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Sonny Dykes, TCU Horned Frogs Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
October 12, 2022 8:15 pm

Sonny Dykes, TCU Horned Frogs Head Football Coach

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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October 12, 2022 8:15 pm

Sonny Dykes joined Zach to discuss the biggest challenge in taking over TCU and how tough the Big 12 Conference is this season. 

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For home loan solutions that fit your life, well Rocket Candidates is at Gelb Show coast to coast on CBS Sports Radio. We're getting set for a huge weekend in college football and one of the featured matchups coming up at 3.30 PM Eastern is undefeated 13th ranked TCU, hosting Oklahoma State who's ranked at number 8 and also undefeated at 5-0. And now joining us is the first year head coach at TCU, has been around the game for a long time and that is coach Sonny Dykes. Coach, appreciate the time. Congratulations on the good start. How you been? I've been well, thank you.

I appreciate it guys. We're playing good and we're off to a good start. So this being your first year as the head football coach at TCU, when a new coach comes in you never know how the transition is going to go. Obviously you expect to win every game, but is it surprising that so far you guys are off to this 5-0 start? Yeah, a little bit. There's always a learning curve that takes place when you take over a program.

Actually this is the fourth time that I've done this and first years are usually tough. Just trying to get the players to buy into what you're trying to teach. Sometimes there's a reason normally jobs are open and sometimes there's a little bit of a lack of talent or whatever the case may be. It takes a while to get the kind of players you need into the program and sometimes it takes a while to get the guys to buy into the culture. We were very fortunate to have an opportunity to come to TCU where there were good players and the buy-in has just been a real pleasant surprise. I think since day one our players have done exactly what we asked them to do. They've wanted to win.

This is a unique group. They really like playing football. They really like practicing. We haven't had very many bad practices. I can only think of one really since we've been here even going back to spring practice. It's an eager group and they want to do what it takes to be good.

It's been fun so far. We realize it's early in the season and a lot of games still to play, but we feel like our guys have done a good job up to this point. You know what it's like dealing with 18 to 21, 22 year olds. Not only do you have to trust your players, but they have to trust you. That's not something that you could teach.

It just has to be done by example. Especially what you guys have done the last three weeks, if anyone was doubting, you kind of put those doubts away. Yeah, and again it's a credit to our players. We have a great strength and conditioning staff led by Kaz Kazady. I think he's one of the best strength and conditioning coaches in all of college football. He's done a fantastic job of building a culture that started in the weight room and carried over to the practice field during spring practice.

Really carried over summer workouts as well. Once we started fall camp, we got a couple of weeks in. We felt like we might have a chance to have a pretty good team. If we could stay healthy and some of the pieces could come together. We've been fortunate that it has so far. Everyone's important, but the last three weeks to take down your old school SMU and then you go up and play Oklahoma and Kansas and take care of both of them.

How do you put that three week stretch into perspective? Well, the best thing about it is our guys have gotten better every week. We got off to a fast start against SMU and didn't finish a game like 1-2 and had to hold on. Then we had a pretty good performance against Oklahoma, really from start to finish. I like their guys' focus better, but we made a bunch of mistakes in that game and felt like we played a much cleaner game last week against Kansas against a very good football team on the road. That was the first time that we had trailed in a game, really going back to the Colorado game the first half.

It's hard to do that on the road. Kansas had a bunch of momentum. We were kind of on our heels a little bit and our guys did a great job of answering and continuing to do their job and not get on that emotional roller coaster. We beat a good Kansas team last week.

I think we passed that test and now it's on to see how we can deal with success because sometimes success is harder to deal with than adversity. I think our guys have done a good job of doing that. We've had two great days of practice on Tuesday and Wednesday so far this week. Guys had a really good Sunday coming off of that tough Saturday game on the road.

I feel like we're in a good spot. What is your quarterback? I know he's been around for a while and he wasn't starting to begin the year. Then Chandler Morris had that injury, but what has Max Duggan really showed you? Well, just a lot of toughness and leadership. He's one of those guys that makes everybody on our team better. Everybody believes in Max and everybody knows he's completely committed to them and the team and TCU football.

He's just one of those guys that everybody knows would do anything to win. I think that rubs off on everybody else and gives our team some toughness and some edge. He's really played well. He's made good decisions. He's taken care of the ball. Every single week he gets better and better and plays with more confidence and gets a better understanding of our scheme and how to get the ball to our playmakers.

