HawkeyedFrog: I can't believe Dawson fumbled going into the end zone. I know that we won the game handily and even scored the additional touchdown after Virginia scored to keep the advantage at twenty in the end, but for the sake of my sanity we cannot keep fumbling the frickin' football. Three weeks into the season and, though we're finding answers to some of our preseason questions on this team, such as "Will the kicking game be decent?" (the answer is very much so), but I'm finding myself with more questions the more games pass.
1.) Are we seriously going to be fumbling all year? You wouldn't think so. Casey didn't fumble at all this week after being the focal point of fumblepalooza last week, but we still had fumbles on back to back plays. Hold onto the ball next week guys, you're better than that.
2.) Can we run the ball at all without Waymon James? James has been a big blog favorite for about as long as Frogs O' War has existed, but we've still had quiet respect for the jobs that Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker did for us and I felt confident that even after losing the best running back in the Big 12 (yes, I said it) that we could still run the ball. It didn't happen today, as Tucker ran for 52 yards on 15 carries for a paltry 3.5 yards per carry. We need to be able to run the ball in the Big 12 if we're going to beat anyone, Tech, Baylor and Iowa State included, so Tucker needs to step his game up starting this week at SMU.
3.) Is Brandon Carter secretly our best receiver? It seems silly to ask on a day where Josh Boyce became the schools leading touchdown catcher, but it was another huge game for Carter compared with a fairly quiet (apart from the record breaker) afternoon by Boyce. The film will explain the coverages better than watching it live, so it may just be people overcompensating for James, but even excepting for that... if Carter is that good... be afraid, Big 12.
4,) After a year where we were victimized repeatedly through the air, is TCU's secondary the strongest part of the defense? It's weird to think about, but it may be the case- though the drops that the secondary made were maddening. Rocco had a miserable day doing anything and Sims was not the savior Cavs mans made him out to be. He may grow into it, but at the moment he's not the answer.
Keep checking in with Frogs O' War throughout the day as our remaining writers return home and edit in their analysis. Now it's 5:18 AM and I'm going to bed.
Fungo Frog: I feel like TCU had the same hangover in this game as it had in the Kansas game, just dead. Casey's numbers look solid again, but that interception was awful. Without Carter making two crazy good catches, this game could be so much different.
Defense showed up again, rotating in a ton of people. We lost the shutout at the end, but I am still happy with the play. Cain is a boss, Verrett should have had the INT to prevent the TD but w/e.
As I said in the game thread, TCU still has two more games to get this shit right... At SMU who is horrid and Iowa State at home which is a W. But, we then go to Baylor in a mid October game which will be a season defining game for the Frogs. That will be the first chance TCU will have to show they are for real and will be a substantial test for the defense on the road, a game I am really glad we don't have to play this week, or next.
Purple Wimple: Before I dwell on the negatives, which are the real news, I'm glad TCU won. I'm glad TCU upped its third down conversions substantially. I'm glad Trey Boykin got more meaningful snaps, and I'm glad Olabode came back into the game after needing help up. (Any word on Jonathan Anderson?) I'm glad Joel Hasley has come to play.
But if TCU were a stock, I'd be selling, shorting, abandoning, cashing, etc. as fast as I could.
This team will be lucky even to make a bowl game this year. I say that carefully-- "this team" can still improve enough to be a better team, to be "that team" that wins 7 or 8 and is set up very well to contend for very big things next year. But this team isn't that team, and without some serious improvement-- and quickly-- this team is going to sink this season, beginning in two weeks.
Item number one: pass rush. Come to think of it, I haven't seen a good pass rush from TCU in over a year. Stansly Maponga? Jon Lewis? Chucky Hunter? They're not freshmen; they don't have the excuse that the rest of the front has. And they're not getting the job done. James McFarland? Davion Piarson? Devonte Fields? John Koontz? Where are the QB hurries, sacks, tackles for loss? A good quarterback is going to pick TCU's defense apart-- is going to shred it-- unless he gets knocked around early, and often. This team doesn't do that, and it's disappointing. Soon it'll mean losses.
And why will it mean losses? Because this team's offense is not good. Yes, Brandon Carter is the ubermensch, but when the o-line can't line up properly, it doesn't matter how good the receivers are. When the running game is on the sideline in a bandage, the opponent's secondary is going to force Pachall into bad throws-- which he is plenty happy to make-- and we're only going to score 20 or 27 points a game.
Oh-- that's what we scored today? Against Virginia?
Item number three-- rush defense. Virginia managed over 5 yards per carry. Can you imagine what Texas, K-State, OU, and probably Baylor can do with a defense as rush-porous as that?
Item number four-- Ethan Perry needs to speed things up, or TCU is going to get some punts blocked.
2013. It's gonna start being all about 2013 in a hurry, if this team doesn't improve.