They couldn't muster a single first down in the first half in last week's loss at Oklahoma.
And now defensive end Devonte Fields, the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year, has been shut down and will have foot surgery.
Still, TCU coach Gary Patterson remains optimistic.
“To me,” he said immediately following the loss to the Sooners, “there is a tremendous upside. As we do start clicking and start doing the things we need to do, we have a chance to win a lot of football games if we keep playing defense.
“We need to get off to a faster start … but if we do that, we'll be a football team that will cause a lot of problems in the next seven weeks.
The Frogs have played well on defense, even without Fields.
TCU leads the Big 12 with 18 sacks and ranks fourth in the league in total defense, fifth in scoring defense. The problems have come on offense.
Patterson, known as a defensive coach, said that this is the best a TCU secondary has played.
“We lead the league in sacks,” he said, “and I'd probably tell you at least 50 percent of them have been coverage sacks.”