We are back for the second to last edition of the MMQ, where we take a look at our final home game of the year: Oklahoma. It was a close game, with another solid defensive performance, but TCU still can't quite figure it out on offense.
I think I have to start with the defense, again. The defensive line didn't have its usually dominate performance, but the secondary picked up the slack in most areas. In general, holding OU to 24 points is solid and I am happy.
The offense in the second half was better, much more consistent and aggressive. Much has been said of the play calling and decision making in the first half (and much of the season), but I have to believe that with the second half going so well we might just see this style of offense all game out in Tempe.
Great game by Carter on defense, this guy has totally emerged over the last few games to be a real threat as a safety... I am extremely happy with his performance, should be a gem in 2013.
The offense was horrible in the first half, and it wasn't Boykin's fault. The coordinators didn't give him anything, there were dropped passes, we were consistently in bad starting field positions... It was a team effort to suck really bad.
The defense had one truly horrible play, where Olabode ran into coverage while the back was running past him towards pay dirt... I have no idea what happened on this play, but it was awful.
Special teams was pretty bad too, Brandon Carter is mostly to blame... He had an awful day returning kicks, just awful. We had a miss from Oberkrom again, and yes I know it looked good on TV but it shouldn't have been that close, he botched it just enough to allow the refs to call it out, and it will forever be a miss. Perry shanked one punt but was good otherwise, the one bright spot for TCU.
THE BOWL GAME
So, we got Michigan State in Tempe to prepare for... I haven't watched any game tape yet, but they appear to be a pretty boring team. Bad offense that runs the ball, to little success... Defense is either solid, or looks solid because they are in the Big 10, I am not sure which one is more true than the other.
But, I want to focus on this one aspect first: The game itself. TCU got the largest payout, outside of the Cotton Bowl ($7.5 Million) at about $3.5 Million, which is significant. The Big 12 does share revenues from Bowl Games, but it isn't evenly amongst all teams, the higher the bowl game the higher percentage of revenue you will receive.
Sure, it would be nice to play in Texas, but there are a lot of benefits to a Tempe destination and I am not at all angry about the matchup.
A first look at the Spartans should be coming later today.
Jason Verrett added Kenny Stills to the list of wide receivers he has completely shut down this year. Now he's got a month to prepare for Bennie Fowler and Keith Mumphery? Night night.
The running game wasn't terribly productive, especially when you looked at how weak the Sooners were up front coming in. Catalon had a relatively decent night, but even he had only 51 rushing yards.
The worst timed holding penalty ever happened in this game, when, on the Frogs' final drive, Boykin scrambled and made his way to the endzone only for it to be called back. From there, TCU couldn't recover.
TCU's front line couldn't get any pressure on Landry Jones either. Granted, that was partially because OU's line was holding on for dear life, but I expected the pocket to collapse on Jones more often than it did.
Worst of all though, the running defense revealed a crack in its armor. Damien Williams ran for 115 yards, 66 coming on one busted play. In total, OU ran for 177 yard, the most allowed by TCU this season.
The Frogs now face off against Michigan State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, Arizona. Keep it here for all the latest news and updates.
The defense was solid, apart from a couple of bad hiccups (what in the world happened on that 66 yard carry? I just... can't imagine.) Although Landry Jones went unsacked, there was pressure evident by the number of times that the senior quarterback turfed passes with receivers nowhere near. The defense even managed to stop a Belldozer "Tebow Smash" play, so something to hang your hat on as he'll be the starting OU quarterback next year according to Stoops.
