With the College Football Playoff loss behind them, what’s next
FORT WORTH, Texas– A year ago at this time, Sonny Dykes beinged in a sparsely decorated workplace and viewed movie throughout spring practice. He didn’t have a lot of time to stress over arranging his racks when he was making a mad dash recruiting, employing a staff and handling the transfer website in his very first few months on the task. And if he’s being honest, he wasn’t sure how the redesigning job was choosing his team on the practice field out back either.This April, his office is packed with the kind of hardware a historic season brings. There’s a purple Swarovski crystal football with a blinged-out TCU logo over his right shoulder (a present from Penny Knight, better half of Nike creator Phil Knight). There are busts of Eddie Robinson, the legendary Grambling coach, and Bear Bryant, the Alabama icon, atop their particular coach of the year prizes– 2 of the 9 national training awards Dykes won for 2022 alone. There’s even a plaque from the National Football Foundation, which called him a “Distinguished Texan” last month, which has to do with the greatest appreciation you can provide a person from Lubbock.
“Ain’t that the reality?” Dykes joked. “I made the award up myself and paid them $100 to give it to me.”
All those awards and keepsakes honor last season, when TCU began 12-0, becoming the first existing Power 5 school because Ohio State in 1944 to have a best regular-season record under a brand-new coach after finishing below.500 in the previous season, with the Frogs having gone 5-7 the year before.The storybook trip ended in frustration with a 65-7 thrashing by Georgia in the College Football Playoff Championship Game, but it doesn’t reduce the mountain the Horned Frogs climbed to arrive, consisting of 8 second-half comeback wins and a CFP semifinal win over Michigan in the Fiesta Bowl.With that comes
a new level of expectations and a concern for Dykes: Now that you withstood the razor’s edge for a full season, coached a Heisman finalist (Max Duggan), a Thorpe Award winner (Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson) and a likely 2023 first-round pick (Quentin Johnston), what do you do for a repetition?
“You understand, no one desires the honeymoon to be the very best part of the marriage,” Dykes stated just recently after a Saturday practice. “We have actually got to make certain that does not happen here.”
Sonny Dykes won 9 national coaching awards throughout TCU’s historical run last season, consisting of the Paul”Bear”Bryant Coach of the Year
Award. Image by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire IT’S HARD TO measure the exact formula that made that TCU team so special, a mix of gumption and chemistry. There was an appetite from missing three straight championship game. Duggan showed to be a player who was hard to break, even when he might barely choose himself up off the grass. Running back Kendre Miller (who is also getting ready for the NFL draft) hurried for 1,399 hard lawns. And, Dykes said, the Frogs will miss out on the management developed by guard Steve Avila, the consensus All-American, in addition to SMU transfer Alan Ali, who assisted Dykes install the offense.
” [Avila and Ali] are just as crucial as the others– or maybe even more vital– because those guys brought toughness and responsibility,” Dykes said. “Steve was a distinctively gifted leader. And when you have a distinctively talented leader on the offensive line, those teams are always really good.”
There are going to be brand-new faces all across the offense this year– TCU ranked 118th in returning production in Expense Connelly’s February outlook– however Dykes hasn’t needed to do as much of an overhaul on defense, where 7 starters return for the second year in organizer Joe Gillespie’s 3-3-5 defense.Compounding the offending
losses, simply days after an emotionally drained pipes group returned from the national title game, offending coordinator Garrett Riley, the Broyles Award winner as the leading assistant coach in the nation, departed for Clemson. If Dykes was still because honeymoon phase, it was over.Dykes raised eyebrows in Fort Worth when he replaced Riley with Kendal Briles, kid of Art Briles, the previous Baylor coach. TCU and Baylor turned the heat up on their competition, dubbed the” Revivalry”in the early 2010s after TCU joined the Huge 12 and reunited with its old rival in Waco. Things got more tense after a 2013 game when Frogs coach Gary Patterson ripped Art Briles in a postgame press conference over a targeting charge by a Bears defender.”I didn’t build this program backing down to anybody, and I’m not going to do it to him, “Patterson stated afterward.The next year, Baylor stunned TCU with a 61-58 comeback win, and Patterson stated he was threatened on the field by a Baylor player, which Baylor rejected. The hate in between the two was cemented.Two years later on, in 2016, Art Briles was fired by Baylor amid an examination of sexual attacks by football players. Kendal, who was his dad
‘s offending organizer, was not linked in any misdeed in the examination and stayed at Baylor for one more year after Art’s departure, then acted as offensive organizer for a year each under Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic, Willie Taggart at Florida State and Major Applewhite at Houston before signing up with Sam Pittman’s personnel at Arkansas in 2020. The two have known each other considering that 1999 when Dykes recruited Kendal Briles out of Stephenville, about 60 miles away from TCU, when Briles,
a star quarterback, was a junior in high school and Dykes was an assistant at Texas Tech (Briles ultimately signed with Texas). And Briles has actually dealt with several members of TCU’s personnel at other stops, which Dykes said enabled Briles to comprehend how he expects his program to run. Still, for Briles to land at TCU was shocking to numerous Horned Frogs fans, which Dykes understands.”We’ve understood each other for a long period of time, “Dykes stated.” I don’t believe I would have made the hire had actually that not been the case. I wouldn’t have been comfy doing that if I didn’t know him well.” Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Like Riley and Rhett Lashlee, who was Dykes’OC at SMU before changing him there, Dykes said he hired Briles due to the fact that of his dedication to the run game, a
complement to Dykes’Air Raid background
(Arkansas ran for 3,075 yards in 2015, the Razorbacks ‘most because 2003 ). Briles stated the offense will look a little different due to the fact that they’ll have fun with a little bit more pace and a lot more run/pass alternatives. “We want to run the football, “Briles said.”They weren’t as much RPO [last season], and we’re pretty heavy RPO. We’re going to tailor to our workers and what fits. Production, at the end of the day, is what we desire.” TCU was able to reload after all the losses by landing a number of prominent transfers. Whereas in 2015’s essential discovers came from Navy( linebacker Johnny Hodges)and Louisiana-Monroe(corner Josh Newton ), this year Dykes included three transfers from Alabama: RB Trey Sanders, WR JoJo Earle and take on Tommy Brockermeyer; 2 from LSU: WR Jack Bech and CB Avery Helm; and receivers John Paul Richardson of Oklahoma State and Jaylon Robinson from Ole Miss. He also landed a top-20 recruiting class that ranked 3rd in the Big 12 behind Texas and Oklahoma, the highest-rated TCU recruiting class in the modern-day age.”I think we’ve got remarkable speed and playmaking capability and we’re a year even more along, “Dykes stated.”I actually like what we’re doing offensively. I think it fits the ability of our quarterbacks. I believe they’re delighted about the instructions of the offense.
