Same scheme- only lost safety’s coach to Texas
Qb- Casey Pachell has only attempted 9 passes ever, however he was 4 star recruit and has a lot of ability. If he takes off look out for TCU.
Rb- A very deep position with 3 starting quality rbs, and Ed Wesley is a great shifty rb. They will lean heavily on these guys to start, and I expect them to answer in a big way.
Wr- although they lost 3 talented wide receivers, they still have their number 1 yards receiver in Josh Boyce returning and expect a lot from Antoine Hicks who was hurt last year but the year before but up very good numbers. They have Skye Dawson who is an indoor track champion, so he can really stretch the field. They have two freshman 4 star players who will look to make an impact on the team. LaDarius Brown especially could become a diaper dandy this year.
Oline- they only return one starter, and lose two all MWC 1st team lineman, but it is not as bad as it sounds. All 4 new starters do have starting experience. 1 Sr. 2 Jr. 1. Sophomore who looked amazing at the spring game and has the coaches raving. Unit will take a step back, but all hope is not lost.
Defense- this is a team that has led the NCAA in total defense for 3 straight seasons. Allowing only 12 points a game last year.
D line- look out for tackle DJ Yendry. While he doesn’t count as a returning starter because he started only 5 starts, they were the last 5. He recorded 3 sacks and was an honorable mention for all MWC. Also return soph de Mopanga while he only had 2.5 sacks last year, he could be the next great TCU defensive end. TCU only weakness on defense last year was pass rush, the talent is there this year it can only get better.
Linebackers- these guys are well great, and that’s understating it. Tank Carter and Tanner Brock not only have the best names for linebackers but are the best linebacker tandem in the country. These two fly around the field and are the only two linebackers that play in Gary Patterson’s 4-2-5 defense. Look out for huge years. Their backup is a true freshman, while he won’t threaten their jobs Deryck Golden has been making a lot of noise in practice.
Defensive Backs- This team’s biggest lost is safety Tejoy Johnson a Thorpe award finalist. Only one team threw for more than 200 yards on this team last year, that’s amazing. While they likely won’t be able to replicate those numbers this year they will still be good. They don’t count as returning starters but cb McCoy and safety Coba did start 5 games last year. McCoy is a playmaker, the fastest player on the team, and is in line for a breakout season. The other 3 DB’s don’t have much game experience, but safety Johnny Fobbs is a Sr. and could be a good player this year.
Special Teams- both kicker and punter return. Accurate kicker, not the best leg. Biggest Punter at 280 pounds in college football can really boot it. At returner they won’t be able to match last year’s numbers with the loss of arguably the best returner in college football last year in Jeremy Kerley. Baylor
Coaching- New defensive coordinator (pitts dc last 3 years)
QB- Robert Griffin is a very good player. A dual threat qb with great speed. Normally when you hear dual threat you think run first, but Griffin is a good passer as well.
RB- they lose Jay Finley who was a 1,000 yard rusher, and are now a running back by committee team. Both running backs have some skills but this position will take a step back.
WR- Josh Gordon the big 12’s best deep threat averaging 17 yards a catch will be suspended for a while, more importantly game 1 against TCU. The coaches seem to be very confident in this group anyway and really like receivers Terrence Williams and Lanear Sampson. This is a very talented group with or without Josh Gordon. They lose their starting tight end, but get Stanford transfer Jordan Najvar who has some skills.
Oline- They loss a first round pick Danny Watkins but they return everyone else. This is a line that should continue to improve.
Defense- They have a new d coordinator running a new system in a 4-2-5. This is not a simple system to pick up, but they needed a change. Against quality opponents they surrendered 42.75 points per game with an average ppg difference of 15 points. They lose their top 5 tacklers.
Dline- they lose by far their best d tackle in Phil Taylor. He was a space eater, and they won’t be able to replace him. Phil Steele thinks they will improve but I don’t see it. They don’t have their space eater, and only got 21 sacks last year. They lost the guy that takes up double teams, and without a good pass rusher this d line is bad.
Linebackers- inexperienced linebackers combined with a new system, these guys could get exposed. Look for teams to pound the ball against these guys.
Defensive backs- They have a good corner in Tyler Stephenson who the coaches think has star potential. But other than that this unit could be in for some trouble. They lose a lot in the secondary especially with the loss of both safety’s and number one corner.
Special teams- big leg but inaccurate kicker in sophomore Aaron Jones. A freshman punter, and they surrendered 3 kick return tds so this unit could be in trouble.
Home field Advantage- Phil Steele gives them a 3 point home field advantage. They played 4 respectable teams at home last year and lost 3 of those games.
My pick- Baylor has a great explosive passing game, but I am not sold on their running game. The defense is bad, sad, or whatever other word you want to use. They are switching the system which is needed, but should slow down the progress of making this defense worse to start the season. Last year Baylor really struggled with TCU’s 4-2-5 defense, this year they should be more familiar with it, but there is no way Baylor’s 4-2-5 will be anywhere near as good. I am not thrilled about TCU offense and am a little nervous about the qb, but I think TCU will be able to pound the ball against the bad defense, and I think Baylor will have trouble scoring. Baylor plays in shoot outs, where they try to outscore you and I don’t think they can do that against the nation’s best defense of the last 3 years.
TCU -6.5 3 units.