Casey Pachall illustrates the wrong way to score a touchdown. The right way is to hang on to the dang ball. Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE
HawkeyedFrog: Okay, so after two weeks we know two things- Casey Pachall is a very accurate quarterback, and this is probably not the best team in the country. After the sheer perfection of the Grambling game we expected to come back to earth a little against Kansas, but I don't think anyone expected that what would really be coming to earth was the ball. Four fumbles in the red zone. Let's repeat that, because it's important. Four fumbles in the Red Zone. Each on second down and at least medium distance, so give it the law of averages and that's 20 points, two TDs and two field goals. That may be conservative the way TCU moved the ball, the frogs only punted once all game and Casey played an out of his mind game everywhere that wasn't the red zone. Those fumbles are absolute backbreakers, and if Kansas were a good team losing those points would have cost us a lot more than poll position (I expect TCU will drop a couple of spots into the low teens).
The good news? TCU moved the ball at will, gobbling the Jayhawks up on the ground and in the air and they stymied the Kansas rushing game. Two of Casey's fumbles were flukey- being hit while throwing and a snap that flew through his legs, so there's no serious cause for alarm in the long term. TCU clamped down on the TCU passing game in the second half, and though Crist did have some success downfield he completed less than 50% of his passes and we'll take that every day. The defense also did a good job in bending, but not breaking- keeping Kansas out of the end zone all game, and we won on the road.
The bad news? The third fumble was all on Casey, though the defense didn't break, it did bend more than we like to see- the defense got gashed by the Kansas running game early (Weis may have outsmarted himself by going away from it in the second half, or Patterson may have just given him looks that he didn't like the looks of running into- I'll check the tape) and we missed a short field goal. Worst of all, Waymon James looked like he may have hurt his knee at the end of the game, so we'll be left worrying about that for the next few days at least.
In the end, a win is a win and it doesn't matter how we got it, but this week did a lot to knock any delusions of grandeur that players may have been harboring out of their heads. Winning the Big 12 isn't going to be easy, and it won't happen at all (in any season) if we don't take care of the ball. This one will give Patterson a lot to be unhappy about, and that actually makes me pretty happy- I'm confident we won't be nearly as sloppy next week.
FungoFrog: Man, what a total abortion of a game that was. TCU was strong but extremely sloppy on offense, the defense couldn't get a sustained pass rush going all game although I liked the play of the secondary and linebackers today. This game should have probably been 35-6 or worse, but it wasn't, and that gives me just one thought...
Isn't this what you want to happen to a young team, early in the season? A close game, a team that is clearly not focused and playing at there best and they get shook on the road early in the season. The message coming out of this will be simple: If you play like you did today from now through the end of the season, you will likely lose every single game.
I need to go back and watch the game, but I think Carter and Olabode are going to be my POG for this one, both jumped out to me. Otherwise, the problems on this team are still the same: Offensive line play is inconsistent, defensive line has trouble getting a pass rush and we are young so we make stupid mistakes a more experienced team wouldn't. A win is a win, but we must improve this week before Virginia. Right now, Baylor is circled on my calendar in red ink... That is the game folks, that is the first one we will truly need to play well for. We aren't there yet, but we better be.
Purple Wimple: This is the kind of game that makes me lower my expectations for the rest of the season. Yes, we won even though we left 17-28 points on another team's field... but we would have lost against a good quarterback.
Dayne Crist-- who is not a good QB-- passed for over 300 yards, averaging almost 16 yards per completion, and didn't have his best receiver on the field. This is not good, considering what lays ahead on TCU's schedule. I'm officially very concerned about playing in Waco, and against Texas Tech the following week. I'm writing off OkieLight, West Virginia, K-State, Texas, and OU, and will be very surprised if TCU wins any of those five.
Also disconcerting-- TCU only converted 4 of 12 third and fourth downs. Against Kansas. That percentage has got to rise in Big 12 play.
The bad news is that I don't see those tendencies correcting themselves this season.
Now here's a bad tendency in the game that probably will correct itself, at least partway: TCU wasted 226 yards in drives that ended in fumbles or a missed field goal. In total, TCU's ypp on offense was an astoundingly bad 23.2. Suppose each of TCU's wasted drives ended in merely a field goal-- adding 15 points to the tally-- that would have lowered the ypp all the way to 13.9. That's more what we can expect from TCU, I believe, from here on out.