No. 4 TCU football seeks to remain undefeated in road trip to Waco


Esau Rodriguez

TCU wide receiver Quentin Johnston hauls in a deep ball in TCU’s 30-28 win over No. 12 Baylor. Nov. 6, 2021. (Esau Rodriguez/Staff Photographer)

By Micah Pearce, Staff Writer

TCU football will play its last road game of the regular season against Baylor this Saturday.

This will be head coach Sonny Dykes’ first game at McLane Stadium. He said he’s expecting another big crowd, like that of the 104,203 that showed up to watch TCU beat Texas. 

Baylor, who put tickets on sale for $25, is hoping to bring a lot of spectators into the stadium.

Baylor comes into the game with a special chip on its shoulder. Last year, the unranked Frogs knocked off a 7-1 Baylor team that was headed for the College Football Playoffs. Instead, Baylor won the Big 12 Championship and the Sugar Bowl against Mississippi. 

This year, in a swap of situations, the Bears hope to spoil the Frogs’ perfect record and knock them out of the College Football Playoff top four.

“Baylor probably wants to do to us what we did to them last year,” said offensive lineman Brandon Coleman. 

“I don’t see [them] as a big opponent,” Coleman said. “I see [them] as the next opponent.” 

The Frogs have faced every challenge with the same mentality and will continue with the same mindset. The team doesn’t listen to the outside noise.

The Big 12 Conference has had seven of 10 teams enter the AP Top 25 throughout the season. TCU has five ranked wins.

“The gauntlet never stops,” said Dykes on TCU’s Big 12 schedule. “There are no layups.”

Baylor was projected to be the first-place team in the Big 12 this year. The Frogs were projected to be seventh based on the same preseason poll. Dykes said he came into the first team meeting and immediately confronted the preseason ranking. 

“Those people don’t know us,” Dykes said. “Let’s not pay attention to them.”

The Frogs have done just that. Every player that takes the stand in a press conference emphasizes that the team doesn’t pay attention to the rankings or bowl game projections. Offensive lineman Wes Harris said it best after the Texas Tech game.

“The same people who are praising ya now are the same people who were kicking dirt on ya this time a year ago,” Harris said. “We can’t let these bright lights and cameras get in our head.”

Dykes bragged about the team this season, saying they “really like to play football.” He said the bowl game and the playoff run is “just a byproduct of that.” 

TCU comes into the game with a 10-0 record fresh off a 17-10 win over Texas that secured a spot in the Big 12 Championship on Dec. 3. Baylor, 6-4, comes off of a 31-3 beat down from No. 15 Kansas State last week. 

The Frogs are 10-0 for the first time since 2010. They went on to win all 13 games on their schedule that year, which ended with a 21-19 win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. 

In order to match their perfect 2010 season, the Frogs will need to continue their defensive dominance they showcased on Saturday against Texas. 

The TCU defense held the Texas offense to under 200 yards total. Texas running back Bijan Robinson tallied a season low 29 yards. Freshman defensive lineman Damonic Williams said practicing against TCU’s own standout running back Kendre Miller has helped prepare the defense for whoever runs against them. 

Holding the Texas offense to three offensive points was a strange way to win, but Dykes said that’s what is so important about this year’s squad of Frogs.

“We have to find different ways to win,” Dykes said. “We’ve been trending in the right direction, defensively.”

TCU faces Baylor’s offense on Saturday, which has a history of running the ball well.

“We have to make sure we do our jobs,” Williams said. 

TCU’s quarterback Max Duggan comes into the game with 2,531 total yards and 25 touchdowns. Miller, the team’s leading rusher, has 1,147 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns. He has rushed for 100 or more yards in seven of the 10 games he’s played in. The Frogs’ leading receiver, Quentin Johnston, has 716 yards and five touchdowns on 45 receptions. 

The Frogs’ leading defender is Johnny Hodges, who has 66 tackles and 1.5 sacks. His teammate, linebacker Jamoi Hodge, has tallied 57 tackles, 2.5 sacks and one interception.  

The Frogs will kickoff in McLane Stadium at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19. They hope to improve on their 57-53-7 all-time record against the Bears. The game will be aired on FOX.