A successful pass rush is something TCU has consistently had under Gary Patterson. No matter who leaves, someone fills the void.
From James McFarland to Josh Carraway to Mat Boesen to Ben Banogu to L.J. Collier, and a number of others before that, the Frogs have always had a pass rusher (or two) become a regular in opponent’s backfields.
But that hasn’t happened yet in 2019. TCU continues to struggle filling the void left by Banogu and Collier, a pair of Top 50 NFL Draft picks last spring.
As coach Gary Patterson said following last Saturday’s 49-24 loss at Iowa State, the pass rush is “not to the level that we’re used to.”
Redshirt freshman Ochaun Mathis was credited with one sack on the day, the first full sack registered by a TCU defensive end this season. Graduate transfer Shameik Blackshear has a half-sack over the first five games.
Defensive tackle Ross Blacklock and linebacker Garret Wallow are leading the team with 2.5 sacks each.
For the season, TCU has just nine sacks for an average of 1.80 per game. That ranks eighth in the Big 12, and is the fewest for the Frogs since they joined the Big 12.
Here’s a look at how they did in previous seasons —
2012: 2.23 average per game (third, Big 12)
2013: 2.67 (third)
2014: 2.33 (third)
2015: 2.46 (fifth)
2016: 3.31 (first)
2017: 3.00 (first)
2018: 2.69 (second)
2019: 1.80 (eighth)
For TCU, the path back to prominence won’t be easy. The Frogs will need to average more than 2.5 sacks per game the rest of the way to avoid posting the fewest since joining the Big 12.
The Frogs still have to face the conference’s best teams at preventing sacks in Oklahoma and Texas Tech (allowing an average of 0.80 sacks per game).
TCU’s next opponent, Kansas State, ranks sixth at 2.00 sacks allowed per game.
The Frogs (3-2) are on a bye this week before taking on the Wildcats at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 19 in Manhattan, Kansas.