A look at the season: Texas Christian preview


TCU then-sophomore tailback Aaron Green goes up for the catch in Iowa State’s Homecoming game Nov. 9, 2013, at Jack Trice Stadium. The Horned Frogs defeated the Cyclones 21-17.

Luke Manderfeld

The TCU Horned Frogs became an NCAA powerhouse last season, making a run at the newly formatted NCAA playoff near the end of the season. 

Despite finishing as the No. 6 team in the nation, missing the playoff by two spots, the 12-1 Horned Frogs still played the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and beat Ole Miss in emphatic fashion, 42-3.

The offense looks ready for another big season, returning many of its starting players, but the defense may be the team’s downfall, losing six of last year’s 11 starters.


The Horned Frogs owned one of the best offenses in the NCAA last season, tying East Carolina for sixth in the league in total offense (6,929 yards). 

The majority of the high-powered offense revolved through the passing game, with 4,240 yards going through the air.

That was due in large part to quarterback Trevone Boykin, who will be entering his senior season with plenty of expectations packed on his back. 

Garnering second team All-American honors and a fourth-place finish in the Heisman Trophy voting last season, Boykin threw for 3,901 yards and 33 touchdown passes while running for 850 yards. 

Boykin is primed for a big final season and will have familiarity with his receiving core to help him, with all four of last season’s top receivers returning.

Senior Josh Doctson was Boykin’s No. 1 receiver last season, catching 65 passes, and also broke the school’s single-season receiving record with 1,018 yards. He missed some time in spring due to a hand injury, but it doesn’t seem to be a major concern for missed playing time.

Docton’s fellow receiver and senior, Kolby Listenbee, has the ability to be a deep threat with his excessive amount of speed. He proved it by qualifying for the NCAA Outdoor Championship in the 100-meter dash in 2015. 

In the 2014-15 season, Listenbee ascended to the second receiver role, placing second on the team with 41 receptions and 753 yards. He also grabbed an All-Big 12 honorable mention. 

Behind the line of scrimmage, senior running back Aaron Green didn’t start for the Horned Frogs until November but still made a large impact. In his 129 attempts, Green tallied 922 yards, an average of 7.1 yards per carry. 

TCU’s offense of a season ago will not be taking much of a hit. The only player lost is offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje. Aviante Collins is predicted to take his spot. 


If the former No. 6 team in the nation had a weak spot for this upcoming season, it would be the defense. 

Last season, the Horned Frogs ranked 31st in the NCAA in total defense, only allowing 4,314 yards. 

That may take a hit, though, after the defense lost six of its 11 starting defenders including All-American linebacker Paul Dawson, who was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2015 NFL Draft.

With only three seniors returning on defense, leadership may arise as a problem.

The linebacker position saw the loss of it top-three players and Sammy Douglas, a junior, has the upper-hand as one of the few upperclassman on defense. 

Primarily playing for special teams, Douglass made 17 tackles, including a sack, while playing in all 13 games.

After free safety Chris Hackett announced his departure to the NFL draft after his junior season, TCU was left scrambling to find a replacement for one of its top players in the secondary.

The answer is still up in the air.

The position is for grabs with senior Kenny Iloka, redshirt freshman Ridwan Issahaku, Nick Orr and Travin Howard in the mix.

Iloka, the lone upperclassman in that list, may have the job to start the season. 

Like Douglass, Iloka played primarily for special teams and racked up 15 tackles.

TCU will start its season on Sept. 3 in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Gophers.