Even without the talents of their All-American defensive end Devonte Fields, who has been lost for the season with a foot injury, the TCU Horned Frogs continue to be one of the toughest defenses in the Big 12. They rank No. 2 in total defense, allowing just 328 yards per game, just behind the Oklahoma Sooners. Their stingy defense has been one of the bright spots for a TCU team that has stumbled to a 3-3 start (thanks to a struggling offense) that has been led by the leadership and production of cornerback Jason Verrett.
Verrett came into the 2013 season pegged as one of the elite coverage corners in the country and he has not disappointed. Despite opposing quarterbacks trying to avoid throwing his direction, Verrett still leads the conference in passes defended with 10 pass breakups and an interception on the year. He’s also shown excellent toughness to come up in support of the run and has posted 24 tackles this season, including 2.5 for loss and a sack.
Gary Patterson has had to lean on Verrett to provide leadership to a defense that has been hit hard with injuries this season and the senior defensive back has responded beautifully through six games. He is making an excellent case for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year honors with his ability to shut down receivers in the passing game and create negative plays for opponents. His outstanding level of play has made TCU one of the toughest teams in the conference to throw against and gives the Horned Frogs an opportunity to win just about any game.
If the offense can find its legs soon, TCU has a great shot at turning their season around and making some noise in the Big 12 race late in the year. They haven’t left themselves any room for error the rest of the way and will continue to lean on Verrett to lead their defensive effort.