TCU QB Chandler Morris gets start in opener, exits with knee injury

TCU's Chandler Morris opened Friday's season opener at Colorado as the team's starting quarterback but left with a left knee injury and did not return.

Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes told reporters afterward that he didn't know the severity of the injury and said Morris will be evaluated after the team returns to Texas.

Morris, an Oklahoma transfer and the son of former Arkansas and SMU coach Chad Morris, beat out three-year TCU starter Max Duggan for the chance to start Friday. But late in the third quarter, he twisted his knee on a quarterback keeper deep in Colorado territory.

Morris was evaluated on the sideline and limped slowly to the locker room late in the fourth quarter of TCU's 38-13 win.

He finished with 111 passing yards on 13 completions, while adding 18 rushing yards on four attempts.

"He gave us the best chance to win," Dykes said of the decision to start Morris. "That's the bottom line. I thought he played well. The good thing is we think we have three quarterbacks that can play."

Duggan, who started 29 games the past three seasons under previous coach Gary Patterson, led two touchdown drives against Colorado. The senior completed two of three pass attempts and had a 33-yard run.

"Max came in and did exactly what I would expect Max to do," Dykes said. "There's not one person on our team who doesn't believe in Max."

Morris and the offense struggled in the first half, as TCU generated 67 yards on only 18 plays and three drives. The Frogs scored their only touchdown on a 60-yard Derius Davis punt return. But Morris led TCU on a touchdown drive to begin the second half, as the offense scored on five consecutive possessions and racked up 346 yards and 31 points after halftime.

Redshirt freshman Sam Jackson entered the game late and had 44 rushing yards on a five-play, 81-yard scoring drive.

Morris transferred to TCU in January 2021. Former Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley initially did not release Morris, saying he opposed transfers within the conference. The Big 12 later eliminated restrictions for intraconference transfers, and Morris appeared in four games, leading TCU to an upset win over Baylor, when he passed for 461 yards and rushed for 70 yards.

The 6-foot, 195-pound Morris had 717 passing yards and three touchdowns last season, while preserving a redshirt. He appeared in five games for Oklahoma in 2020, attempting five passes. ESPN rated Morris as the No. 196 overall player in the 2020 recruiting class.