7 INT
Rushing: Waymon James
121 carries, 875 yds, 6 TD
Receiving: Josh Boyce
61 catches, 998 yds, 9 TD
Player who has to step up and be a star: Junior OT James Dunbar
Unsung star on the rise: Sophomore WR Brandon Carter
Best pro prospect: Pachall
Top three all-star candidates: 1) Pachall, 2) WR Josh Boyce, 3) OG Blaize Foltz
Strength of the offense: Receivers, Skill Players
Weakness of the offense: Offensive Line Veterans, Tight End
As good as Andy Dalton was throughout his great career, last year, Casey Pachall was better completing 67% of his passes for a record 2,921 yards and 25 touchdowns with seven interceptions, while running for two scores. The 6-5, 216-pound junior showed the fight and the mental toughness to be great in the clutch, coming through with a brilliant performance in the win over Boise State, and coming this close to bringing the Horned Frogs back in the opening night thriller against Robert Griffin and Baylor. He’s big, strong, and is a fearless passer who did a great job of spreading the ball around, pushing it down the field, and keeping the mistakes to a minimum throwing more than one pick in just one game – the win over San Diego State. While he might not be a big-time runner, he’s mobile enough to take off from time to time and he’ll fight for the first down when needed. A star recruit who was wanted by several of the bigger boys, he’s going to be a hot NFL prospect over the next few seasons.
Sophomore Matt Brown is only 6-1 and 185 pounds, but he’s a nice passer and became dangerous around the goal line rushing for six touchdowns with four in a two game span against New Mexico and BYU. Don’t let his lack of size fool you; he has a great arm and was decent when getting his chances completing three of five passes for 90 yards. Brown is clearly the No. 2, while 6-2, 215-pound Trevone Boykin is battling for the No. 3 with star recruit Tyler Matthews, a big-time get with 6-3, 205-pound size and a world of upside. Matthews will probably redshirt and could be in the mix for the starting job next year if Pachall turns out to be good enough to leave early for the NFL.
Watch Out For … Pachall to take his game to another level. He has the size, the tools, the talent, and the receiving corps to blow past the 3,000-yard mark. He’ll be a perfect fit in the high-flying Big 12.
Strength: Talent. Pachall could be one of the best passers in the nation, even if he’ll have to battle just to get all-star honors in his own conference, while Brown and Matthews are terrific talents who could easily start and keep the production going.
Weakness: Backup experience. Brown was fine running when he had his chances, but it’s not like he got enough work in to make the coaching staff feel comfortable. Pachall is a physical player who’ll take shots, and Brown has to be ready.
Outlook: The Horned Frog quarterback situation is terrific. Pachall is a big-time talent who’s starting to blossom into a star. The pecking order is in place, but it would be nice if the reserves got a little more work. As long as Pachall is healthy he’ll be a major star.
Unit Rating: 8
The Horned Frogs are loaded with returning production and should be able to crank out big yards no matter who’s running the ball. 5-9, 200-pound senior Ed Wesley ran for 726 yards and six scores despite missing a chunk of time over the first half of the season. He cranked out 146 yards in the win over San Diego State and 120 yards and two scores against Wyoming, but he was mostly a part of a rotation instead of being the featured back. While he’ll never be a regular 25-carry workhorse, he has the tremendous quickness to bust any play big and with just enough toughness to pound out yards on the inside. But is he off the team? He left for "family reasons" but there's still an outside shot he could return later this summer.
Junior Waymon James ended up leading the team with 875 yards and six scores with three 100-yard days. While he’s likely going to be the third man in the rotation, the 5-8, 203-pound plugger has the ability and potential to be a No. 1 back the offense works around. A big-time recruit after a phenomenal high school career – running for 4,732 career yards and 54 scores - he’s a talent able to work inside or out.
While all the TCU runners can work inside, 6-1, 218-pound senior Matthew Tucker qualifies as one of the team’s to thumpers. A power runner with enough speed to get by, he followed up a phenomenal freshman season with 709 yards and eight scores in 2010 and a pounding 702 yards and 12 scores last year. Not just a goal line back, he’s able to be a workhorse at times and can even catch a little bit when needed.
