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TCU Football’s QB situation: Morris injury update and students’ thoughts

Tyler Chan
Texas Christian University Quarterback Josh Hoover lines up to take the snap at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 14th, 2023. The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the BYU Cougars 44-11.

Following the 35-28 loss to Texas Tech that ended with an interception on a potentially game-tying drive, TCU is still trying to find some consistency in the quarterback spot.

TCU’s redshirt freshman Josh Hoover took over starting duties after Chandler Morris was injured during the game against Iowa State.

In his first start, he led the Frogs to a 44-11 win over BYU and earned Big 12 Co-Offensive Player of the Week honors.

However, after the game against the Red Raiders, Hoover admitted he didn’t face much adversity in his first start, which has changed in his last few games.

Against Kansas State, the redshirt freshman had 0 touchdowns on 187 yards passing with one interception. He only completed 53.5% of his 43 pass attempts.

In this week’s game, facing Texas Tech, Hoover had one touchdown on 353 yards passing with a completion percentage of 61.5%. The two interceptions could have easily been as high as five.

A couple passes were in the hands of Texas Tech’s defense, but bounced out and one was caught, but called back because of a pass interference penalty.

Head coach Sonny Dykes was asked if Morris was available against the Red Raiders.

“[He] is still a little banged up, but he was available in an emergency,” he said. “None of us were really comfortable playing him.”

He also added that Hoover is a young quarterback that is still learning, which comes with some adapting.

“We’re having him throw the ball a lot,” he said. “We haven’t been very good running the football, which has put a lot of pressure on him.”

Sounds familiar

Excelling in a first career start is nothing new for a quarterback at TCU.

When Morris made his first career start in 2021, he threw for 461 yards and two touchdowns against fifth-ranked Baylor. The TCU fanbase rallied around Morris at a time when Max Duggan was struggling to lead the team to wins.

Now, the same is happening with Josh Hoover and Morris.

Morris wasn’t able to replicate that success and, after Hoover threw for 439 yards and four touchdowns against BYU, students seemed to give him the same treatment they gave Morris just two seasons ago. 

TCU quarterback Chandler Morris (14) celebrates with his teammates during TCU’s 30-28 win over Baylor on Nov. 6, 2021. (Esau Rodriguez/Staff Photographer) (TCU School of Journalism)

“I think we have to roll with Hoover going forward,” James Lovelady, a senior political science major, said. “We need two more wins to qualify for a bowl game and we haven’t seen a game like Hoover had against BYU from Morris all year.”

Morris is almost ready to play again, but it doesn’t matter to some.

“Hoover should be the quarterback moving forward, even with a healthy Morris,” said Lovelady.

TCU students are all aboard the Hoover train with the intentions of a trip to a bowl game, but putting faith in a younger, less-experienced quarterback could be dangerous.

After the loss against Tech, Dykes said the defense struggled with missed tackles and undisciplined mistakes, which led to the Red Raider offense having possession of the ball for 21 out of 30 minutes in the first half.

“We just couldn’t get them off the field,” he said.

Going into the BYU game, TCU’s passing offense was ranked fourth in the Big 12.

TCU seemed to address all these issues in the BYU game. As a result, the offense flourished.

Still, many students point the success to the new quarterback.

“Everything Hoover showed me in the BYU game that he excelled at, Morris has done poorly all year,” senior political science and sports broadcasting major Carson Arnold said. 

As of now, Hoover will start for TCU when No. 7 Texas comes to Fort Worth next Saturday. 

The Longhorns are trying to solidify their spot in the Big 12 Championship game and the Frogs are fighting to get one of two wins needed to be eligible for a bowl game. 

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