Texas Football Breakdown: Scouting Week 11 at TCU

Steve Sarkisian, Sonny Dykes, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Steve Sarkisian, Sonny Dykes, Texas football (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /

The 2023 college football season is fast approaching, and the hype for Texas football in Year Three of the Steve Sarkisian era is high. The Longhorns bring back 17 starters from a 2022 squad that won eight games and had flashes of greatness. Those flashes must become more consistent if the Horns want to leave their mark during their final season in the Big 12.

In July, Texas was selected atop the Big 12 Media Preseason Poll for the first time since 2009. The Horns received 41 of 63 first-place votes, ahead of Kansas State’s 14 and the four received by Oklahoma and Texas Tech. This solidified Texas as the program to beat in the Big 12 this fall.

The Longhorns first took the field for fall camp on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The hype for Texas football and the 2023 season has grown with every passing practice. I thought it would be apropos to take a game-by-game look at the Longhorns’ 2023 opponents, diving into every aspect of what Texas will face this fall.

Take a look at the first nine Texas games I previewed earlier this month:

In Week 11, Texas travels to Fort Worth to take on the 2022 National Runner-Up TCU Horned Frogs. Since TCU joined the Big 12 in 2012, they hold an 8-3 head-to-head advantage over the Longhorns. Last year, the TCU defense completely stymied the Texas offense, leading them to a 17-10 win under the lights of DKR. Texas will be hoping for a different result this time around. According to ESPN’s matchup predictor, the Horns have a 68.3 percent chance of entering Fort Worth and taking down the Horned Frogs.

Here is everything you need to know about the 2023 TCU Horned Frogs and their matchup against Texas.

Breaking down how Texas football matches up against TCU.


You could not ask for a better Year One for the TCU football program under the leadership of head coach Sonny Dykes. TCU had their best season in the modern era, posting a 13-2 record and reaching the 2022 National Championship. They were the first Big 12 team to play for a title since the 2009 Texas Longhorns.

Coach Dykes has suffered a lot of roster attrition, losing 12 starters. That said, this roster is still littered with players who experienced last season’s magical run. This will give them extreme confidence every time they step on the field this fall.

Besides the roster attrition, many people expect the Horned Frogs to fall back down to earth because of their success in close games. TCU was 6-1 in games decided by one score in 2022.

TCU was selected fifth in the 2023 Big 12 Media Preseason Poll, something Coach Dykes and his program have taken note of. Regardless of what happens in the first ten weeks of the season, you can be sure the Horned Frogs will be ready to send the Longhorns to the SEC with a loss. Let’s take a look at how the two squads match up.


Gone is Heisman Runner-Up Max Duggan, but people forget that 2023 starting quarterback Chandler Morris won the starting quarterback job over Duggan last offseason. Unfortunately for Morris, he suffered a knee injury during the third quarter of their opener and never returned as the starter.

Morris enters 2023 confident in his abilities to lead the TCU offense. He will not match the production of Max Duggan last season; that would be nearly impossible. However, Morris has the dual-threat ability and football IQ to be a top-of-the-line Big 12 starter.

A lot of new faces will join Morris at the skill positions. The TCU offense lost its top two running backs and top three receivers from a season ago. Alabama transfer Trey Sanders was ranked as the No. 1 back in the class of 2019. He received 182 touches in three seasons at Alabama and has the talent to be a future pro. Returners Trent Battle and Emani Bailey will factor into this true three-man running back rotation.

Despite the attrition at receiver, the 2023 TCU wideout room is loaded with talent. Savion Williams returns for his junior season and is a player who is ready for a breakout season. He is joined by five transfers, including JoJo Earle (Alabama), Jordan Hudson (SMU), and John Paul Richardson (Oklahoma State). I am confident this unit will be a force in 2023, giving Morris all the help he needs on the outside.

TCU loses just two starters on the offensive line, but they were both All-Big 12 selections a season ago. The unit will not be able to maul defenses like it did in 2022, but I do not see it as a hindrance to the offense.

The Texas defense must focus on containing the explosive skill players of the Horned Frogs. Last year, Kendre Miller’s 75-yard touchdown run and Quentin Johnston’s 31-year touchdown grab were the difference in the TCU win. The Longhorns have the athletes to match up on the outside, but will the discipline be there?


The TCU defense had its ups and downs in 2022, but they came to play when they took the field against Texas. That unit returns seven starters from a season ago and will shoulder the burden as the more experienced side of the ball in Fort Worth.

Four starters return in the secondary, including No. 1 corner Josh Newton. Mark Perry and Millard Bradford return at safety to form one of the best duos in the conference. All-around playmaker Bud Clark is back at nickel. Looking at this TCU secondary, there are no holes.

All-Big 12 second-teamer Johnny Hodges returners at linebacker as the team’s top tackler. Jamoi Hodge returners alongside Hodges to help anchor and lead this veteran defense.

The turnover on the defense was on the defensive line, where the only starter that returns is nose tackle, Daminic Williams. Freshman Paul Oyewale looks to pencil in as one of the starting defensive ends, but the talent and depth at this position is thin. TCU will rely on the back eight of its 3-3-5 defense to anchor them.

This may be a game Texas relies on the run game, as the weakness of the TCU defense is up front. This matchup will prove challenging for Quinn Ewers to find success down the field. The TCU defense will test his maturity, often trying to bait him into throwing into fast-closing windows. Ewers was 17-39 with an interception against TCU last season.


Games against TCU always scare me. For whatever reason, the Horned Frogs always seem to have the Longhorns’ number. Traveling to Fort Worth is never easy, and this fanbase will be ready to boot Texas out of the Big 12 with a loss.

The TCU defense matches up well with Texas. This is a game I foresee Coach Dykes and the Horned Frogs trying to muck up. They will look to render the Longhorn athletes obsolete. I do not think Texas will go undefeated in Big 12 play. That loss must come at some point, and I believe Week 11 against TCU is as likely as any. – Texas, 23 TCU, 24

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