No. 18 Longhorns prep for No. 4 TCU’s high-powered offense


Assad Malik

Texas’ Jahdae Barron celebrates after receiving an interception and scoring a touchdown against the University of Texas at San Antonio on Sept. 17, 2022. Texas defeated UTSA 41-20.

Hunter Dworaczyk, Senior Sports Reporter

The Longhorns will have their first chance at a victory over a top-five opponent at DKR-Texas Memorial Stadium since 1999 on Saturday when No. 4 TCU arrives for a high-stakes Big 12 showdown.

Led by senior quarterback Max Duggan, the Horned Frogs possess the Big 12’s strongest offense on paper. Through three-fourths of the regular season, TCU is averaging 43.1 points and 508.7 yards per game. 

While the Longhorns have faced their share of explosive offenses this season, the Horned Frogs might just give the Texas defense its toughest challenge yet.

“We just have to stay ready,” junior defensive back Jahdae Barron said. “They have a lot of weapons. At the end of the day, we have good defensive backs and a good (defensive) line. It’ll be a great battle.”

Junior wide receiver Quentin Johnston is a face for the Longhorns to keep an eye on from TCU. Johnston, who stands 6-feet-4-inches, has a wide catch radius but also possesses great speed and route running. The wideout has racked up 650 receiving yards and four touchdowns so far this season.

However, Johnston went down with an ankle injury last week against Texas Tech. If the receiver is unable to play against Texas, his absence would be a limitation for TCU’s offense.

Nevertheless, the Horned Frogs have plenty of options they can turn to on offense. When Johnston left the game against the Red Raiders, junior running back Kendre Miller stepped up by rushing for 158 yards on that day.

Miller, who has over 1,000 rushing yards this season, is second in the conference for rushing yards, behind Texas’ Bijan Robinson. With its offensive versatility, TCU can give Texas a hard time if it continues to remain both unpredictable and multidimensional on offense. 

“It’s a dogfight,” senior defensive lineman Keondre Coburn said. “It’s another week and another great opportunity to play college football.”

Despite the challenges that come with facing an offensive power like TCU, Texas has one ace up its sleeve. Special assistant Gary Patterson, who was TCU’s head coach for over 20 years, is well familiar with the team he was coaching just last season. 

In his analyst role, Patterson cannot actually coach the players in practice or during the game. Instead, Texas head coach Steve Sarkisian and the rest of the coaching staff can hear Patterson’s input and then implement his pointers into their own coaching. 

“We’re lucky to have him on our team, I’ll say that,” Sarkisian said. “I think (TCU) is in the place that it’s in because of the work that he did. That should not go unnoticed.”

Although facing the team that he coached for over two decades could provide an opportunity for Patterson to prepare for a revenge game, Sarkisian said it is business as usual for the special assistant this week.

“I’ll say this, (Patterson) works 24/7 to beat anybody,” Sarkisian said. “He’s got an unbelievable work ethic about him. He’s got a great deal of discipline in his approach … This week hasn’t been any different.”