Personnel shakeups in TCU’s Big 12 opener against Iowa State were to be expected. But perhaps not exactly as we’ve seen early on today at The Carter.
Deante Gray, whose lot on the TCU roster has been backup receiver to this point in the season, got the start at cornerback over Ranthony Texada. Gray was credited with a pass breakup on Iowa State’s second series but had two missed tackles on the Cyclone’s fifth drive early in the second quarter. That drive ended in Iowa State’s first touchdown of the game, an 8-yard keeper from quarterback Joel Lanning that brought ISU within 10-7.
The move did not appear to be health related, as Texada worked as usual on the kick coverage team, and came in at corner on ISU’s third series. Talk of using Gray at cornerback started in the Spring of 2015 before the knee injury that forced him to miss last season.
In general, tackling still does not appear to be this TCU defensive unit’s strong suit. In fact, Lanning dragged three TCU defenders with him into the end zone on the touchdown run.
In other personnel matters, kicker Ryan Graf was not replaced, as TCU coach Gary Patterson said he might be earlier in the week. Graf’s 37-yard field goal was a little lower than ideal, but still made it through the uprights to open the scoring in the first quarter.
On the defensive line, Mat Boesen spelled James McFarland briefly and Euless Trinity grad Tipa Galeai did the same for Josh Carraway briefly in the second when Carraway came off the field in some discomfort. Whatever it was, it was short-lived, as Carraway was back on the field a few plays later.
Oh, and after 17 tackles against Arkansas, linebacker Sammy Douglas did not play until there were 3 minutes left in the first half. The starters were Travin Howard and Ty Summers.