sportsTCU Horned Frogs

TCU’s Max Duggan, Chandler Morris go ‘back and forth’ in battle for starting quarterback

Morris has started with the first team the last three practices open to the media.

The battle between Max Duggan and Chandler Morris for the spot of starting quarterback is heating up.

TCU head coach Sonny Dykes said Duggan and Morris have had a back-and-forth affair.

“I think we’ll start to have to narrow some stuff down pretty quickly,” Dykes told reporters on Wednesday. “I don’t think [Morris playing with the first team] is any kind of indication of anything, honestly.”

Unfortunately for either Duggan and Morris, only one person can be the leader of Dykes’ quarterback friendly offense. Even though there are still questions to be answered, Dykes said that he feels good about the quarterback position.

“I think we have two guys that are good football players that have both played at a high level,” said Dykes.

Third-string quarterback Sam Jackson, who has impressed thus far with his rushing ability, told reporters that there is competition between Duggan, Morris and himself but emphasized that it’s healthy.

“I learn a lot from Max [Duggan] and I learn a lot from Chandler [Morris],” said Jackson.

Jackson spent time as a running back and receiver during Wednesday’s practice, showcasing the versatility of Dyke’s offensive gameplan. Dykes mentioned that Jackson was a “really fluid” athlete with great speed and explosiveness.

“We’re trying to find ways to get [Jackson] the football,” Dykes said Wednesday. “When you have a quarterback that can do different things, that creates all kinds of possibilities and options that people have to prepare for.”

In media availability this morning, Dykes said that he ponders the possibility of using all three quarterbacks. He also emphasized that the team feels comfortable, regardless of who is starting.

“We’re starting to see more consistency from [the quarterback group] overall,” said Dykes. “I thought today was one of the better days we’ve had at the quarterback position. We’ll look at the tape and keep looking at it, but I think everyone around here is comfortable with the guys we have.”

The Horned Frogs’ primary starter last season was Duggan, who played through a foot injury he suffered against Texas Tech on Oct. 9. He finished the 2021 campaign with 2,048 passing yards and a career high 16 touchdowns through the air.

Duggan has proven to be versatile in the pocket, establishing himself as a significant rushing threat during his time at TCU. Last season, Duggan rushed for 352 yards and three touchdowns.

In his career, however, he has rushed for 1,433 yards and 19 touchdowns. Duggan has the ability to create big plays with his feet, which is something the TCU coaching staff will take into consideration when determining the starter for this season.

Morris only played four games last season, but showcased flashes of what he could accomplish as a starting quarterback. In the first game since longtime head coach Gary Patterson’s departure, Morris led the Frogs to a 30-28 victory against No. 14 Baylor, tossing 461 yards and two touchdowns.

Although Morris doesn’t have as much experience as Duggan, he has proven to be a solid pocket passer with great potential.

“Just like anything else, we’re going to have to make a decision on who the starter is,” said Dykes.

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