TCU Makes History With Its Top-Ranked Defense
Jan. 14, 2011
FORT WORTH, Texas -- The TCU football team led the nation in total defense for a third straight year and has now finished first in that category more times (five) than any other program since the NCAA began tracking statistics in 1937.
All five of those No. 1 rankings in total defense have come under head coach Gary Patterson in the last 11 seasons (2000, 2002, 2008, 2009, 2010).
The Rose Bowl champion and second-ranked Horned Frogs, who topped the country in six defensive categories, are just the third team in NCAA history to lead the nation in total defense in three consecutive seasons (Toledo, 1969-71; Oklahoma, 1985-87).
Despite losing two starters in the first two rounds of the National Football League draft and a pair of four-year starters at cornerback, TCU's total defensive numbers improved in 2010 from the previous season.
The Horned Frogs allowed just 228.5 yards per game, 26.2 yards less than runner-up Boise State (254.7). TCU's total was 11.2 yards better than its 2009 average (239.7) and the second-best mark under Patterson. Only the 2008 squad (217.8 yards) was better.
In addition to total defense, TCU also led the nation in scoring defense (12.0 points), pass defense (128.8 yards), pass defense efficiency (94.9 rating), opponent third-down conversion percentage (24.1) and fewest first downs allowed per game (12.0).
The Horned Frogs were fifth in run defense at 99.7 yards each contest.
TCU's defense also topped the country in the unofficial stat of three-and-outs per game (6.0).
Offensively, TCU was fourth in scoring (41.6 points), 10th in rushing (247.4 yards) and 12th in total offense (476.9 yards). The Horned Frogs tied for fifth in fewest sacks allowed, surrendering just nine in 13 contests (0.7 per game).
TCU ranked fifth nationally in punt return average (14.8 yards) and seventh in kickoff returns (25.9 yards).
Individually, Rose Bowl Offensive Most Valuable Player Andy Dalton finished the season fifth in passing efficiency with a 166.5 rating. It was the second straight year Dalton placed in the top 10.
The 2011 season will see the Horned Frogs return six defensive starters and five on offense.