Well, the defense to start with. I was really very impressed by the defensive line, but more so the secondary. Kansas State doesn't have the speediest group of wide outs which made coverage that much more simple for us, but the ability of the secondary to stay in coverage for a few extra seconds really allowed the front six to generate a great push on every play and effectively stop the run.
The other good was Boykin, from this respect... Gary Patterson often talks about young players having to learn to play through injuries that are painful but not long term issues, and I felt like this was a good coming of age game for Boykin in that he was clearly in pain the entire game, but fought through it and still led his team. Gary Patterson said after the game that he wished he had played Matt Brown more and that Boykin was going to be very sore on Monday, but I get the impression he was also very proud of Boykin's effort. Pachall may come back next year, but it is clear to me that Trevone is taking huge steps every week towards becoming this teams unquestioned leader.
I will not put this on the offense, it was clear the K-State defense had their number, that is a big reason why they are the #1 team in the country right now. But I will say this, and it seems to be something being said almost every week... The offensive game plan is not working, but there seems to be no rush to change or improve it. We seem to be stuck in this weird world where we can't decide between running power, running option or going to our short passing game, and we end up doing a mix of all three to our detriment. It is likely also the problem of having such an unreliable offensive line, but I just don't see what this team's offensive philosophy is right now... I wish I could, but I don't.
THE WEEKS AHEAD
This week, for all intents and purposes, is a rest/rehab/treatment/film week. I am sure they will practice to stay in shape, focused and put in some offense and defense, but I would bet my life it will be slowed down quite a bit. These guys need a breather, time to relax and just get right... Hopefully, they will all have their legs back for Texas.
Oh, and by the way, we will learn a ton on Thanksgiving Day when Boykin goes into DKR Texas Memorial Stadium... That is easily the craziest venue he will have seen all year long (Yes, more than Morgantown) and he will either wilt, or grow up. I hope grow, but you never know for young QBs.
For now, it is time for a little basketball this week, and some time to relax and not think about TCU Football and instead just focus on being a fan. We shall return, full bore, next Tuesday for Game Week #10: Texas.
The defense was absolutely great. I think they played one of their best games of the season against one of the best teams in the country. I am really looking forward to seeing how this unit plays in the final games of the season. This group could be scary good next year.
I thought the fans did a pretty good job of buying into the blackout concept. There were still a decent amount of TCU fans in purple, but for the most part people wore black.
Not sure what else was good about Saturday night besides those two things.
Something needs to be done about the offensive play calling. I don't know why the coordinators continue with this ultra conservative approach. At some point you have to open it more. I'm not saying TCU should fire anyone, but I think they need to mix it up a little bit or something. There is a need for more creativity with this offense. You have playmakers, utilize them!
I have seen numerous opinions on it, but I still think the field goad down 23-0 was pathetic. The Frogs needed three touchdowns and three two-point conversions to take the lead. Kicking the FG did nothing but ensure that they wouldn't be shutout. I feel like that was a give up.
What has happened to Jaden Oberkrom? I am really starting to get nervous about the kicking situation. Missed field goals are starting to become a trend once again.
The offensive line. It isn't very good....
I think Kansas State is a great team. I would be thrilled with a KState/Oregon BCS Championship game. They are disciplined and do everything the right way. It will be interesting to see if Klein can finish the season strong and bring home the Heisman.
I predicted TCU to win this game. I thought they had a legit shot. I'm not disappointed that they lost, it was more about the way they lost. It has to be frustrating for the defense to have that much pressure on them every series because the offense can do nothing positive.
The defense, the defense, the defense. The last time I came out of a game this impressed with the TCU defense was the 2009 Poinsettia Bowl where the Frogs just sat on Boise all game. That fellow who went 12/21 with no touchdowns and an interception? He's the likely Heisman winner. Minus Klein's one 34 yard run that put the game out of reach and he averaged about a yard a carry. That's scary good. The best part is the return to form of Stansly Maponga who had been overshadowed by the dynamic Fields for most of this season, if we get both of them firing David Ashs and Landry Jones will both have trouble.
On offense the bright spot was Matthew Tucker's glorious return to health, as he ground out consistent good yardage on the ground and was excellent in pass protection. Why he spent so much time off the field is a matter of some consternation in the Hawkeyed household.
And Brandon Carter did this. Relentless effort from Carter all game long, reaffirming my faith in my favorite current (uninjured) frog.
The offensive line got beaten soundly by the K-State defensive front all game and as a result Boykin ended up on his back or on the run, and he never seemed to get right after the hard fall on his shoulder. The game would probably have been closer had Boykin not had to take an extended leave, because he really did seem to be settling into a rhythm when he had to come out so it's disappointing that K-State didn't get our best shot offensively. Also the personnel/play calling was annoying as well, why did we go away from Tucker when he was actually making serious headway on the ground for the first time this year? Very frustrating.
People (myself included) were calling for Deante' Gray after Dawson's punt muff last week against West Virginia, but Saturday we saw why Dawson still has a hold on the job: he at least fields the punt correctly. Whether or not he can catch it or hang onto it is another topic entirely, but I mentioned in the Grambling video rewind that fielding a punt over your shoulder is a terrible decision and Gray just hasn't gotten that into his head yet.
Kudos to everyone who attended the game, guys. The fans really brought their A-game in this one and were loud even in the fourth quarter- the pop when Brandon Carter scored our touchdown with just a minute left in the game was phenomenal. The blackout didn't go perfectly, but the intensity was remarkable to the point where even the K-State blogs were talking about how loud we were. That's a fantastic step forward for what is generally considered a fickle fanbase, so great work to all of you Frog fans and let's really give it to OU.