Monday Morning Manager: September 17th, 2012

Casey Pachall... As advertised, but man can he be frustrating.

Welcome back to the Monday Morning Manager, where I think the entire staff here at FOW is happy with the win but unhappy with the bullshit performance we put up. Seriously, how many stupid fumbles can you have? And by the way, is it safe to say that the bigger concern on the offensive line right now isn't the trust freshman on the outside but the center not being able to snap the ball consistently? Many, many issues still on this team... Let's take a look at a few.

THE BACKGROUND


1
2 3 4 F
TCU 7 3 10 0 20
Kansas 3 3 0 0 6
Quick Stats
TCU
KU
First Downs 21 19
Plays - Total Yards 68-487 65-380
Passing Yards 335 303
Rushing Yards 152 77
Penalties-Yards 4-50 4-35
Turnovers 4 2
Stat Leaders
Passing Comp-Att Yds TD Int
TCU - Pachall 24-30 335 2 0
KU - Crist 19-39 303 0 1
Rushing No. Yds TD Long
TCU - James 12 99 0 31
KU - Cox 11 47 0 21
Receiving No. Yds TD Long
TCU - Carter 8 141 2 33
KU - Turzilli 3 100 0 42

The analysis of this is simple: Casey was solid through the air but horrible on the ground. Waymon getting 12 carries is not enough as he is still an incredibly productive runner. Brandon Carter is still a fantastic option for Casey, along side Josh Boyce and Ladarius Brown looks to be a solid option as a third receiver.

I think the offensive output for Kansas is actually not something we can put on Jason Verrett or the secondary. Jason was solid in the coverage, Crist just made some great throws and had a ton of time to throw often. The pass rush wasn't great, but keep in mind Kansas was also using a lot of shotgun and three step drop and throw packages to protect Crist, not much you can do against that.

And let's remember, while this team did lose to Rice last week they were up by two scores at halftime of that game, they are much improved from 2011 and that coaching staff is top shelf. This Kansas team might finish last in the Big 12, but after yesterday I would likely put them second or third in the MWC this year and headed up from there in 2013 and beyond. While it was infuriating that we seemingly couldn't find it in ourselves to dominate this game, the offense DID move the ball at ease... The defense did not give up at touchdown and did generate some turnovers... All this on the road in Lawrence, a place we haven't been in forever with a crowd larger than most you would ever see in the MWC. All in all, what do we say? You have to win by one, and we won by 14. Sure, I would like to have won by 28, but two score conference win? I will take that ANY DAY.

FungoFrog

THE GOOD
Casey Pahall is still a fantastic thrower who has problems with ball control, protection and running efficiently. Waymon James is awesome, Matthew Tucker is now the change of pace back which I like. The offensive line (minus the center) seems to be in an absolute groove, I love their protection ability, very very impressive and getting better with every play. The secondary, especially Olabode, impressed me yesterday and on tape today. This may sound strange considering the passing numbers given up but consider the following: Not one touchdown, one pick, against Weis who is still a strong offensive coach and Crist who is clearly improving. If the TCU defensive backfield gives up 400 passing yards a game but not one passing touchdown the rest of the year, this group is an "A" in my book.

I also liked the linebackers more this week. Hasley is clearly a third down/fourth down/passing down LB while Dawson is your first down/second down/running down LB who I think this team will rely on more throughout the year. Hasley has been racking up a lot of tackles so far this year, but I have to think that is primarily because of his ability to cover tight ends and running backs in short passing downs, something he has done previously as a DB/S in high school. Both will likely start in 2013 aside each other, but for 2012 I like the rotation next to Cain.

THE BAD
Casey has apparently not learned the lesson that Andy Dalton learned his freshman year: When running, secure the ball and avoid the hit. Casey, apparently, does neither. This is a problem as TCU still likes to run some designed runs for the QB and if Casey continues this bullshit fumbling we are going to have a major problem. Just a guess: Expect to see the QB runs drop in frequency considerably over the next few weeks, with I back and strong side runs taking the place.

