Oct 8, 2011; San Diego, CA, USA; Detail view of TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Casey Pachall (4) helmet prior to the game against San Diego State Aztecs at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Knowing the Big 12: TCU Horned Frogs

The first Big 12 opponent on the schedule for the Kansas Jayhawks in 2012 is the TCU Horned Frogs. TCU enters its first season apart of the Big 12 Conference after moving from the Mountain West Conference. The Horned Frogs finished with an overall record of 11-2 and 7-0 in the Mountain West last year. The only two losses for TCU were close games as they lost to Baylor by a score of 50-48 and SMU in overtime by a score of 40-33. TCU ended the 2011 season with a win in the San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl against Louisiana Tech by a score of 31-24.

Last season was a great season for the Horned Frogs offensively. They averaged 40.8 points per game (9th in NCAA) and scored at least 55 points twice in 2011 (UVLV and Portland State). There were only two Big 12 teams that finished with more points per game (PPG) than TCU in 2011 and they were Baylor (45.3 PPG, 4th in NCAA) and Oklahoma State (48.7 PPG, 2nd in NCAA).

The most impressive aspect of the Horned Frogs offense last season was their running backs. TCU planned on being the only school in the nation to have three running returning that had at least 700 yards last season. That was before Ed Welsey decided to declare for the NFL Supplemental Draft. Waymon James (junior) and Matthew Tucker (senior) will look to make a name for TCU in the Big 12. Last season, James had 875 rushing yards on 121 carries with six rushing touchdowns, while Tucker had 702 rushing yards on 123 carries with twelve rushing touchdowns.

TCU will also have quarterback, Casey Pachall, returning this season. Pachall started his first year at quarterback in 2011 after former Horned Frog, Andy Dalton, was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL Draft. Pachall finished last season with 2,921 yards on 228 completions and threw 25 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. The 25 touchdowns thrown by Pachall in 2011 is the second most by a Horned Frog behind the 27 touchdowns thrown by Andy Dalton in 2010.

On the defensive side of the ball, TCU will have a tough task this year as they will be playing some very tough Big 12 teams. One player who will be important to the success of the TCU defense this year will be Stansly Maponga (junior).

During the middle of last season, Maponga was on the watch list for the Ted Hendricks Award. He led the team in tackles for loss and sacks in 2011. Maponga racked up 13.5 tackles for loss (62 yards) and nine sacks (54 yards) last year. If the Horned Frogs want to be successful in the Big 12 this year, Maponga will need to disrupt opposing quarterbacks all season.

2012 TCU Horned Frogs Schedule –

Grambling State 9/8
@Kansas 9/15
Virginia 9/22
@SMU 9/29
Iowa State 10/6
@Baylor 10/13
Texas Tech 10/20
@Oklahoma State 10/27
@West Virginia 11/3
Kansas State 11/10
@Texas 11/24
Oklahoma 12/1

Other “Knowing the Big 12″ Previews -

Kansas State Wildcats
Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma Sooners
Texas Longhorns
Baylor Bears

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft Andy Dalton Baylor Big 12 Big 12 Conference Casey Pachall Cincinnati Bengals Ed Welsey Grambling State Iowa State Kansas Kansas Jayhawks Kansas State Louisiana Tech Matthew Tucker Mountain West Conference NFL Supplemental Draft Oklahoma Oklahoma State Portland State San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl SMU Stansly Moponga TCU TCU Football TCU Horned Frogs Ted Hendricks Award Texas Texas Tech UNLV Virginia Waymon James West Virginia

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