Senior Aundre Dean ran for 130 yards last year and is good enough to see more time. One of the team’s top recruits a few years ago, the 6-0, 215-pounder hasn’t been able to break through to become a major factor, but he has good size and enough experience to be used more. He’ll fight with star recruit B.J. Catalon for time. The 5-9, 200-pounder could be one of the team’s best receives out of the backfield and can hit the home run, scoring 32 times and running for 2,269 yards as a high school senior.
Watch Out For … even more of a rotation. If Wesley was 100% and in a groove he would've been the No. 1 option, but he’s gone. With so many other good backs in the mix the Horned Frogs should be fine. Dean and Catalon will help out the big three in the rotation, too.
Strength: Options. TCU was the only team in college football to return three players who ran for 700 yards or more, but with Wesley gone there are still two left. There’s never any reason to not have a fresh back in with so many good runners able to crank out five-to-seven yards a crack.
Weakness: Receiving. It’s not that the Horned Frog receivers can’t catch. They just don’t do it a lot. James was the leading receiver out of the backfield with just ten grabs.
Outlook: The TCU backfield rotation will be among the best in the Big 12. There’s not a ton of power, but there’s quickness to burn and veteran options to play around with. No, TCU wasn’t as productive last year with 2,712 yards compared to the 3,415 from 2010, but the 38 touchdowns weren’t bad. Chalk up the difference to even more from the passing game, but Tucker and James will once again combine for well over
Unit Rating: 9
Junior Josh Boyce was every bit as good as advertised in his first year, earning CFN Freshman All-America honors catching 34 passes with six scores. He was even better last year leading the team with 61 grabs for 998 yards and nine touchdowns highlighted by a five grab, 163-yard, three touchdown day against Boise State. At 6-0 and 203 pounds the junior has decent size to go along with great hands and gamebreaking ability averaging 16.4 yards per catch.
Boyce might be the star, but Skye Dawson could easily be the team’s No. 1 deep threat. The 5-9, 183-pound senior might not be all that big, but he’s a flash of lightning who finished with 45 catches for 500 yards and five scores. He finished as the Poinsettia Bowl MVP with four grabs for 85 yards and the game-winning touchdown. The team’s fastest payer was the Mountain West 60-meter champion, and now has to show off more of his speed as a deep threat. He’s a football player running track, and not the other way around, and he’s starting to put up the stats to prove it.
Sophomore Brandon Carter came up with a great freshman year after blowing off Oklahoma to come to TCU. While he finished fourth on the team with 23 catches, he rolled for 15.3 yards per grab with three touchdown catches. The 5-11, 161-pounder is lightning quick and great in the open field with the ball in his hands.
6-2, 190-pound Cam White only caught six passes for 90 yards as a true freshman, but now he’s expected to do far more with good size and high yard-after-catch potential. While he can work in the slot, he has the speed to stretch the defense. Also seeing time as a true freshman was David Porter, who caught a 19-yard touchdown pass on his first career grab against Baylor and scored the week after at Air Force. However, he only finished with seven catches on the year doing nothing in the middle of the season.
TCU has done a terrific job of recruiting receivers over the last few years, like Boyce, and it has two excellent talents waiting in the wings in David Bush and LaDarius Brown. The two were among the team’s top pickups last year and redshirted, and now they’re about to make their mark in different ways. The 6-4, 220-pound Brown is a strong, physical target who looks like a No. 1 receiver, while the 5-9, 180-pound Bush is a speedster who can stretch the field.
6-6, 255-pound senior Corey Fuller will take over the tight end job after starting four times last year. More of a blocker than a receiver, he caught just two passes for 35 yards but can be used as a short-range target. TCU uses its tight ends mostly for the ground game, and Fuller can be a big blocker. However, 6-5, 242-pound sophomore Stephen Bryant is a field-stretcher with defensive back athleticism in a good-sized frame.
