Iowa State Cyclones

Iowa State football: 5 Things to know about TCU

Cyclones could face native Iowan under center against Horned Frogs

Sep 28, 2019; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws a touchdown pass during the first quarter against Kansas at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy Flores-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2019; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws a touchdown pass during the first quarter against Kansas at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy Flores-USA TODAY Sports

AMES — TCU’s biggest question mark heading into this season was who was going to line up under center.

Was it going to be Kansas State transfer Alex Delton, former top prospect Justin Rogers or could it be true freshman Max Duggan from Council Bluffs?

Here’s the answers to that and more with 5 Things about TCU:

1. Quarterback battle

Through four games, TCU Coach Gary Patterson has used both Duggan and Delton in every game.

Duggan was the Iowa Gatorade Player of the year and a 4-star recruit by 247Sports. He was the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and passed for 2,100 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior at Lewis Central. He also rushed for 1,200 yards.

In four games at TCU, his rushing ability hasn’t translated to the next level. He has 12 yards on 26 attempts. Removing sack yardage, he’s gained 72 yards.

 

But he has been the Horned Frogs’ most efficient passer.

While Duggan is completing just 53 percent of his passes, he has passed for 523 yards and seven touchdowns.

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Delton, on the other hand, is completing just 49 percent of his passes for 310 yards and no touchdowns.

2. Reliable running backs

While the quarterback play for TCU has been hit and miss at times, the ground game has been ultra-productive.

Running back Darius Anderson is averaging an eye-popping 8.2 yards per rush. He’s rushed 59 times for 486 yards and five touchdowns through four games. He’s also proven to be a reliable target out of the backfield, catching six passes for 65 yards.

 

Sewo Olonilua, at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, is TCU’s huge, short-yardage back.

The senior has rushed 39 times for 210 yards and two touchdowns. In a win against Purdue, he ran 18 times for 106 yards and a touchdown.

The guy is hard to tackle.

3. Dynamic defense

TCU has led the way in the Big 12 when it comes to defense.

While Iowa State has been getting most of the recognition lately, TCU has been playing a dynamic brand of defense for the better part of Patterson’s 20 seasons as TCU’s coach.

Last season, Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell lauded the way the Horned Frogs play defense with their incredible team speed and the way they use that speed to swarm to the football.

That’s no different this season.

TCU is allowing just 4 yards per play against quality early-season opponents.

Against the rush, TCU is holding opponents to 2.5 yards per run.

The defense is led by linebacker Garret Wallow, who has 48 tackle, 30 more than the next closest Horned Frog. He also has 10 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and a pass breakup.

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4. Purdy unfamiliar

TCU hasn’t seen Iowa State sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy took over for the Cyclones after TCU beat Iowa State last season, 17-14.

Then-quarterback Zeb Noland completed just 50 percent of his passes for 79 yards and a touchdown against TCU.

The Horned Frogs will have to rely on film to get a feel for how Purdy will attack them.

5. What’s a horned frog?

Well, it’s not a frog. It’s not even a toad. But, it is a real animal.

A horned frog is technically a type of lizard — it just bares a passing resemblance to a frog or toad.

The Texas horned lizard is, unsurprisingly, commonly found in Texas.

As a defense, the lizard can restrict blood flow out of its head, therefore increasing blood pressure and popping blood vessels around its eyes and squirting blood up to 5 feet out of its eyes and mouth.

The blood is mixed with a chemical that makes it taste bad for wolves, coyotes and dogs, which ends up being a good defense.

Unfortunately for the lizard, the chemical has no effect on birds.

l Comments: benv43@gmail.com

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