He's just really starting to come into his own. TC, you had Coach Sonny Dykes here with us on the Zach Gelb show. How has that dynamic been with you, Chandler Morris, and then Max Duggan? Well, those guys have been great.

I think they just want to win. When we named Chandler the starter at the end of fall camp, Max came in and I just said, hey look, you're going to get an opportunity at some point. Just be prepared for it. He goes, hey look, I'm disappointed, but I'm going to hang in there. He did exactly that and he had his opportunity. Chandler feels the same way. I know that Chandler's dying to play and wants to get out there and help his team win football games. But he's a team first guy.

He just is. So that room is a great room to be around. We've got a lot of selfless people in the room. When you get to coach those kind of people, man, it makes it fun. Coach, your stud wide receiver, Quinnen Johnson, we all saw the game that he just had last week, 14 receptions, 206 yards. The game winning score on that game winning touchdown was pretty impressive in the moment.

But when you saw it in film, did it just even raise it up a notch? Yeah, Quinn's a talented guy. We're lucky to have him. He's a big, athletic, fast, really explosive wide receiver. Kind of got an unusual blend of really, really good size and quickness and explosiveness.

And so it's a great combination. He's starting to come into his own, starting to play with more confidence. And again, Max and Quinnen are starting to get on the same page. So excited to see the work that those guys are going to put out in the field.

And I think they are getting more comfortable with each other each and every day. I was reading a mock draft earlier this morning. That shows you how much of a loser I am because we're not even close to the draft. But how do you think his game will transition to the next level? Because right now he was the first wide receiver off the board. You know, I think he's going to be a great pro. I really do. I think he's got work ethic. He's got the personality.

I mean, he really is a very unique guy. Loves football. Loves being part of a team.

Very unselfish. And like I said earlier, just really, really talented. So his best football is still in front of him. I think he's going to end up being a great pro.

I really do. Sonny Dykes here with Dust. Spencer Sanders, I have a lot of respect for the Oklahoma State quarterback. He's looking like a guy that could be in New York as a Heisman Trophy finalist. You guys have a tough task this weekend.

It's going to be a heck of a game. How do you try to slow down the quarterback? Yeah, you know, Spencer's just a winner. He's a great player. He's got a great arm. Very, very good runner. You know, he runs physical.

Runs hard. Really does a nice job of anticipating throws and throwing a ball to his spot. You can tell that he's played a lot of football. And as I said, he really trusts his wide receivers to go get the football and make plays. So he's a great quarterback, certainly. I think the best quarterback that we've played against so far this season. And, you know, one of the most productive quarterbacks in a long time in the Big 12. And, you know, he just knows how to win football games and take care of the ball. And Oklahoma State does a great job of their offense.

They always are very balanced. They run the ball. They take shots down the field. They also have a really nice screen game and a control passing game where they can throw high percentage throws and complete passes and move the chains. So they're kind of one of those teams that's good at everything.

Yeah, what else jumps off to the page specifically about you? Because you know Mike Gundy always has a good team. Yeah, yeah, just their toughness up front on both the offensive defensive front, I think, is what stands out to me. And, you know, the game is still one, you know, on the offensive defensive line every Saturday. And you can see why Oklahoma State's been bowl eligible, I think, 16 consecutive years now is because they do a great job recruiting and developing offensive and defensive linemen. And that gives them a chance to win every game they play. Talking to Sonny Dykes right now, a few more questions for the TCU head coach as they get set for a big matchup this weekend, top 15 matchup.

Them up against Oklahoma State, 3.30 p.m. Eastern on ABC. This is your fourth go around as a head coach. What's different about this one for you, coach?

Well, I think you learn something from all of them. You know, I think that, you know, I'm really fortunate to be someplace where we have great resources. I was able to hire an outstanding coaching staff and bring in some guys who have a ton of experience and understand, you know, how to recruit Texas, have relationships in Texas, you know, have a lot of experience and have had success coaching. So that part of it's been really, really good. And, you know, we just have a ton of support from our administration, really from our chancellor, to our athletic director, all the way throughout our administration. It's just been a real pleasant situation to work in.

You know, and I think that's what makes this thing so different. I mean, there's been a real commitment to facilities here. You know, we have a beautiful stadium. Our facilities are first rate. We've really invested in nutrition for our student athletes. And, you know, I think which has made a big difference for us on the field. You know, we're about to build some brand new facilities as well that I think are going to be state of the art.