So I don’t know how much different it’s going to seek to the typical fan in the stands, however it’s going to be a little bit different. “It’ll start, more than likely, with Chandler Morris, the quarterback who beat Duggan in 2015 prior to going down with a sprained knee in the season opener at Colorado. In his only previous start, filling in for a hurt Duggan in 2021, Morris threw for 461 yards and
two TDs and ran for 70 more and another TD in an upset of No. 14 Baylor, the eventual Huge 12 champs that season. This spring, Morris has actually looked efficient in practice, distributing the ball and utilizing his feet, in Briles’offense.”I’m truly enjoying it,”Morris stated.” Coach Dykes and I had a conversation a few days ago about how he thinks this is the best offense for me and believes I’m built for this offense. We’re going to get the ball on the border, put a great deal of stress on the defense, try and get them in a bad scenario and have fun with tempo, keep them on their heels and, and pursue them.”Dykes has been impressed with his performances, and likewise by the advancement of Josh Hoover, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound redshirt freshman from nearby Rockwall in the Dallas-Fort Worth location, who appears like a various player in 2023 after losing 15% of his body fat. “We’ve got a couple of quarterbacks that can throw the ball around, “Briles said.”So I believe we’ll be able to do some quick-game things. We’ve got some players that I think if we distribute the ball to, they can be actually excellent in space.”That’s particularly true at inside receiver, where the Frogs believe they are stacked with players who can make individuals miss out on. On the outdoors, they still have to work in Bech, the 6-2, 215-pound LSU transfer who is recovering from an injury, and 6-4, 205-pound freshman Cordale Russell, among the gems of that hiring class who shows up later on this summertime.”
There are a lot of people that people know that are here, however they haven’t really had an opportunity to produce yet,”Briles stated.” So I’m type of interested to see who’s going to sort of increase to the leading and be one of those guys that we can rely on. I think we have actually got a lot of various choices. “ Chandler Morris initially won the TCU beginning quarterback task last season before an injury sidelined him in the opening game. He’ll likely be under center this season for the Horned Frogs. AP Photo/David Zalubowski IN THE starting phases of Year 2 of the Dykes period,
coming off an appearance in the national championship game, some things feel various, like when he strolled into high schools and trainees took pictures of him with their phones.”I wasn’t jacked about that,” he said.”Ideally that goes back to typical quickly. “But he also knows that features the direct exposure from all those awards and all the video camera time he got last year. “You want credibility, “Dykes stated.” It’s difficult. … I didn’t play college football. I coached at traditionally bad places,
coached in the’gimmick offense’ [as the Air Raid was often dismissed] You know, you just hear all this things for all the years and all you desire is a chance at the huge
time. I believe it just offers you a little bit of credibility. When you walk into a room, it’s a little bit various now than it was in the past. “Dykes stated the important things he was proudest of last season was the Frogs ‘will to win, no matter if it was quite or ugly.Now, after showing up there, he has to help find out how to do everything over once again. This time, the Frogs likely won’t be picked seventh in the Big 12 preseason poll and instead will attempt to prove the method last season ended was the abnormality, focusing on the reality that Dykes’ team had the ability to make it through and advance all year last season, no matter the barrier or which side of the ball had a rough day. “We had the ability to win the Michigan game 51-45, and we were able to win the game at Texas the way we did, a 17-10 game, “Dykes said.” It’s too bad that we played our one bad game we played all year in the national championship. We turned the ball over three times in the first half. We didn’t do that, ever. We played desperate and did all the things that bad
groups do. I disliked that was in the national championship game, however once again, you have actually got to give our guys credit since we played well for 14 weeks when we had to. There wasn’t a lots of margin for mistake.” This time around, he has proof to reveal his players they can believe. And he’s accepting that very same belief himself while challenging his coaches and players to determine how to live up to in 2015’s example. “I think talent-wise, this year’s team will be on par with in 2015’s group or perhaps much better, leading to bottom, just looking at the roster,”Dykes said.”But can you do those little things that enable you to win those games? And do
you have that exact same type of leadership? I believe we’re trending in the right instructions.”Morris belonged to a team that made TCU history, however he stated history is precisely what it is now. “No one’s truly talking about in 2015, “Morris stated.”I think we’re all just really hungry right now to go out there and reveal what this group is all about. We know what the blueprint looks like from in 2015. Obviously, we fell short in the conference championship game(a 31-28 overtime loss to Kansas State) and the championship game game. We understand our objective, we know what it takes to arrive. We’re all set to compose our own story.”