The pass rush wasn't the best on Saturday, Maponga and Fields both were getting locked up in the OT's chest with alarming frequency. BUT, there was also a lot of holding going on which wasn't called, so I think we should hold judgement until we get back to ACS next week against a better Virginia team. Grambling was easy, Kansas was harder, but Virginia will clearly be the toughest test of the year.

THE OPPORTUNITIES
Take everything you did in week 1 and week 2, and replicate the positive results and remove the negative ones. Virginia is a step up from Kansas on both sides of the ball, so I expect TCU to throw more early and try and open things up a bit. I also expect the defense to get aggressive, I think Gary trusts his secondary this year and I think you will see Hasley and Olabode in the backfield more trying to pressure the QB often and early.

But, if TCU gets a lead in the first or second quarter, I want to see Waymon get about 10 carries a quarter through the end of the game. If we do this, I expect at least 100 yards and a few touchdowns, the guy is just a machine and we need to feed him more. 13 carries for Waymon and 25-30 a game to the RB is not enough IMO.

Hawkeyed Frog
THE GOOD
The depth in the wide receiver position is for real. In a game where Kansas shifted to limit Casey's access to Boyce, who came up as TCU's man of the match? Not Skye Dawson, but Brandon Carter- with sizable assistance from LaDarius Brown who got to show off his skills this week. We're going to be facing better defenses than Kansas in the Big 12, but the wide receiver position is so deep and talented (and Pachall is so accurate) that I don't think there's a defense out there that can cover us for four seconds plus. That means big things for us as the offensive line will improve week by week- the more they play together, the better they'll be able to protect.

The secondary played very well as well, they were flying around without a lot of pass rush support in the second half (more on that later) but managed to knock Crist below 50% in his completion rate, pick him off and (most importantly) help clean up tackles in the first half when Kansas' running backs were pounding us on the flanks. The tackling in the secondary was good enough to keep any of the big plays that Kansas almost broke from going into the end zone, which meant that we stymied drives and stayed ahead.

THE BAD
Hey everybody, breaking news update: Casey just fumbled his coffee. In all seriousness, I expect to see Casey carrying a football at all times on campus this week. The first two fumbles weren't really his fault- a terrible snap squirted through his legs and he was hit while his hand was back to throw, a situation in which the ball almost always comes out. The third one was definitely Casey's fault though, and one that he'll definitely pay for in practice. The four red zone fumbles committed by TCU stymied what was a stellar offensive effort, as Kansas never really stopped us- the frogs were forced to punt only once and rolled up almost 500 yards (a lot for a fairly short game). The turnovers always seemed to come when TCU was about to take Kansas out of the game and send the fans scurrying for the exits, but with the red zone stumbles Kansas stayed in the game for the full duration.

The most worrying part of the game for me, however, was the fact that Kansas was able to get what it wanted on the ground for the most part. Consistently good runs on first down brought up second and medium and second and short time and again, and for a Gary Patterson defense to not be able to shut down the running game bodes ill for the rest of the season. Hm, I take that back, watching Waymon James clutch his knee on the closing drive was the most worrying part of the game for me. I hope it was just a hard knock and not anything lingering or serious.

THE SCHEMATIC
In the second half at first glance it looked like Charlie Weis was out-thinking himself. The running game was working well and feeding the running game was setting up the short passing game that let Crist get into a good rhythm, and then balance just went out the window as Weis called pass after pass- the vast majority of which ended up hitting the turf. At first I thought "Charlie Weis is an idiot", but as I caught highlights I seemed to notice TCU's defensive line not coming at Crist with quite as much ferocity as in the first half.

I think that part of Patterson's plan was a bit less aggression on the d-line in order to help contain the gaps, as lineman getting out of position on the quick hitting runs that Kansas was running in the first half was a big contributing factor to the gashing that we suffered. As a result, Crist had a lot of time in the pocket and I think that sent Weis into the pass happy frenzy that he couldn't escape from. If you're an NCAA quarterback and were a highly ranked recruit if you're given ample time in the pocket you should be able to make plays- Weis gambled that Crist could and ended up losing that bet. I would've tried to keep running some to keep the defense honest, but I think Weis' second half plan was set up by Patterson's second half plan, rather than just being folly.

