Here are TCU’s five quarterbacks
Nobody has emerged as a clear-cut starter following Saturday’s season-opening 39-7 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
“We’re going to talk about how we need to do it,” Patterson said.
Kansas State transfer Alex Delton got the start and led the team with 67 yards rushing, including a long of 54. But true freshman Max Duggan put up better numbers and was the quarterback on all three of TCU’s touchdown drives.
Duggan led an 11-play, 58-yard scoring drive late in the first quarter capped with a 1-yard TD plunge by Duggan. He later connected with Jalen Reagor for a 37-yard TD late in the third quarter, and was under center for the late TD run by Darwin Barlow.
But TCU coach Gary Patterson made no declarations afterward about the QB situation. It’s unclear if Delton did enough to earn another start at Purdue on Sept. 14, or if the Frogs will ride with Duggan.
Or, as Patterson mentioned, junior Mike Collins is progressing from a foot injury that sidelined him much of fall camp and Ohio State transfer Matthew Baldwin won his fight with the NCAA for immediate eligibility.
“Mike Collins is going to keep getting better too, and Baldwin’s appeal was approved,” Patterson said. “So that’s a whole new conversation, and you can weave five of them into your conversion.”
Patterson joked that he’d keep the storylines coming until the Purdue game, too, possibly moving a couple quarterbacks to safety or maybe even nose guard.
All joking aside, this isn’t a bad problem for TCU to have after what it went through last season. Delton and Duggan had their moments on Saturday night, and Collins has the most experience in Sonny Cumbie’s offense of anyone in the group.
Plus, Baldwin is a former four-star recruit and signs point toward redshirt freshman Justin Rogers is getting closer to his old form.
For now, though, Delton and Duggan remain the top options. Neither threw an interception in the opener, and moved the offense. The problem was stalling out in the red zone as seven trips produced five field goals and two TDs.
That has to change, Patterson said.
It’s now a question of which quarterback gives TCU the best opportunity to do that. Do they go with a more experienced QB in Delton to handle a Big Ten road environment at Purdue, or is Duggan ready for it?
Delton struggled with his accuracy. He had more incomplete passes than completions, going 10-of-22 for 119 yards. But he wasn’t helped with a couple drops, including a surefire TD to Derius Davis.
Duggan went 16-of-23 passing for 165 yards with one TD.
Duggan has drawn rave reviews for the stage not being “too big” for him. He has carried himself as a veteran since stepping on campus.
“Max has always been the general back there,” said senior safety Vernon Scott, who went against Duggan throughout fall camp.
“He always knows the offense, telling the receivers where to go, and also being very confident. As a quarterback, I feel like you have to be confident cause the ball is in your hands every play. Throughout camp, Max has been competing well, competing for the starting job. I know he’s going to get better throughout the season.”
Receiver TreVontae Hights told reporters after the opener that he feels good with either Delton or Duggan under center.
“They’re both great leaders, both can put the ball where you want to and make plays with their feet,” said Hights, who led the team with 108 yards receiving in the opener.
“[Duggan] looks like he’s done it before. He has all my trust I know he trusts his receivers. We know the quarterback is going to put it where it needs to be.”
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