Last season, the Frogs rolled into Lubbock with a lot of hype as a Top 25 ranked team, only to roll out with a 10-point upset by the Red Raiders. They only won two conference games after that, failing to make a bowl game for only the 2nd time in Gary Patterson’s 14 seasons. Seven of their eight losses came in the 4th quarter or in overtime.
Patterson will have 16 returning starters split evenly on each side of the ball. While he’ll have to replace Casey Pachall at quarterback, Trevone Boykin makes his return but it’s not clear whether he’s the frontrunner at that position. They’ve brought in Texas A&M graduate transfer Matt Joeckel as Boykin will likely be used at running back and receiver.
So, while the offense shuffles around, there is stability in the team’s defense once again. Defenseive end Devonte Fields returns after missing nearly the entire 2013 season, while the team’s leader in tackles, Paul Dawson headlines a trio of linebacker’s to formulate a battle-tested front seven. Expect a solid secondary as well, despite the loss of Jason Verrett to the NFL.
Fortunately the Frogs will get home field advantage against some of the tougher Big 12 teams including the Red Raiders when they travel to Fort Worth on Oct. 25th.