Max Duggan threw for a touchdown and was one of four TCU players with a rushing score as the Horned Frogs routed lower-division Duquense 45-3 in an opener shortened in the second half Saturday night.
The coaches agreed to play 12-minute quarters after halftime with the Horned Frogs leading 35-0 in their first meeting with the FCS school.
It was TCU's first non-conference game since 2019 after COVID-19 issues scrapped the only game outside Big 12 play last season along with a bowl appearance.
Duggan, who didn't play in the second half, finished a 90-yard drive on the opening possession with an 8-yard run. His 16-yard pass to J.D. Spielman capped the scoring in the first half at 35-0. The junior and third-year starter was 14 of 19 for 207 yards.
Senior Emari Demercado's first TCU touchdown came on a 2-yard run for a 14-0 lead. Zach Evans and Kendre Miller also had short TD runs before halftime.
The only Duggan-led drive not resulting in points came when he was intercepted by Leandro DeBrito the play after his longest completion, a 47-yarder to Derius Davis.
Duquense quarterback Joe Mischler was injured in the first half as the Dukes finished with 137 total yards and six first downs in their return from a short offseason after playing a five-game schedule in the spring because of the pandemic.
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Duquense: This was by far the best FBS program the Dukes have faced since joining FCS in 1993, and it showed. They were down 28-0 before picking up a first down without the benefit of a penalty.
TCU: It was the perfect tune-up for the Horned Frogs. Two quarterbacks got to play in the second half in Matthew Downing and Chandler Morris. The son of former SMU and Arkansas coach Chad Morris threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Blake Nowell in the fourth quarter. There were 10 players with at least one carry, and 10 with at least one catch.
Duquense is now 7-8-1 all-time against current members of the Big 12. But this is the first time the Dukes have played one of those schools in 79 years. The most recent meeting was a 33-0 victory over Kansas State in 1942. Eight of those 16 games have been against West Virginia, which holds a 4-3-1 edge in a series last played in 1935.
Duquense: Another FBS opponent in Ohio next Saturday. The Dukes opened with consecutive higher-division foes in 2018, and are scheduled to do the same in 2022. Last year's pair of FBS openers was canceled by the pandemic.
TCU: Cal visits next Saturday in the second of four straight home games to open the season. That has happened just once before in program history.
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