Tarleton State Preview: Frogs look for a win in home opener


From left, TCU wide receivers Savion Williams and Quentin Johnston and linebacker Dee Winters sing the school song after the second half of an NCAA college football game against Colorado Friday, Sept. 2, 2022, in Boulder, Colorado. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

By Dru Kennedy

TCU started the Sonny Dykes era victorious with a 38-13 win over Colorado last week. Now, the Frogs, who have won 19 of their last 20 home openers, are looking to secure another victory against Tarleton State in a first-time matchup.

With redshirt freshman quarterback Chandler Morris out with a sprained knee, veteran Max Duggan is set to receive more playing time.

During media availability earlier this week, Duggan and offensive coordinator Garrett Riley spoke on the main focuses this week: getting things going early and getting the playmakers involved.

“Starting faster in the first half, coming out there and getting into a flow and rhythm earlier is the main goal,” said Duggan.

Last week the team got off to a slow start, going without an offensive touchdown throughout the whole first half. This week, Riley spoke about getting receivers like senior Quentin Johnston more heavily involved throughout the game.

“I think the biggest thing is we have to complete more balls as a whole and certainly get more playmakers the ball and [Johnston] is one of them,” said Riley. “We need to get it to him pretty early and consistently throughout the game.”

TCU’s defense also wants to handle business early. Defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie spoke on the main focus, from a defensive standpoint, going into this week’s game.

“I think our biggest focus is winning on first and second down. From a defensive standpoint, we’re going to have to sit there and win in the early downs so that we can get [Tarleton State] in the predictable situations,” said Gillespie.

Senior linebacker and team captain Dee Winters spoke on the biggest difference defensively this year: the faster pace of play.

“This year the way defense is built, it’s organized to be played fast and once you reach a key that is what you got to do […] we play at our standard and don’t lower our standard based on opponents,” said Winters.

Sneak peek at the Texans

Coming off of a 6-5 season and placing fourth in the Western Athletic Conference, the Texans are led by former four-star quarterback, Beau Allen.

Before transferring to Tarleton this season, Allen played at the University of Kentucky where he saw action in five games. In their season opener, the Texans secured a 29-13 win over Mississippi Valley State behind Allen’s 300 passing yards and three touchdowns.

After one game, redshirt freshman running back Deangelo Rosemond leads the team in rushing, and junior wide receiver Jaden Smith leads the team in receiving yards.

Another player to watch on the other side of the ball is linebacker D.J. Harris. In 2021, Harris led the team in tackles and had the fourth most tackles per game in the Western Athletic Conference.

Tarleton State just made the switch to FCS Division I football in 2020, and the Frogs will be their first-ever FBS opponent.

Kickoff for TCU vs. Tarleton State will be at 7 p.m. CST on Saturday and will be aired on ESPN+.