FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU’s most experienced quarterback is going to start the season opener for the Horned Frogs, and their youngest one will also get to play in his first college game.
Coach Gary Patterson named graduate transfer Alex Delton as the starter for Saturday night’s game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and said true freshman Max Duggan will get into the game by the third or fourth possession.
“One’s older, one’s a freshman,” said Patterson, who is starting his 19th season.
Delton, the transfer who played 20 games at Kansas State, and Duggan, the dual threat who was the Iowa Gatorade high school player of the year last season, aren’t likely to be the only quarterbacks to get into games for TCU this year.
After what could turn into another lopsided opener for the Frogs, whose top-notch defense in practice provides a big challenge for their offense, they have an open date before playing at Big Ten team Purdue on Sept. 14. So there will be extra time in more practice sessions for other quarterbacks.
“I like the way every one of them prepares,” Patterson said.
Shawn Robinson was the opening starter last year as a sophomore, but had season-ending shoulder surgery in October and later transferred to Missouri. By time the injury-plagued Frogs played their last regular season game, fifth-year senior quarterback Grayson Muehlstein made his first career start — and then started their bowl victory.
Former Penn transfer Michael Collins started four games late last season for TCU before a right ankle injury that also forced him to miss all of spring drills. He then missed about two weeks of practice this month because of a foot injury, an absence that knocked him of the competition to start the opener.
TCU also has two transfer quarterbacks and redshirt freshman Justin Rogers, who spent much of his first year on campus recovering from a severe knee injury sustained in high school while also dealing with a foot issue. He played one series in the Cheez-It Bowl.
“He’s learning all the things that a redshirt freshman has to learn. Pass rush, all the things that you have to do to get the ball out of your hands quicker. Keep developing,” Patterson said. “I love Justin Rogers. He’s been a great kid here.”
TCU enters the season with a three-game winning streak that is the longest in the Big 12.
ANOTHER BLOWOUT COMING?
SWAC team Arkansas-Pine Bluff has won only seven games combined the past four seasons. This is the eighth season in a row that the Horned Frogs have played an FCS team in their home opener. They have won the last seven by an average margin of 43 points. Three of those games were against different SWAC teams — TCU outscored them by a combined 167-7.
Pine Bluff senior running back Taeyler Porter led the SWAC with 122 yards rushing per game last season, running for 1,220 yards in only 10 games. He had seven 100-yard games.
Jalen Reagor led TCU with 72 catches for 1,061 yards last season, both ranking as the second-best totals in school history. More than 60 percent of his catches (42 of 72) went for a first down or a touchdown. He accounted for 30 percent of TCU’s total receptions, the highest percentage in the Big 12 — and in Patterson’s tenure as head coach.
SOME ODD NUMBERS
Going into the 2019 season, TCU has won at least 11 games in six of the last eight odd-numbered years. That includes the last two, 2015 and 2017. …. Patterson’s 19 seasons as TCU’s head coach are more than the combined tenures of the 11 other FBS coaches in the state of Texas. …. TCU has won 17 consecutive home openers.