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2009 Total Offense Rank (yards per game): 7
2009 Total Defense Rank (yards per game): 1

Statistically speaking, you’ll be hard pressed to find a team better than the 2009 TCU Horned Frogs. Finishing first overall in total defense and seventh overall in total offense, the team cruised to a perfect 12-0 regular season. After a tough Fiesta Bowl loss and the departure of some defensive stalwarts, TCU will try to burst the BCS bubble once again.

TCU’s offense finally broke out of the defense’s shadow last season. Senior quarterback Andy Dalton is a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate after being the Mountain West Conference’s (MWC) offensive player of the year. He is a passing and rushing threat that is even more dangerous because of the weapons around him.

Top receivers Jeremy Kerley and Jimmy Young return after combining for over 1,000 yards. Kerley is also a dangerous threat on special teams, returning two punts for touchdowns last year. Antoine Hicks is one of the most efficient scorers in the country, scoring 10 touchdowns on only 32 touches.

TCU Horned Frogs Cheerleader

Sophomore running backs Matthew Tucker and Ed Wesley will split the starting duties. Both are home run threats on every play, averaging 6.3 yards per carry. The offensive line is solid, returning four starters. Mammoth tackle Marcus Cannon moves from the right to left side, and Jack Kirkpatrick will be the anchor at center.

The Horned Frogs’ defense lost their two starting cornerbacks, leading tackler and the leader in sacks. Replacing all of that production will not be easy, but TCU always finds a way to restock with talent.

Defensive tackles Kelly Griffin and Cory Grant will make it hard for opponents to run the ball. Linebackers Tanner Brock and Tank Carder are potential stars, with Carder finishing second on the team in tackles. The five man secondary is led by its three safeties: Alex Ibiloye, Tejay Johnson and Jurell Thompson.

TCU has loads of talent, especially on the offensive side. An opening matchup against Oregon State will set the tone for the year. If they can get past the Beavers, they will have a good chance at having another undefeated season. The only question is whether the defense can play up to last year’s level after losing its stars. No matter what, TCU should make a BCS bowl game once again.

TCU’s odds to win the National Championship: + 1800

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