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Max Duggan back at QB as TCU hosts Tarleton State

Sportsnaut
Sep 2, 2022; Boulder, Colorado, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) dives with the ball in the fourth quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

TCU and Tarleton are two schools separated by just 78 miles of west Texas prairieland but will square off for the first time Saturday when they battle in Fort Worth, Texas.

Both teams come off impressive season-opening wins, with the Horned Frogs employing a punishing run game to beat Colorado 38-13 on the road while Tarleton easily handled Mississippi Valley State 29-13 at home.

TCU’s win in Boulder marked Sonny Dykes’ coaching debut for the Horned Frogs. TCU got a 60-yard punt return touchdown from Derius Davis early in the second quarter and scored 27 consecutive points in the second half to run away from Colorado.

The Horned Frogs racked up 275 rushing yards, averaging 9.2 yards a carry.

“We really committed to running the ball in the second half, made a couple of adjustments on what we were doing, and guys did a great job making plays,” Dykes said. “You know, we showed some grit and perseverance. It was good for us to not have everything go our way early on.”

Not all was rosy for TCU, which lost starting quarterback Chandler Morris to a sprained left knee. The highly touted transfer from Oklahoma had edged three-year returning starter Max Duggan for the starting spot in preseason camp but is out for this week’s home opener and will be considered week-to-week after that.

Duggan has started 29 games for TCU and came on to lead two fourth-quarter scoring drives, completing 2 of 3 passes for 27 yards.

Tarleton, which moved up from Division II last year and plays in the Western Athletic Conference, will be playing its first-ever game against an FBS opponent. The Texans are led by Beau Allen, a transfer from Kentucky.

In the 16-point victory over Mississippi Valley State, Allen hit Jaden Smith — a Fort Worth native who formerly played at Montana State – with three scoring tosses. Allen passed for 300 yards, 126 of them going to Gabe Douglas, and Deangelo Rosemond ran for 107 yards on 13 carries for the Texans.

“We played without a turnover, and we had just three penalties, so really pleased with that,” Tarleton coach Todd Whitten said. “We could have made more big plays — we missed some opportunities to take some really good shots and we weren’t able to pull the trigger. All in all very pleased with our guys.”

–Field Level Media