No. 2 TCU opens the season on the road at Minnesota this Thursday in a rematch of a game from last year that, well, wasn’t all that close.
TCU beat Minnesota, 30-7, last September en route to a 12-1 season.
“I had that game a year ago, and that was before we knew that Minnesota would get to within one game of the Big Ten Championship,” Fox Sports national sports commentator Tim Brando said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “That was an afternoon game – Week 3, I think it was, in Fort Worth – and we really didn’t know how good Trevone Boykin was because they’d only had one game. I think they had two open dates to open the season, so no one really knew what TCU had.”
It didn’t take long to find out. The Horned Frogs led 24-0 at halftime and 30-0 through three quarters.
“What we found out very quickly in that game with Minnesota was that (TCU) had a lot better personnel everywhere on the field,” Brando said, “and that Sonny Cumbie and (Doug) Meacham, the two co-coordinators for Gary Patterson were through-the-roof good. If they could turn a converted wide receiver/running back Trevone Boykin into just an absolute stat-sheet stuffer – he’s my No. 1 pick for the Heisman right now. I don’t see TCU losing a game. Minnesota will still be upper echelon in the Big Ten. They will be. But they’re not athletically on the same level with TCU. The Horned Frogs will win this game. I don’t see them losing a game all year. I think they’re going to run the table.”
As of now, the Horned Frogs don’t play a ranked team until the final two weeks of the season. They face No. 19 Oklahoma in Norman on Nov. 21 and No. 4 Baylor in Fort Worth on Nov. 27.
Baylor, of course, beat TCU 61-58 last season. It was the Horned Frogs only loss. TCU played four ranked teams thereafter – Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State and Ole Miss – and held them to an average of 15.5 points per game.
“Gary’s defense is solid,” Brando said. “It’s better. I think he learned a lesson from an offensive standpoint as the season went on after what happened with Baylor. That game was a bit of an aberration for his defense. They just got caught up in it, and I think he earned a lesson from it.”
The offense isn’t too shabby, either. Boykin is the reigning Big 12 Player of the Year and has one of the top supporting casts in America, with leading receivers Josh Doctson and Kolby Listenbee and leading rusher Aaron Green all returning.
“They’ve got speed on the edge,” Brando said. “They’re not just about Boykin. They got great running backs – plenty of them. And they got world-class sprinter speed at all the wide receiver positions. They are Oregon Southwest. That’s really what they are from an offensive standpoint. Only Oregon is faster on the edge than TCU.”