Angry Trey

THE GOOD
I will start with Casey Pachall. Despite the few mishaps, Pachall had one of his best games in a TCU uniform. Although I though Casey did force a couple of throws, his decision making is improving with each game.

I don't think you can say enough about the TCU WR's. Outside of one bad drop from Josh Boyce, the group was almost flawless. As good as Josh Boyce is, Brandon Carter could be emerging as the go to receiver for this team. When you have a player like that who constantly steps up and makes big plays, you tend to look his direction a little more often. LaDarius Brown, the guy Frog fans have been waiting to see finally made his presence felt. Brown has such amazing size, he could become a real red zone threat.

The defense was questionable at times, but I thought the secondary was decent and I like how TCU is taking care of business on 3rd down. TCU held Grambling to 3-of-14 on 3rd down and Kansas was only 2-of-13. If the D wants to have success, they need to keep this 3rd down efficiency going.

TCU won. That is all that matters right? The Frogs are 1-0 in Big 12 conference play and now they can shift their attention towards Virginia. As long as TCU wins, can you really be that upset?

THE BAD
Just as I started the good with Casey Pachall, I will also start the bad with him as well. You cannot fumble three times and expect to win the game. TCU was lucky they were only playing Kansas. Turnovers are the biggest reason why mediocre teams can hang with better teams and it was evident in this game. The Frogs should have blown out Kansas but because of the fumbles, the Jayhawks hung around and made the game closer than it should have been.

It will be a long season for the TCU defense if they aren't able to get more pressure on the QB. It was a problem last season, and if someone doesn't step up, it will continue to be a problem. Maponga is a beast, but since there are no other true pass rushers, teams are double teaming him. Someone else has to be able to get off their blocks and get to the QB or teams will just shift all of their protections towards Maponga.

THE QUESTIONABLE (But I am still waiting to see...)
I thought the offensive line did a decent job, but I still don't know if I am completely comfortable with this group. Maybe I am just overreacting, but this line still kind of worries me.

Jaden Oberkrom makes me nervous as hell. I don't know if it's because of Ross Evans or what, but can TCU rely on this guy to make a game winning kick? I hold my breath every time he kicks it.

Purple Wimple

I just combined our bloggers' ballots to create our combined Frogs O' War ballot in the SBNation BlogPoll (see the results at noon, right here at Frogs O' War). TCU fell seven spots.
In its own SBNation blog's ballot.
After winning, on the road, in a conference game.

Either we're just a really tough crowd (and we're not-- Frogs O' War has been one of the top five homers in the BlogPoll each of the last three weeks) or that was about as bad a win as a team can get.

For me, I'm not so much depressed about the win, as I am about the fact that it was this close to being a pretty convincing win. The play calling was excellent; the execution up to the five yard line was superb. The secondary looks pretty good; the offense was awesome. The run defense was suspect, but it looks for all the world like we have the offensive firepower to win some shootouts this season.

But we sure won't shoot anybody out if we don't hold on to the ball all the way across the goal line. I'm talking to you, Mr. Efficiency.

About that-- Casey Pachall is a freak of nature, who should not ever run with the ball. He is the nation's most efficient quarterback through three games, and that by a long shot. Here're the top five nationally:

1. Casey Pachall, TCU 242.4
2. Geno Smith, WVU 209.8
3. AJ McCarron, ALA 196.6
4. Tyler Wilson, ARK 195.3
5. David Ash, TEX 190.5

Three of those are in the Big12, and one of the SEC representatives is out of action. We'll see how long Pachall lasts at number one-- he's thrown fewer passes than any player in the top 40 in the stats (filtering out those who've thrown fewer than 15 passes). Still-- a 242.4 mark is simply absurd. Only Geno Smith has a high completion percentage (88%; Pachall's is 84.6). Considering that Smith has thrown more than twice as many passes as Pachall, one has to imagine that the two will switch places on the efficiency chart-- but with Brandon Carter, Josh Boyce, and the emerging LaDarius Brown roving in Pachall's sights, it may be awhile.

What's the takeaway from that mini-rant?

Casey "Sure I Smoked; What're You Gonna Do About It" Pachall should not run with the ball. Ever.

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