Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The "Not a Rivalry" Rivalry

There's a pretty good write-up on lindysports.com about the odd nature of the rivalry between TCU and Boise State, which might be one of the only rivalries out there in which it's signature moment didn't even happen between the two teams. Another little thing to keep in your mind as the Frogs' trip to Idaho looms on November 12th is the fact that Broncos' QB Kellen Moore currently needs eight wins to pass Colt McCoy as the all-time winningest quarterback in college football...and TCU will be their ninth game of the season. A slip-up in any of their first eight games (which include trips to Georgia and Fresno State and Nevada and Air Force at home), and he'll be looking to set the record against TCU. Don't think GP isn't aware of that and ready to use it as motivation.

Taking Inventory: Quarterbacks

It's not as if there are big shoes to fill at quarterback for TCU in 2011. All Andy Dalton did in his four years as the Horned Frogs' starter was complete 61.7% of his passes for a school-record 8,314 yards and a school-record 71 touchdowns on his way to a school-record 42 victories. He also added 1,611 rushing yards and another 22 touchdowns. Oh, and don't forget about the three bowl MVP awards and two MWC Offensive Player of the Year trophies just chillin' on his mantle. But Andy's not the only player to depart the QB stable, though, as last year's third-stringer Yogi Gallegos transferred and Sam Carter and walk-on Rick Settle both moved to safety.

Stepping into the starting role this fall is expected to be redshirt sophomore Casey Pachall, who has now been with the program since the spring of 2009 after he graduated from Brownwood High a semester early. He played in eight games last year, but his most significant playing time was against New Mexico when Dalton was injured in the first half. Pachall came in and completed 4 of 6 passing attempts for 54 yards and a TD while also carrying the ball 5 times for 40 yards and a score as the Frogs won 66-17. What I've seen from Casey (which is a few high school games, his limited game playing time and a handful of scrimmages and practices, so take it for what it's worth), he's taller than Dalton, faster than Dalton and has a stronger arm than Dalton. What we don't know yet is how he stacks up to Dalton in terms of smarts, heart, decision-making, leadership and all of the other intangibles that made #14 a legend in Fort Worth. It's Pachall's sky-high potential combined with his relative inexperience that make him easily the biggest variable for this team heading into fall camp.

Behind Pachall on the depth chart will likely be redshirt freshman Matt Brown, who like Pachall, had an impressive spring. If size is how you judge quarterbacks, then Brown (6-1, 185) is probably not your guy. But he's fleet of foot, has a smooth delivery and was very highly recruited out of Allen High School. He initially committed to his parents' alma mater, Arizona, but surprised just about everyone by switching to TCU just days before Signing Day in 2010. Expect to see him play in plenty of games this fall- and maybe not just garbage time.

Because of Carter and Settle switching to defense, the #3 QB job is up for grabs for a pair of incoming freshmen. Trevone Boykin is an ultra-explosive athlete from West Mesquite who is deceptively dangerous with his arm. I'm pencilling him in behind Anderson for right now because the other newbie, Chazten Gonzales, has not yet arrived on campus and has been omitted from the newest roster on gofrogs.com. Gonzales, who hails from the Oklahoma City area, would provide a similar skill-set as Boykin if he were to eventually join the team.

Having just four (and maybe three) quarterbacks on the roster is a bit troubling to any subscriber to Murphy's Law, because Qube is definitely not a position at which you want to see your favorite team's depth tested. So in the comments section, along with your predictions of how the guys listed above will perform this fall, let's hear your choices for non-QBs that you'd put at QB in an emergency situation.

Morning Dump