sportsTCU Horned Frogs

5 bold predictions for TCU Football in 2022: What are the Horned Frogs capable of?

Sonny Dykes’ offensive game plan provides the Horned Frogs with a promising future

It’s an interesting time for TCU Football, given that it will be without longtime head coach Gary Patterson for the first time in over 20 years.

This raises many questions, especially after a subpar 5-7 2021 campaign. Regardless of what the future holds, Sonny Dykes is set to take the Frogs into a new, offensive-minded era.

Here are five bold predictions for the TCU Horned Frogs in 2022.

TCU’s passing game will flourish

Who knows who will be named the starting quarterback for the Frogs. Will it be Max Duggan? Will it be Chandler Morris? The good thing for Sonny Dykes and company is that they can’t make a wrong decision. Both quarterbacks, although different, are equipped with the necessary tools to lead the offense.

TCU finished fifth in the Big 12 Conference in passing yards last season, with Max Duggan playing 10 games. Chandler Morris also showcased flashes of his potential with a 531 total yard, miraculous performance against Baylor.

Both quarterbacks were able to find success in an inconsistent offensive system. Under Dykes, who is known for building star quarterbacks such as Nick Foles and Jarred Goff, expect either Duggan and Morris to find newfound levels of success.

Quentin Johnston to win Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year

A TCU player hasn’t won the Offensive Player of the Year award since Trevone Boykin in 2014. The last receiver to win the award was Dede Westbrook in 2016.

If there’s anyone who can win the award as a receiver, it’s Johnston, who was First-Team All-Big 12 last season. He’ll be the primary target in a revamped, pass-heavy offense. Last season he averaged 20.4 yards per catch, the highest in conference history. Who says he can’t break some more records?

The offensive line will be TCU’s greatest strength

A great offense starts with the offensive line. After a 2021 campaign where the Horned Frogs gave up 2.33 sacks per game, the pass blocking is looking to bounce back. From what we’ve seen at practice thus far, the offensive line has been a strong point.

Dykes said that he wanted the ability to incorporate 10 trustworthy linemen in a rotation to give players rest if needed. Injuries are bound to happen throughout the course of the season, so having extra depth never hurts.

With SMU transfer Alan Ali, Uconn transfer Robby Rochester and Arizona State transfer Ezra Dotson-Oyetade being thrown into the mix alongside key returners such as Garrett Hayes, Dykes will have a reliable group. Whether Duggan or Morris starts, they’ll have more time to develop big plays due to improved pass blocking.

TCU’s defense will be improved

The Horned Frogs struggled in the defensive department in 2021, giving up 461.8 yards per game. Not applying enough pressure to opposing quarterbacks was an issue, as the team only recorded 15 sacks on the year. Kansas finished last with 14 sacks, while Oklahoma State finished first with a whopping 57. Can they get anywhere close to 50? Probably not. They can, however, make some significant improvements.

Defensive end Dylan Horton and cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, two players with superstar potential, are returning. Horton recorded four sacks last season but is due for a breakout year. Hodges-Tomlinson, a two-time First-Team All-Big 12 player, had two interceptions last season. If opposing quarterbacks dare to throw his way more often, he has the ability to make big plays and force more turnovers.

Even if the defense has flaws, it will no longer be a liability. Also, if the Horned Frogs fall behind, the offense has the ability to make big plays to bounce back from deficits.

TCU will deal with growing pains

The perfect recipe for winning football takes time, persistence, and years of hard work. Yes, TCU will have an improved offense under Dykes, which will be made clear at the start of the season. However, don’t expect the Horned Frogs to win 10 games.

The Frogs have the potential to find success. They’ll have great moments, upset victories, and entertaining games. This season will hint at a promising future, but TCU will not be a championship-level team in Dykes’ first year as head coach.

Find more TCU coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

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