4 things to know about TCU’s next opponent, Nicholls State

After a stunning defeat to Coach Prime and the Colorado Buffaloes, TCU (0-1) should get its first win of the season when the Horned Frogs host Nicholls State (0-1) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The game won’t nearly have as much as intrigue as the season opener for obvious reasons, but it will be a chance to get some good vibes back in the building before TCU starts conference play on the road at Houston.

The line isn’t out for this game, but expect the Horned Frogs to be well over a 40-point favorite. If everything goes as planned this should also be a game in which we get to see some of the Horned Frogs’ young talent from the 2023 class.

Here are four things to know about TCU’s next opponent, Nicholls State:

Ground game

The Colonels’ strength is expected to be their rushing attack. Nicholls had three players named first team All-Southland led by running back Collin Guggenheim and two offensive linemen with Evan Roussel and Mark Barthelemy.

Roussel might be Nicholls’ best player as he’s been named all-conference three straight seasons and was voted a FCS Freshman All-American in 2021-22. He’s the type of player that FBS schools could come calling for in the transfer portal after the season.

Guggenheim combined to rush for over 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2021 and 2022.

Familiar face

Former TCU wide receiver Quincy Brown transferred to Nicholls after the 2022 season. Brown had a big day against Tarleton State in TCU’s home opener last season, but sustained a season-ending injury.

Brown is one of the Colonels’ starters and tied for a team-high three receptions in Nicholls’ season-opening loss to a ranked Sacramento State. Brown could be motivated to have a breakout performance against his former team and teammates.

Who’s the quarterback?

After giving up over 500 yards passing the TCU secondary has a lot of work to do, but how much of a challenge will Nicholls present in the passing game? Quarterback Pat McQuaide is a junior college transfer who was ranked No. 1 in passing yards, passing yards per game and passing touchdowns.

McQuaide was average in his first start against Sac State. He was 15 of 29 for 196 yards with a touchdown and interception. It’s a far cry from the Colorado offense, that’s for sure. Outside of Brown, none of McQuaide’s receivers come from the FBS ranks and none were voted preseason all-conference.

This should be a game where TCU’s secondary is able to regain some confidence.

Lackluster defense?

Nicholls surrendered 38 points in a home loss to Sac State as the Hornets led wire-to-wire. The Colonels didn’t have much success stopping the pass or ground attack. Sac State quarterback Kaiden Bennett averaged 13.8 yards per completion and threw two touchdowns in an easy afternoon. Nicholls had no sacks and just two quarterback pressures.

The Colonels were slightly better against the run, but Sac State led 38-10 early in the fourth quarter and was most likely content to just run the clock out out. Overall, the TCU offense should be able to score as much as it wants on Saturday.