Offense shines in TCU spring game

Apr 14, 2023; Fort Worth, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs head coach Sonny Dykes speaks with his team after the TCU Spring Game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chris Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Offense shines in TCU spring game

TCU took to the field on Friday night to put a cap on spring practices with the Purple and White squaring off in the spring game.

Following the departure of Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan, quarterback Chandler Morris will step back under center after missing most of last season with an injury.  Morris looked sharp in TCU’s spring game, throwing accurate passes and making smart check downs to open receivers. Much like Duggan did last year, Morris clearly has a solid grasp of the offense and knows where everyone will be on any play. He also showed the athleticism to make plays outside the pocket on designed bootlegs or when the protection breaks down. 

Backup quarterback Josh Hoover also made several impressive throws, including leading the second-team offense to a score during the game’s opening segment. Hoover may not have Morris’ grasp of the offense, but the cupboard is not bare behind Morris.

Luke Pardee, grandson of legendary football coach Jack Pardee, also made a few impressive throws, including threading the needle on a slant at the goal line for a score.

Receiver JP Richardson caught the first touchdown from Hoover, and repeatedly worked his way behind the defense for big plays. Richardson had three touchdowns on the night. He should be able to fill the void left by departing star receiver Quentin Johnston. 

JoJo Earle is a transfer from Alabama that is returning to his hometown. The Aledo, Texas native flashed his explosive speed and showed that he is a potential home run threat that could add another dimension to the Frogs’ offense.

Alabama transfer Trey Sanders will make an impact at the running back position, but he was kept under wraps for most of the night by the Horned Frogs’ run defense. Sanders scored two touchdowns, one rushing, and one receiving. He is a veteran that should grow into a leadership role as the season progresses. 

TCU’s offense is not the only part of the program to lose a ton of talent and leadership from last season’s team. The Horned Frogs’ defense is also replacing a ton.  

Many of the Frogs’ starters on defense sat out tonight, but it remains worth noting that the offense had its way for most of the evening. TCU’s defense made a few plays, including a goal-line stand after a big play late in the first half and a pick-six from Daveion Crawford that ended the game. Still, TCU fans have to be concerned about the play of their defensive unit after what they saw tonight. 

The only somewhat bright spot defensively was the Horned Frogs’ rush defense. The TCU offense was able to find running room on several occasions, but could not move the ball on the ground as willingly as it could through the air.

The silver lining for the Frogs’ defense is that TCU’s offense will likely make many other defenses look just as ordinary on Saturdays this Fall.

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