First Look: TCU
Here's an early look at Purdue's third opponent in 2019, the Texas Christian Horned Frogs:
Time: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
Location: Ross-Ade Stadium
Surface: Bermuda Grass
Capacity: 57,236 (Tickets Available)
Series notes: Purdue leads the all-time series 2-0 with a couple of season opening victories: 42-35 on Sept. 20, 1969 in Fort Worth, and 15-0 on Sept. 19, 1970 in West Lafayette.
Early line: Purdue -3.5
TCU has a quarterback debate
In its 39-7 season-opening win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff, where TCU was favored by 53, the Horned Frogs rotated quarterbacks as both freshman Max Duggan and Alex Delton played. Delton drew the starting assignment and stood out running the ball (team-best 67 yards rushing on seven carries) more than with his passing (10 for 22 for 119 yards). Duggan led all three of the Horned Frogs' touchdown drives and finished 16-for-23 through the air for 165 yards. Coach Gary Patterson wasn't happy that the Horned Frogs' offense didn't finish, as five drives stalled in the red zone.
Delton is a grad transfer from Kansas State who gained over 800 yards (combined) in the last two seasons with the Wildcats. Either way, the Horned Frogs are in need of resurrecting an offense that saw its production drop off in 2018, failing to score more than 17 points in seven of its last 10 games. Patterson joked after the season-opening win that he might invite five quarterbacks into the competition for playing time.
The Horned Frogs have playmakers
Four starters return to an offensive front that led the Big 12 in pass protection, and Darius Anderson is a capable running back.
WR Jalen Reagor, who wears jersey No. 1, has many Rondale Moore qualities and is known for changing a game all by himself. He is a preseason All-American candidate. Still, there are depth questions at receiver. Also, like Moore in the Nevada game, in the season opener Reagor made some mistakes. He dropped three passes and muffed a punt, but it didn't matter in the blowout win.
TCU coach Gary Patterson is known for one thing in particular
...and that is developing a scheme to slow the opposing team's best player. He will have his hands full with Moore, who is leading the nation in receiving. Yet, Patterson, likely has been plotting all off season on how to slow Purdue's star.
In 2017, TCU finished the season 11-3 and ranked in the top-10. Patterson has led TCU to six conference titles, including one in the Big 12 Conference in 2014. His 2010 team finished 13-0, won the Rose Bowl defeating Wisconsin and ended up ranked second in both national polls.
Patterson is TCU football, and is the second longest tenured coach (he is in his 20th season) with one FBS program trailing only Iowa's Kirk Ferentz who started at Iowa one year earlier.
Defense, ball control is Patterson's pedigree
Purdue did well stopping Vanderbilt's run game, but it will be challenged this week as TCU enters the contest having rushed for over 200 yards in three straight games. Defensively, Patterson is a gaudy 115-5 when holding an opponent under 17 points. His defense, however, figures to be challenged when facing the nation's No. 1 passing offense in Purdue.
Purdue’s young receivers will face a couple of experienced cornerbacks in seniors Jeff Gladney and Julius Lewis as they are known as some of the best in coverage corners in the country.
Linebackers and safeties are what Patterson typically builds his defense around. The challenge is Patterson lost experienced linebackers Ty Summers and Arrico Evans and 44 games of experience in graduated safety Niko Small.
Junior hybrid linebacker Garret Wallow is the top returning tackler. He's joined by senior Montrel Wilson, who has played only 10 games the past three seasons because of injury .
Patterson's program, by his standards as the winningest coach in school history, has dropped off a bit in two of the past three seasons, finishing 6-7 in 2016 and 7-6 in 2018. Yet, last year, Patterson was credited with an excellent coaching job as his team dealt with many injuries.
The Horned Frogs typically respond well after subpar seasons. Patterson's teams followed four previous campaigns of 7–6 or worse with records of 10–2, 11–1, and 11–3, with a atypical 4–8 season tossed into the mix.
Coach Jeff Brohm on the Horned Frogs
"This is a very good TCU team. We will have our hands full with their defense. They have two really good defensive tackles and two really good cornerbacks. They move around, they shift their coverage. Their line movement concerns us.
"Coach (Gary) Patterson is really aggressive in his play and he has coached defense for a very long time. He is very creative. He will prepare for a team on a week-by-week basis and you will face some things against them you have not seen before.
"Offensively, they will spread you out. When they have been really good in past years they have had an athletic quarterback."
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