87° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

TCU football 2023: A season in review

TCU goes 5-7 and misses bowl eligibility coming off a run to the National Championship.
TCU+head+coach+Sonny+Dykes+reacts+during+the+first+half+of+the+Frogs+game+against+Texas%2C+Saturday%2C+Nov.+11%2C+2023%2C+in+Fort+Worth%2C+Texas.+%28AP+Photo%2FJulio+Cortez%29
AP
TCU head coach Sonny Dykes reacts during the first half of the Frogs’ game against Texas, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Expectations were high surrounding a new era of TCU football after the inaugural season under head coach Sonny Dykes brought the Frogs to the National Championship game.

However, a good thing can never last too long. TCU dropped its final game of the season in shootout fashion, losing 45-69 to No. 12 Oklahoma and thus ending the season 5-7. No bowl game.

High hopes

After a win in the College Football Playoffs, the Frogs found themselves ranked No. 17 in the AP poll to begin the season and were 21.5-point favorites over their week-one opponent in Colorado.

The miraculous season the Frogs had allowed them to heavily utilize the transfer portal, landing many sought-after players such as JP Richardson, JoJo Earle, Trey Sanders, Warren Thompson and Jaylon Robinson among others to reload the offense after losing an exodus of players to the NFL draft.

At the quarterback position, fans were excited to see what Chandler Morris could do with the offense after his injury last season in week one opened the door for Max Duggan’s historic season.

Things did not pan out the way people envisioned before the season, what exactly went wrong?

Inconsistencies

After the opening heartbreaker against Colorado, many chalked the loss up to the inexperience of a young roster and an offense trying to learn a new system. No one believed the season would completely unravel, but that’s exactly what happened.

It was rare that the Frogs ever put together a complete game of football where all three phases contributed to success.

Just recently, the offense in the Oklahoma game looked great, yet the defense gave up 69 points.

Against a top-ten ranked opponent in Texas, the defense held the Longhorns to three points in the second half, yet two ill-timed turnovers proved to be the downfall.

Then, there were games where nothing looked good, such as the blowout loss to Kansas State 41-3.

Not even special teams were consistent this season. The Frogs ranked 116th in kick return defense and kicker Griffin Kell had a down year, making 66.7% of field goals compared to his 88.9% last season.

Turnovers plagued TCU this season, having 15 interceptions this year compared to eight last season.

Coaching Changes?

After a historic run to the National Championship to missing a bowl game, it is expected that a disgruntled fan base would call for changes to the coaching staff after a dissapointing season like this, but things are much more complicated than that.

As for offensive coordinator Kendal Briles, the inconsistencies and bland play calling in the offense were apparent throughout the season, especially a particular stretch of the season where only three points were scored in the aforementioned K-State game.

Then, in the weeks following, the offense got off to a slow starts only scoring seven points in the first half against Texas Tech and six points in the first half against Texas.

However, they finished on a strong note; scoring 42 and 45 against Baylor and Oklahoma, respectively.

It would be very unlikely for Briles to go anywhere. Briles and Dykes are close considering Dykes worked with Briles’s father, Art Briles, at Texas Tech. The two go way back and it’s hard to imagine seeing a change after one season, especially with the offense finishing on a high note.

As for the defense, they ended the year on a horriffic note, allowing Oklahoma to torch them for 69 points.

It is also hard to imagine a change at defensive coordinator considering Joe Gillespie coached the defense that got the Frogs to the National Championship. On the other hand, the defense did give up 65 in that game and this season ranked 100th in total defense.

Dykes has some very tough decisions to make, but as of now it seems improbable that any changes will be made to the coaching staff, so they’ll run it back next year with the same group.

What the future holds

Perhaps the most exciting development from this underwhelming season is the emergence of redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Hoover. While he was far from perfect, he showed an ability to be elite, specifically in the games against BYU and Baylor, throwing for over 400 yards in both and a combined seven total touchdowns. Additionally, he threw for over 300 yards in five of six starts.

It is hard to predict who will stay at TCU and who will leave elsewhere in the transfer portal. NIL is now an integral part of college football and because of it players are transferring at increased rates.

There is sure to be plenty of roster turnover this off-season, many star players such as tight end Jared Wiley and offensive lineman Brandon Coleman will set their sights on the NFL draft, so the Frogs must be active in recruiting and utilizing the transfer portal to ensure a bounce-back 2024 campaign.

With Texas and Oklahoma moving to the SEC, the Frogs can look to capitalize on a new Big 12 that will have multiple teams still trying to find their footing from realignment.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by TCU Football (@tcufootball)

Historically, TCU has an all time record of 53-11 following a losing season, so history is on their side as they look to bounce back.

At the end of the day, this program is still just one season removed from being in the National Championship game. It will be up to Dykes and his staff to right the ship in the coming seasons, but there still is plenty of promise for the future of the Horned Frogs in a new Big 12 and a newly-expanded College Football Playoff.

More to Discover