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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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TCU Defeats Colorado to Open 2022 Season

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Brandon Coleman (77), Andrew Coker (74), and Steve Avila (79) are all listed starters again for TCU. | Image by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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Texas Christian University football head coach Sonny Dykes told media members ahead of the Friday season opener that the Horned Frogs may play three quarterbacks against the Colorado Buffaloes. However, no one could have game-planned for the injury that sidelined starting QB Chandler Morris.

Max Duggan was tasked with stepping back into the leadership role he held for the last three seasons after Morris went down with an ankle injury late in the third quarter. Duggan went on to lead TCU to victory on the September 2 opening night with a final score of 38-13.

“He gave us the best chance to win,” Dykes said. “That’s the bottom line. I thought he played well. The good thing is we think we have three quarterbacks that can play.”

“Max came in and did exactly what I would expect Max to do,” Dykes said. “There’s not one person on our team who doesn’t believe in Max.”

By the end of the day, Dykes’ prediction that all three QBs would get some time on the field was truthful, as redshirt freshman Sam Jackson replaced Duggan late in the fourth quarter and engineered a five-play, 81-yard scoring drive that included 44 yards rushing by the young QB.

Morris and the TCU offense struggled to get traction in the first half. While the TCU defense stepped up and prevented the Buffaloes from gaining momentum, TCU’s new head coach made adjustments at halftime to score 31 unanswered points and notch his first victory in purple and white.

Colorado was first to get on the scoreboard, scoring a 37-yard field goal on the second possession, then holding Morris and the TCU offense to a short, five-play series that ended with TCU’s second punt of the day. The ensuing Colorado drive was also derailed as TCU forced a punt after only five plays leading to the game’s first fireworks.

Derius Davis collected the punt for TCU at his own 40-yard line, then scampered to the left where a lounge of Horned Frogs players made key blocks to spring the speedy returner, and it was off to the races. TCU’s first touchdown of the 2022 season came on special teams, and the play was enough to earn Davis the coveted “Special Teams Player of the Week” nod.

Colorado added another field goal, this one from 43 yards, to keep the first-half score close at 7-6.

With both Colorado and TCU fielding new coaching staff this season, the discussion about how the team would respond after halftime was a hot-button topic, but TCU quickly ended the conversation.

The first drive of the third quarter saw Emari Demarcado spring free on a sweep run on first-and-20. Demarcado had only to side-step one Colorado defender before cruising into the endzone for the touchdown and a 14-6 lead.

From that point, TCU dominated the game, even with Morris going down on a designated QB run play that saw a Buffaloes defender come down on his left leg. The Buffaloes’ only second-half score came in garbage time with the Horned Frogs already leading 38-6 and having just scored a touchdown with Jackson under center.

The Sonny Dykes era will continue on Saturday when the Horned Frogs welcome Tarleton for the home opener. Duggan is expected to get the start at QB following the news that the injury Morris suffered will cause him to miss at least the home opener.

The following week, Dykes will lead TCU against his former employer, SMU.    

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