LAWRENCE — Earlier this week, KU coach Charlie Weis gave his weekly assessment of the Jayhawks’ next opponent. This meant a detailed look at the No. 16 TCU Horned Frogs, who will enter Memorial Stadium on Saturday for their inaugural Big 12 game.
Weis had a simple narrative that he wanted to push: TCU coach Gary Patterson may have built the program’s national rep on suffocating defenses, but this year’s version of the Horned Frogs is considerably more well-rounded.
“While they used to win games on defense,” Weis said, “now they can win games in multiple ways.”
Weis was fresh off a film viewing of TCU’s 56-0 victory over Grambling State last week in the Horned Frogs' season opener. Even when factoring in the competition, it was an impressive performance. TCU’s quarterbacks — starter Casey Pachall and backup Trevone Boykin — combined to go 17 for 17 for 276 yards passing.
So, yes, Weis’ point is mostly correct. Patterson and TCU made history over the last 12 seasons by leading the nation in total defense five different times (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010). To put that in context: The NCAA began tracking this stuff in 1937, and no other program has finished first in total defense more than four times ...in more than 70 years.
Of course, this also ignores the high-powered offenses that TCU has fielded in recent years — led by now Bengals starting quarterback Andy Dalton. In 2010, TCU ranked 12th in total offense while having the No. 1-ranked defense. In 2009, TCU ranked seventh in total offense while having the top-ranked defense. You may hear the argument that some of these numbers were inflated by TCU’s Mountain West competition. Well, TCU can now silence those doubters as it takes on the Big 12.Here are three TCU players to watch: Casey Pachall, junior, quarterback
Have you ever seen a college quarterback rating of 397.6? Well, you have now. Pachall, a second-year starter, was historically good in the opener against Grambling State. And he’ll be the most experienced quarterback Kansas has seen thus far.Blaize Foltz, senior, right guard
A native of Rose Hill, Kan., Foltz went mostly unrecruited by the local schools and has developed into a Outland Trophy candidate on the offensive line. According to TCU, he’s also an absolute beast in the weight room, bench pressing 580 pounds and squating 800.Josh Boyce, junior, receiver
Boyce was explosive against Grambling State, finishing with four receptions for 102 yards and two touchdowns before taking a seat in the second half.