Three playcalls in a row: For the first time in a TCU game this season I was left thinking "That was a fantastic call". TCU has had some success on offense this season without Fuente calling plays, but it's been hiccupy and the playcalling has been extremely frustrating at time. However, in this one instance, there was a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. On two consecutive plays TCU had motioned Catalon towards Boykin, Boykin had snapped the ball just before Catalon crossed in front of him and then they faked the handoff, opening up two great play action passes- the first was the bomb to Carter and the second was a first down to Skye Dawson. The next play was absolutely the perfect call, as Catalon again motioned toward Boykin at speed, only this time the handoff occurred and Catalon had no trouble getting to the edge, getting his second longest run of the day and he was a broken tackle away from a touchdown. That call was absolutely brilliant, and I have hope that with a loaded TCU offense returning next year I'll be able to mark down several great plays that were set up by a great playcall rather than just a player making a great play.
With praise now given to that three play sequence... The personnel decisions and playcalling were again absolutely infuriating. On Senior day. Matthew Tucker's last game at home. TCU hoping like hell to establish the run once again. Tucker gets five carries. Let me repeat that. On his senior day, when he is TCU's best and most consistent back, Matthew Tucker got five carries. I know the coaching staff hates Aundre Dean, but Tucker? He was the reason that Waymon James didn't get enough carries last year, and now he can't get ten-fifteen in a game when OU has been soft up the middle all year? The zone read picks up nine yards and TCU doesn't run it again? If TCU doesn't have the best offense in the Big 12 next year, playcalling will be the reason why. (Yes, I will probably be changing my name to SimpsonFrog this offseason to reflect the degree to which I am a Homer.)
The game of inches broke against TCU hard in this game, and it was easy to see from the stands the discontent with the officials that Patterson (and the team, and the fans) were experiencing. There weren't a lot of penalties in this one, but OU got called for one that did not involve MMA style punching of a prone player, while TCU not only had a field goal go wide (apparently? From the stands it looked good) but also had two turnovers turn out the opposite way we hoped as a result of replay- calls that could have easily gone the other way. I won't say that we got screwed in this one because the calls were damn close, but in a one score game those plays would have certainly made a big difference.
The stadium was full, and though OU was well represented I'd say it was at least 80% Frog fans. For my first experience in the new Amon Carter after years of being in Australia, it was absolutely amazing and a memory I'll keep with me for a long time to come. A large portion of the lower bowl was very late to fill up (Some things never change) but by and large the atmosphere was everything you'd expect from a big game environment and that will help not only with the product on the field and build home field advantage, but it'll also show recruits that "This is a program with a big time game atmosphere. This is a program that I want to be a part of." TCU has always had a fantastic location, Fort Worth is amazing and the Texas talent is all around, but it's hard to beat out schools with gameday atmospheres without having a great gameday atmosphere yourself. TCU had it on Saturday, and that will be great for the future.
The defense was solid once again. They held Oklahoma under their average for points and passing yards per game. They have become a fun group to watch. I would have liked to seen more pressure on Landry Jones though.
I liked the way B.J. Catalon ran the ball. He had 11 carries for 51 yards but I thought he ran hard.
Ethan Perry had a nice game punting, if you want to consider that a positive... Perry averaged 49 yards per punt.
The play calling annoys me to no end. Hand off up the middle, sweep to the outside, rinse and repeat. Once the offense opened up in the second half and Boykin was allowed to throw, I didn't think he was bad.
I'm not going to blame the officials for the loss, but there were some questionable calls. I still don't understand why the Oklahoma offensive lineman wasn't ejected for throwing a punch. That was one of the most blatant cheap shots I have seen. I'm still wondering whether that field goal was good or not.
Outside of the one 80 yard touchdown catch, Brandon Carter had a poor game. I was expecting more from him especially playing against Oklahoma.
I thought Oklahoma did a good job of keeping Boykin in the pocket. There were a couple times where Boykin was looking to scramble but couldn't find any holes to duck out of.
My seats are directly next to the visitors section so I have had the chance to see how all the different visiting fans act. The Oklahoma fans are obnoxious. They weren't rude or anything, just extremely obnoxious.
I am really looking forward to getting Casey Pachall and Waymon James back. Those two players alone will improve this team tremendously.
I can't believe the season is already over. It went by incredibly fast. It was up and down at times, but this was a fun season to watch.