Gary Patterson’s defense has been his bread and butter during his 18-year tenure at TCU, and this season appears to be no different. Patterson fields a veteran unit that fits his scheme very well. The real x factor has been Patterson’s ability to plan for recent Texas offenses. The Longhorns have not put up more than 10 points against a TCU defense since 2013. Texas was only able to muster 9 rushing yards last year in Fort Worth, and Texas will have to effectively run the ball if they hope to pull off the upset this year in Austin. Let’s take a look at what to expect from the Horned Frogs defense:
Before the season even started, TCU lost the anchor of their defensive line when DT Ross Blacklock suffered a season-ending injury. Fortunately for TCU, they have Gary Patterson and his ability to overcome injuries with an ability to scheme around the strengths of the defense. Defensive tackles Terrell Cooper and Corey Bethley are solid in the interior. Bethley actually officially visited Texas late in the 2016 cycle but ultimately signed with the Horned Frogs.
A pair of seniors occupy the end position. Ty Summers spent his first three seasons at LB before spinning down to DE prior to 2018. Summers already has two sacks this season. Ben Banogu was the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year in 2017 after transferring from Louisiana Monroe in 2015 and sitting out 2016. Benogu had 8.5 sacks a season ago and is considered one of the best defensive linemen in the Big 12.
The Gary Patterson 4-2-5 defense features athletic linebackers Arico Evans and Garrett Wallow. Evans spent his first three seasons in a reserve role before stepping into a starting role in 2018. Wallow is a typical Gary Patterson recruit — a 3-star from Louisiana with a lot of physical tools that Patterson has developed into playing ability.
TCU has plenty of experience in the secondary. Corners Julius Lewis and Jeff Gladney have 20+ starts between them, with Lewis starting the first 3 games of 2017 before suffering an injury.
Niko Small and Innis Gaines are the two starting safeties. Small is the most experienced player in the secondary with 26 starts. Gaines is actually one of the few players who came to TCU with a lot of high school pedigree after being ranked as the 9th best safety in the 2016 recruiting class.
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