Opponent Preview Series: Tarleton State Texans


Back at it with another installment of our preseason opponent preview series, and this time it’s Tarleton State’s turn. The Texans will serve as TCU’s home opener this season, with the game set to take place Sept. 10 at 7 pm CST.

2022 Outlook

  • Projected Win Total: N/A (Went 6-5 in 2021)
  • Odds to win Western Athletic Conference (FCS): N/A
  • Odds to win National Championship: N/A
  • Overall Preseason SP+ Rank: N/A (FCS)

The Texans have had a relatively successful football program over the past few years. After piling up 23 wins in two consecutive undefeated regular seasons (2018, 2019), Tarleton State has finished 5-3 in the COVID-riddled season and 6-5 just a year ago after joining the Division 1 ranks in 2020. Although their regular competition isn’t quite up to par with Big 12 programs, the Texans are a soundly-managed college football team thanks to 32-year coaching veteran Todd Whitten. Whitten is entering his 13th season with Tarleton and holds the record for most wins in program history with a 90-45 aggregate record.

If history repeats itself, the Texans are bound to be a threat on offense. TSU has averaged an impressive 33.2 points and 425.6 yards per game over the last 135 games. Talk about consistency. Defensively, they’ve got a few playmakers as well. Cornerback Michael Irons and D-Linemen Javier Duran are a pair of early 2023 draft prospects that are more than capable of making plays against power 5-caliber athletes.

History vs. TCU

Despite being located less than a 90-minute drive apart, the Frogs and Texans football programs have never been matched up.

Key Departure:

The All-American and 2021 WAC Defensive Player of the Year Devin Hafford is on his way out of Stephenville after signing an NFL contract with the New England Patriots. Hafford has played the previous six seasons as a Texan and was a key part of their dominant back-to-back undefeated regular season runs. He recorded 243 total tackles, 12 interceptions, and 57 pass breakups.

Key Newcomer:

The former Kentucky Wildcat and 4-star recruit coming out of high school is making his way down to Stephenville. Although the Texans are pretty set at the QB position, with Steven Duncan returning for his senior year, this could shake up a position battle for Tarleton. Duncan finished 2021 with 2,537 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions on 62.4% completion, but Allen brings a different skillet to the table. He never got a full shot with the Wildcats, only playing in 5 games throwing for a combined 132 yards while playing behind Heisman-contender Will Levis. Allen may or may not have a direct impact against the Frogs this season, but he is certainly a big get for the Texans going forward.

Aside from Allen, the Texans are bringing in seven transfer players to bolster their roster including Marshawn Buchanon, RB from Washington State, and Halid Djibril, a CB also from Wazzou.

match up vs. TCU

After a tough start to the season with a road trip to face a power 5 opponent, the Frogs get a bit of a break before getting into the nitty gritty of their schedule. No disrespect to the Texans, but this should be smooth sailing for the Frogs and a great opportunity to try out some new plays and/or formations without too much risk involved. The Texans are certainly an offense-first team which should be a fun test for the Frogs’ new-look defense under DC Joe Gillespie. I expect the Frogs to come out firing in this one in front of a home crowd before dialing things back in the second half to give the backups a chance to get some reps.

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