‘That Was A Hard Year’ – Sonny Dykes Reflects on Dismal 2023 Season at Big 12 Media Days

    After a disappointing year in 2023, TCU head coach Sonny Dykes reflected on what went wrong and the changes his team has made this offseason.

    The Sonny Dykes era of TCU football couldn’t have gotten off to a better start. The Horned Frogs ran through Big 12 competition to make the College Football Playoff, defeating Michigan in a thriller and losing in the National Championship Game to an undefeated Georgia.

    But in 2023, things changed, and TCU limped to a 5-7 finish. It didn’t take long at the podium for head coach Sonny Dykes to reflect on the disappointing year.

    TCU’s Sonny Dykes Reflects on What Went Wrong For TCU in 2023

    Dykes is a veteran coach who has had his share of successes. He immediately reflected on the poor year, pointing out some things he thought caused the poor performance.

    “If you look at us last year, I think we were 13th in offense, but we didn’t perform well at all,” Dykes said. “We dropped off in scoring. I believe we were 122nd in red zone offense, weren’t particularly good on third and fourth down, so all the variables that really help you win football games that we were really good at the year before, we were really bad at last year.”

    Dykes talked about the moving parts and how they often struggled to pinpoint what was wrong until it was too late. Sometimes, the offense would really struggle, like in losses to Iowa State and West Virginia.

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    Sometimes, the defense struggled, as when the Horned Frogs lost games to Colorado and Oklahoma despite scoring over 40 points in each of those. And sometimes, the Horned Frogs just struggled, period, as seen in the 42-3 drubbing at the hands of Kansas State.

    “That was a hard year,” Dykes said. “I really didn’t see it coming … We never felt like we gelled as a team. It just never felt like our teams typically feel.”

    Dykes went on to talk about some of the mistakes he felt he and his staff made in the offseason.

    “It all starts with me,” Dykes said. “I did a really poor job last year of not recognizing some issues we had early and not getting them addressed. It felt like we were playing catch-up the whole time.”

    “We got back from the National Championship late and gave our players some time off. All of a sudden we’re in the middle of February and we’re just now getting started with conditioning and really we spent 12 games last year trying to get caught up.”

    So what’s changed this offseason?

    “We’ve done way more football this offseason than we’ve done before,” Dykes said. “I feel like we’ve adapted. I feel like we’re way further ahead, right now, than we were during the season last season. I feel like that’s been the key for us.”

    TCU opens its 2024 season in Palo Alto with a late-night Friday game against Stanford on August 30.

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