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All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Guest speakers at the Fall in Love with Tech event. (Ella Schamberger/Staff Writer)
TCU students reshape the narrative for aspiring female technologists
By Ella Schamberger, Staff Writer
Published Mar 3, 2024
Guest speakers spoke to women in computer science in the hopes of inspiring their ambitions in the male-dominated major.

I-35 Showdown: Who’s who on the gridiron

Here is a position-by-position breakdown of probable starters for Saturday’s opening weekend showdown between TCU and Baylor.QUARTERBACK

(Probable Starter)

TCU: Andy Dalton, red shirt freshman

Baylor: Blake Szymanski, sophomore

Advantage: Even

Szymanski went through baptism by fire in last season’s final three games against Texas Tech University, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University, averaging nearly 40 pass attempts a game while throwing seven interceptions and getting sacked 13 times. While Dalton is probably the better talent, the experience factor leans toward Szymanski.

RUNNING BACK

(Probable Starter)

TCU: Aaron Brown, junior

Baylor: Brandon Whitaker, senior

Advantage: TCU

Brown has developed himself as the catalyst for the Frogs’ offense, averaging about 800 rushing yards and eight touchdowns in his first two seasons in purple. Whitaker saw limited action last year and will have to face one of the nation’s best rush defenses. Brown’s resume as an offensive threat was epitomized last season when he earned the Mountain West Conference offensive player of the year award.

WIDE RECEIVERS and TIGHT END

(Probable Starters)

TCU: Donald Massey, Marcus Brock, Ervin Dickerson, Derek Moore, Shae Reagan (TE)

Baylor: Thomas White, Justin Akers, Ernest Smith, Justin Fenty, Brad Taylor

Advantage: Even

While TCU’s crop of receivers and tight ends fared much better statistically last year, one of the biggest questions heading into this season remains who will be the go-to guy for Andy Dalton in the vertical passing game. Baylor’s spread offense presents an interesting test for the Frogs’ five-man secondary that is comprised of younger players in the backfield.

OFFENSIVE LINE

(Probable Starters)

TCU: Matty Lindner, Blake Schlueter, Marshall Newhouse, Giles Montgomery, Marcus Cannon

Baylor: Jason Smith, Dan Gay, J.D. Walton, James Barnard, Thad Boatner

Advantage: Even

The season-ending torn ACL injury to senior tackle Wade Sisk was a huge blow to TCU’s offense. The unit must now rely on a young tandem of tackles in Newhouse and Cannon to help create daylight for Aaron Brown. For Baylor, Smith and Boatner better be ready for the speed and athleticism of Tommy Blake and Chase Ortiz.

DEFENSIVE LINE

(Probable Starters)

TCU: Tommy Blake, Chase Ortiz, Cody Moore, Kelly Griffin

Baylor: Geoff Nelson , Jason Lamb, Vincent Rhodes, Trey Bryant

Advantage: TCU

While all the attention might be on Blake and Ortiz, the real story might be freshman Kelly Griffin, who will become the first true freshman during Gary Patterson’s tenure as head coach to start in the season’s opening game. Baylor’s line brings experience, but it needs to bring a lot more in week one in order to outdo TCU’s unit.

LINEBACKERS

(Probable Starters)

TCU: Jason Phillips, David Hawthorne

Baylor: Joe Pawelek, Nick Moore

Advantage: TCU

A match-up that is surprisingly pretty even. Although there is more preseason praise around Phillips and Hawthorne, Pawelek and Moore registered 161 tackles last season compared to the 116 tackles of Phillips and Hawthorne. What gives TCU the edge is that these two return to a unit that gave up only 60 yards a game on the ground last season. Phillips goes into the season on the watch list for the Lombardi award and he is tabbed as a first-team All-American by nationalchamps.net.

SECONDARY

(Probable Starters)

TCU: Brian Bonner, Steven Coleman, David Roach, Nick Sanders, Rafael Priest

Baylor: Dwain Crawford, Brandon Stiggers, Alton Widemon, Josh Bell, Jordan Lake

Advantage: TCU

Bonner is expected to be the fire starter of a unit that returns all but one starter from a year ago. Seeing the development of players such as Sanders and Priest should be fun to watch. The loss of C.J. Wilson should be a big blow for the Bears, but Crawford will look to keep the group afloat for most of the game at free safety.

SPECIAL TEAMS (Probable Starters)

TCU: Chris Manfredini, Derek Wash, Aaron Brown, Brian Bonner

Baylor: Caleb Allen, Brian Ozols, Mikail Baker, Brandon Whitaker

Advantage: TCU

With the graduation of All-American punter Daniel Sepulveda, the Bears will see how spoiled they have been now that he is gone. For TCU, the question of whether Manfredini’s leg will be strong enough to handle long field goal attempts on a full-time basis will remain unanswered until his first long kick attempt. Bonner and Brown both have breakaway potential as return specialists.

HEAD COACHES

TCU: Gary Patterson, seventh year (54-20, 34-15 in conference)

Baylor: Guy Morriss, fifth year (15-31, 7-25 in conference)

Advantage: TCU

As Morriss is still trying to get his first winning season at Baylor, Patterson is already making his mark as one of the finest football coaches in Horned Frogs’ history with 54 wins in six seasons as TCU’s head coach. Patterson was also recently named by Sports Illustrated Magazine as one of the 10 best coaches heading into this season.

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