TCU out for redemption against Nicholls after Colorado loss

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Field Level Media
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Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs running back Trey Sanders (2) scores a touchdown in the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Sep 2, 2023; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs running back Trey Sanders (2) scores a touchdown in the game against the Colorado Buffaloes at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Image: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

There is a huge question surrounding TCU after its high-profile, season-opening loss to Colorado at home on Sept. 2: are the Horned Frogs really a shell of the team that played for the national championship last year or did they just get caught up in the storm that's surrounding the resurgent Buffaloes and their dynamic new head coach, Deion Sanders?

Don't expect TCU's follow-up contest against Nicholls on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas, to answer that question. The Horned Frogs should be ready to play their best and do everything they can to put the loss in the opener behind them.

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TCU (0-1) dropped out of the AP Top 25 after the loss.

"We'll go back to the drawing board," TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. "I told the guys afterwards if we play like that this year, we're not going to win many football games. So, we have to get a lot better."

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The Horned Frogs did a lot of things well in the 45-42 setback to Colorado. They amassed 541 yards of offense as Chandler Morris passed for 279 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score.

Emani Bailey gained 164 yards on 14 carries while Trey Sanders ran for three TDs. Jared Wiley and Dylan Wright each caught a scoring pass for the Horned Frogs. The game was played before an Amon G. Carter Stadium-record crowd of 53,294 in Fort Worth.

"I thought we were ready — we had a business-like mentality," Dykes said. "It seemed like those guys were more excited to play than we were, which is critical in college football. Every Saturday you've got to be excited to play."

The Horned Frogs last lost to an FCS opponent in 2001 and have just two FCS losses in program history.

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Nicholls (0-1), of the Southland Conference, goes on the road after a 38-24 loss at home in Thibodaux, La., to Sacramento State on Aug. 31.

Nicholls quarterback Pat McQuaide came to the Colonels after leading the junior college ranks in passing yards, passing yards per game and passing touchdowns last season at Mississippi Gulf Coast. McQuaide was just 15 of 29 for 196 yards with a touchdown and interception in the loss to Sacramento State.

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"I don't know if there's any phase of the game we played well in," Nicholls coach Tim Rebowe said after the loss. "Offensively, we didn't get in rhythm the whole night. We had some penalties that negated some positive plays. We've got to try and get a better balance."

—Field Level Media