Know Your Enemy: TCU Horned Frogs


They say Fort Worth, Texas is “where the West begins”. I guess that’s a big reason why the TCU Horned Frogs have always been somewhat of a rival to the Texas Tech Red Raiders.  Its a little known fact that the Horned Frogs are actually the Red Raiders oldest rivals, starting their series back in 1926: Tech’s second season as a collegiate football program. TCU won the first five match ups in the series, the second longest streak next to Tech’s six game winning streaks from 1973-1978 and 1985-1990. In Lubbock’s seclusion from just about every other school in Texas, Fort Worth is our closest Lone Star neighbor.

TCU’s campus is 4 hours and 39 minutes from Texas Tech’s campus, according to Google Maps. That may not be a hop skip and a jump, but in terms of mileage (315 miles to be exact), it is closer than Austin (372 miles), Waco (353 miles) or former rival Texas A&M in College Station (425 miles). On top of that, the Dallas-Fort Worth area is home to the largest contingent of Texas Tech alumni in the nation. Since the Horned Frogs joined the Big 12 back in 2012, the rivalry between TTU and TCU has been renewed.

In between TCU being left out of the Big 12 after the Southwest Conference dissolved, and being re-invited into the Big 12 in 2012, the rivalry saw two heated matches that the two schools split. In 2004, TCU traveled to Lubbock, Texas to take on the Red Raiders. The Horned Frogs quickly jumped out to a 21-0 lead and TCU defensive back Marvin Godbolt was quoted saying “They are not going to score today.” to a sideline reporter. The Red Raiders had other plans, rattling off 70 points from that point on to win 70-35.

Then, in 2006, Tech took on TCU in Fort Worth and in a defensive battle that was uncommon during the Mike Leach era, the Horned Frogs prevailed 12-3.

In the two-plus years the two schools have been together in the Big 12, Texas Tech has got the best of the Horned Frogs overall, going 2-0 in football and 4-0 in basketball. Our neighbors to the East did however beat Texas Tech in baseball in the College World Series to even up the score some.

Sep 12, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; Texas Tech Red Raiders running back Kenny Williams (34) rushes for a touchdown against the TCU Horned Frogs in the first quarter at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

2012 in Fort Worth featured a 56-53 triple-overtime thriller when former quarterback Seth Doege hit wide receiver Alex Torres in the end zone to win the game. Last year, Texas Tech won a much lower scoring affair 20-10 in Lubbock.

Former co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Sonny Cumbie resigned from Texas Tech back on December 16, 2013 to take the co-offensive coordinator position at TCU. This has proven to be one of the best coaching hires in the nation this year as the Horned Frogs rank 9th in the nation in passing yards (one spot ahead of the Red Raiders) and 5th in points scored per game at 45.2.

Sep 12, 2013; Lubbock, TX, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Trevone Boykin (2) rushes against the Texas Tech Red Raiders during the second half at Jones AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

In their new found spread offense, quarterback Trevone Boykin has become a completely renewed quarterback and has excelled within the spread scheme. The junior quarterback has 1,873 yards, 14 touchdowns and only three interceptions so far this year. Boykin also has 346 yards on the ground and three touchdowns.

Junior running back B.J. Catalon has also had a solid year so far, finding the end zone eight times and rushing for 370 yards on 69 attempts.

Wide receivers Josh Docton, Kolby Listenbee and Deante’ Gray have combined for 1,181 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014 and are all deep threats that the Red Raiders will have to keep a close eye on in Fort Worth tomorrow.

Nov 10, 2012; Fort Worth, TX, USA; Kansas State Wildcats running back John Hubert (33) runs with the ball against Texas Christian Horned Frogs defensive tackle Davion Pierson (57) at Amon G Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

On defense, Horned Frogs 6-foot-2, 305-pound defensive tackle Davion Pierson is a good run stuffer and has 14 combined tackles and four sacks on the year. Defensive end James McFarland has had a solid year as well with 19 combined tackles and three sacks, while linebacker Paul Dawson is the team’s leading tackler with 68 combined tackles and three sacks. The Horned Frogs defense is strong as usual ranking 26th in the nation in points allowed at 20.7, although not quite as stingy as it has been in recent years.

With one of the nations most improved offenses, coupled with a strong defense, TCU has emerged as a Big 12 title contender this year. Its safe to say this rivalry will continue to have great games ahead in its future. The Red Raiders have history on their side, winning the last two matches and leading the overall series 30-18-3.