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2009 Year in Review: TCU Horned Frogs

Expectations for TCU were to challenge BYU for the conference title and if things fell right they would be battling for a BCS bowl bid.  TCU was ranked 17th in both polls and just ahead of Utah when the preseason polls were released, and just behind Boise State.

There was hype around the program who has routinely been called the best non-BCS team to never make a BCS bowl (yes ahead of you BYU).  This year looked to help shape that with two road games in the ACC,  getting Utah at home, and the biggie was the game against BYU which would be in Provo.

Most so-called experts assumed the defense would lead the way as that was the TCU way, and even after the BYU game most were saying it was their defense that was winning game.  Those people must not even check the most basic box score that showed TCU scoring 30 or more points in five of their first seven games.  As it turned out TCU had a top 10 defense and a top 10 offense for this past year, and TCU was the only team in the country to be top 10 in both categories

Horned Frogs Football Schedule

@ Virginia Sat 09/12 W 30 - 14
Texas State Sat 09/19 W 56 - 21
@ Clemson Sat 09/26 W 14 - 10
SMU Sat 10/03 W 39 - 14
@ Air Force Sat 10/10 W 20 - 17
Colorado St. Sat 10/17 W 44 - 6
@ BYU Sat 10/24 W 38 - 7
UNLV Sat 10/31 W 41 - 0
@ San Diego St. Sat 11/07 W 55 - 12
Utah Sat 11/14 W 55 - 28
@ Wyoming Sat 11/21 W 45 - 10
New Mexico Sat 11/28 W 51 - 10
Boise St. Mon 01/04 L 10 - 17

The team did have a great defense lead behind Jerry Hughes and others, but the reason for the jump in polls was the offense.   Historically, everyone knows that TCU has been all defense and a little offense, similar to the Baltimore Ravens, but this year the team had many play makers.  Four backs -- including QB Andy Dalton -- averaged over 40 yards per game, and then they had wide receiver and return man Jeremy Kerley making big plays as well as Jimmy Young

The offense had too many weapons for anyone team to stop, and it shows in the two blowouts over BYU and Utah who finished the season in the top 20, and a win over eventual ACC runner up Clemson.  TCU made it look way too easy this year and dominated every aspect of the game.  The only area that had some TCU fans concerned this year was that a few games on the year TCU had a slow first half against inferior opponents.

This team lead up to the Fiesta Bowl as heavy favorites until they meet an equally talented Boise State team that made TCU look silly offensively.  Boise made MWC offensive player of the year QB Andy Dalton look pedestrian at best as CB Kyle Wilson and others in the Boise secondary made it impossible for TCU to do anything in the passing game.

Their defense held up by allowing only 10 points on the night, but the pick six by Dalton proved to be the dagger.  That game against Boise showed that TCU was not quite on the big stage, but with nearly the entire offense coming back and a defense that should be fine TCU should have a good chance to reach another BCS bowl game or dare I say BCS title game apperance