So, you know, there's a very strong commitment from TCU. And, you know, we're lucky to be in the Big 12. It's a great league and has a lot of parity.

And I think, you know, I think anybody right now can win the league. So it's a great place to be and a lot of fun. And we're enjoying living in Fort Worth and it couldn't be better right now. I love that you bring up the state of the conference because when Oklahoma and Texas announced that they were moving to the SEC, a lot of people thought that the Big 12 was maybe going to fade away or you could have a lot of other schools leave as well. But this conference this year in football, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, you guys, the surprise of Kansas, we saw what Baylor did a year ago. Joe McGuire's done a nice job with Texas Tech.

Did you feel like maybe some of the teams in the conference, you know, you coming in were a little bit disrespected once they got that news that Oklahoma and Texas were leaving? Yeah, I coached in the league, you know, way back when at Texas Tech from 2000 to 2006. And so had a pretty good idea about the Big 12 and the commitment from the schools in the league.

And then obviously had watched, you know, Big 12 football, you know, when I was at SMU the last four years. And so, you know, there is just really, really good coaches in this league. I mean, you look around and some of the best and brightest are coaching in this league. I mean, you look at the job, obviously, that Coach Leopold's done at Kansas. You look at what Matt Campbell has done at Iowa State.

You know, you look at Kansas State, the kind of program that they have, and then you look, you know, you look at, as you said, the momentum that Texas Tech has. You just start looking around the league and there's a bunch of really, really good football teams and people that are committed to winning at a very high level. And they were adding some teams that have tremendous potential as well.

You know, two from the American, where I was before, in Central Florida and Houston. And both of those teams can recruit at an elite level. They both have very good coaches and are very dedicated to winning.

And in Cincinnati, I forgot, Cincinnati. And Cincinnati obviously showed all of college football last year what they were capable of, getting to the college football playoffs. So, you know, I think the league is going to be really good. BYU has obviously had a lot of success as well.

There are going to be some great additions. And some teams are starting to emerge within the league. And so when you look at the 10 members right now, you know, I think it's as competitive as any league in college football. Do you feel like your team could be a college football playoff team this year? Because you said it, the conference is wide open. And a team that wins this conference this year, depending on how many losses they have, but you would think they'd be in the college football playoff this year.

You know, I don't know. It's early. I mean, I think we certainly have an opportunity. You know, I think that there's a bunch of teams that do. I think there's probably several teams that feel like they've got an opportunity because there is so much parity in the league. And every single game, you know, this Saturdays are going to be good football games.

They're going to probably come down to the end. I think that, you know, you've got to catch some breaks to have a chance to win the league. You've got to stay healthy in some key spots.

And there's a lot of things that you have to have a chance to do. But for us, it's just about playing well against Oklahoma State, you know, taking it one game at a time. And honestly, just, you know, try to get one win Saturday and then see where we are and then try to figure out how to win another one the following Saturday. Number 13, TCU going up against number 8 Oklahoma State this Saturday, 3.30 p.m. Eastern.

He's that football coach at TCU, the Horned Frogs in Sunny Dykes. Coach, really do appreciate this time. Good luck the rest of the way. Thank you very much.

I appreciate it. From outdoor shades for relaxing in the yard to blackout shades that help your newborn and your family get a good night's sleep. Blinds.com is grateful to be part of your home.

To say thanks, we're inviting you to our friends and family sale with up to 45% off site wide plus doorbusters. Ordering custom window treatments online doesn't have to mean sacrificing style or service. Shop the latest styles of curtains, shades, shutters and more. Want help making a selection? Blinds.com's design experts are always available for free consultations.

Need help with measuring or installing? We've got you covered there too. Plus, there's no hidden fees or misleading quotes and no showrooms or retail markups. See for yourself why Blinds.com is the number one online retailer of custom window treatments. Shop our Blinds.com friends and family sale now through October 12th for up to 45% off everything plus doorbusters. Save up to 45% site wide at Blinds.com.

Blinds.com. Rules and restrictions may apply. Hey, I'm Thamy Redwood, host of the podcast Beyond Black History Month. Here's reason number 568 million of why you should be listening. From in-depth reporting on the shortage of black sperm to how one house of the dragon star is dealing with online trolls who don't love seeing black dragon riders. I can't lose sleep over that, over worrying about things that are beyond my control. Listen and subscribe to Beyond Black History Month on the Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-07 22:40:43 / 2022-12-07 22:48:26 / 8

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