By Kat Barclay
September is right around the corner. That means school is back in session, the weather is getting just a littler cooler (emphasis on only a little) and, most importantly, football is back.
TCU Horned Frog football to be exact.
We survived the long, cruel offseason, and now we’re looking forward to Saturday’s season opener against the Jackson State Tigers at 7 p.m. After the Frogs finished 6-7 last year, this year is all about just getting better. So to get everyone in the gameday spirit, here are four things to expect from the season opener:
1. A more consistent Kenny Hill.
Quarterback Kenny Hill had a 61 percent completion rate in his first season with the Frogs — along with 13 interceptions. Offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie wanted his quarterback’s focus during fall camp to be consistency, and Hill hopes to continue that focus into the upcoming season.
“[He] asked me to come in here everyday and be consistent — do the same thing everyday,” Hill said. “That’s what I’ve been trying to do, and I think I’ve been doing it pretty well.”
2. A more mature offensive line.
New offensive line coach and former TCU football player Chris Thomsen is loaded with four returning starters in his first season coaching at TCU. And with a year of playing together under their belts, Hill feels confident playing behind a solid front with seniors Austin Schlottmann, Joseph Noteboom, Patrick Morris and Matt Pryor.
“I think he’s done amazing,” Hill said of Thomsen. “I’m ready to see them in a game because I know they are ready to go.”
3. A more prepared defense.
Head coach Gary Patterson says his team struggled defensively last year in its opener against South Dakota State. Practice makes perfect, which is why the coaches have focused on making practices “super intense” in order to get the most out of the players, defensive back Ranthony Texada said.
“If you can practice well, and you can take that over into the game, it makes it a lot easier,” he said. “We make our practices super intense so the games aren’t as hard. All of us have been putting in the work, and we’re ready to get back out there.”
4. A louder Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Home field advantage will be huge for hyping up the Horned Frogs, and Patterson says he wants fans to come even louder.
“We need to bring our own level of energy, and then the student section needs to take us to a higher level,” Patterson said.