Watch Out For … Carter. Boyce and Dawson might get most of the attention, but Carter has the skills to blow up as a deep threat who’ll take away the attention from the rest of the corps. Most of the time he’ll see single coverage and should make defenses pay.
Strength: Talent. This might be the most talented receiving corps in TCU history, and it might not even be close. If Brown and Bush can boost up the depth as expected, the Horned Frog receiving corps will be loaded.
Weakness: A proven tight end. Logan Brock only caught 11 passes, but he scored three times and was a decent outlet target. Even so, 11 catches weren’t a lot. Fuller has to prove he can become a regular target, while Bryant has to put it all together to be a part of the passing game.
Outlook: Loaded. Boyce is a true No. 1 and Dawson and Carter are big-play talents who can put up bigger numbers with QB Casey Pachall spreading the ball around more. There’s size, speed, quickness, and talent. Nowhere on the team has the recruiting been stronger over the last few years, and it’s about to show.
Unit Rating: 8
Teams don’t focus their offensive lines around a right guard, but TCU’s best blocker might be 6-4, 310-pound senior all-star Blaize Foltz, a ridiculously strong run blaster who flattens his man and always pounds away for the key yards. He was always considered a good talent who just needed his shot, he got it last year and was terrific.
Foltz might be the star, but a top prospect at left tackle is 6-7, 315-pound sophomore Tayo Fabuluje, who’s ready to go after sitting out last year after transferring from BYU. Very big with a long frame, he’ll be tough to get around.
James Dunbar got a little time early on over the first half of last year, and now the right tackle job is his after starting out working on the left side. The 6-6, 305-pound junior was supposed to step up and be the team’s next great tackle, but it didn’t happen. He has the athleticism and the talent, but he has to be consistent. Stepping in at left guard is 6-5, 310-pound junior John Wooldridge, a key backup over the last few years with good size and mauling blocking ability.
All James Fry had to do was replace Rimington Award winner Jake Kirkpatrick at center, and he came up with a nice year. At 6-3 and 290 pounds he has good size, and was consistent, but he’ll still be pushed for time by junior Eric Tausch, a 6-3, 295-pound veteran who could end up at right tackle if needed.
Sophomore Nykiren Wellington isn’t as big as Febuluje, but he’s an athletic option at left tackle. The 6-6, 275-pounder only saw time in two games last year but he’ll get more time in the rotation. Backing up Dunbar on the other side will be redshirt freshman Bobby Thompson, a versatile 6-6, 290-pounder who can kick inside if needed. He’ll be a starter before his career is up.
Inside, the top backup prospect is Brady Foltz, brother of starting right guard, Blaize. Brady has 6-4, 300-pound size and a world of upside with the tremendous run blocking ability. He can play either guard spot and will likely start out working on the left side. 6-3, 310-pound senior Trevius Jones hasn’t seen a ton of time, but he has good size and has been around long enough to step in from time to time at either guard spot.
Watch Out For … Fabululje. A nice get from BYU, he has a huge frame and long arms. Can he shine on the left side? Probably not right away, but he should be terrific in pass protection.
Strength: The system. Four new starters stepped in last year, and it didn’t matter as the Horned Frogs were dominant in pass protection and terrific for the running game. There’s work to be done this year, too, but at this point the coaching staff is able to plug in new starters without a problem. The depth was prepared last year.
Weakness: Left tackle? TCU always gets production from the spot, but Dunbar hasn’t quite proven himself yet and Fabululje still needs a little bit of time. There’s a little bit of patching and a few more question marks than normal this year, but it’ll be sink-or-swim with Fabuluje.
Outlook: The line didn’t necessarily dominate last year, but it more than got the job done. This year, it could take a step back with a functional starting five, but few likely all-stars in the new league outside of Blaize Foltz. Strangely enough, while the starting five is a bit of a question mark, the depth should be solid.
Unit Rating: 6.5
- 2012 TCU Preview |
2012 TCU Defense |
TCU Depth Chart