Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frogs vs. Baylor @ 4:00pm

If you're just not feeling it at work today, you've still got a chance to play hooky and get down to Waco to watch some TCU baseball in person as the 2-1 Frogs take on the 2-1 Bears at 4:00pm this afternoon.

Freshman Andrew Mitchell will get his first career start, after having pitched three innings of relief work in Friday night's 8-2 win over Kansas. Based on interviews with Jim Schlossnagle, we'd been led to believe that Tony Rizzotti would be the mid-week starter. But instead, Mitchell (who graduated from Stratford High in Houston) becomes the 4th Houston area-native to start for the Frogs in their first four games. Baylor will counter with left-handed sophomore Josh Turley, who was 4-0 last spring.

If you're too chicken to leave work early to head down there (it's OK if you are, I am too), you can listen live on KTCU by clicking here.

Looking Ahead: The Defensive Line

The TCU defense was ranked #1 in the nation again in 2010, and were particularly strong against the run- giving up under 100 yards per game on the ground and surrendering just 9 rushing touchdowns all year. When you're that stout against the run, it has a lot to do with the big guys up front. Looking forward to 2011, the Frogs will have to find a way to replace graduating starters Wayne Daniels, Cory Grant and Kelly Griffin.

Griffin was actually out of the lineup starting midseason when he suffered a broken ankle, and replacing him in the starting lineup was junior-to-be DJ Yendrey. Yendrey ended the year with 3 sacks and 5 tackles for loss. The other returning starter is sophomore Stansley Maponga, who showed flashes of his brilliant potential as a redshirt freshman this past fall.

The other returners that factored into the rotation and that will be looking to become starters in 2011 are senior Braylon Broughton, juniors Ross Forrest and Jeremy Coleman and sophomore Matt Anderson. Broughton has showed some versatility to go along with his massive frame, playing both end and tackle as needed. Anderson was a safety in high school, carrying on the tradition of TCU transplanting players from other positions in at DE. Players looking to jump into the rotation are sophomores Ray Burns, Bryant House and Jon Coontz as well as redshirt freshmen David Johnson and Clifton Murphy.

Four newcomers will be on campus this fall- true freshmen Davion Pierson, Chucky Hunter and Jon Lewis, as well as BYU transfer Tayo Fabuluje. Fabuluje will have to sit out the 2011 season per NCAA transfer rules, and could potentially end up as on O-lineman. The three freshmen all look like tackles and all could contribute right away.

The conversation after the O-line look ahead post was pretty sparse, but just because it can be easy to lose sight of these guys in the trenches doesn't mean you don't have an opinion on the matter. Let me know, in the comments section, what you think about the future (this spring, this fall and beyond) of the D-line at TCU. Who will start alongside Maponga and Yendrey? Will Broughton finally fulfill his massive potential? Which youngster will step up and make an impact? Who's the next superstar?

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