HawkeyedFrog: Every week since Grambling it's seemed like TCU has found a new way to win an ugly game, and this Iron Skillet game was certainly ugly. Casey Pachall had a miserable stat sheet from a completion percentage, but that doesn't take into account the dozen or so drops by TCU's usually sure handed receivers. Tucker had a decent game running the ball before he turned his ankle, which limited his effectiveness bouncing outside in the second half. Still, TCU put up enough points to win, but that's mostly in thanks to a great defensive performance- who racked up five interceptions of SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert. The TCU defensive line got decent pressure- especially in the second half, and the secondary was smothering on an SMU offense that stubbornly tested them again and again. Still the offense looked ugly and bogged down more often than not in the torrential downpour, the special teams had bad snaps, bad holds and bad snap handling, which continually put the defense in bad spots, and there were penalties everywhere.
And you know what? I'm still confident coming out of this game. This is a game that SMU fought tooth and nail for, and TCU wanted to make sure the mustangs never got comfortable in any phase of the game- that means penalties will occasionally rack up, and even though several of them were numbskull decisions it's not something that I expect will be a week in and week out issue (especially after Patterson gets after them). On offense the ball just about every TCU receiver (with the possible exception of Brown) had balls squirt through their fingers, balls that on dry days they catch nine out of ten times, and there was only one turnover- by Frogs O' War 2012 favorite, Brandon Carter. That's not something that you will see happen to Carter again, I guarantee it. The special teams got away without having anything blocked by SMU's 6'8" kick blocking phenom, and when they were actually able to put foot on ball they had a very solid game, with Perry punting over 64 yards at one point and angling four punts inside the SMU 20. Tucker looked better than he has in any game this season until he got his ankle turned, and hopefully he'll be able to build on that going into Iowa State next week. Most importantly, no matter how it happened, the Iron Skillet is in a car headed back to Fort Worth right now. That's a beautiful result, even out of an ugly, ugly game.
Keep checking this post as the rest of the Frogs O' War staff will be checking in as the evening rolls on.
Purple Wimple: The word ugly never fit a win better. The rain certainly colored both teams' performances.
Officially SMU dropped seven passes, and TCU dropped two, but in dry weather more incompletions than that become catches, and who knows how this game turns out. The Frog defense finally felt dominant by about the fourth quarter.
I'm still not convinced the Frogs deserve any benefit of the doubt, however. TCU generated no running game whatsoever, and did not start winning the battle at the line of scrimmage on defense until the second half. The tests only get significantly more difficult from here on out.
4-0 covers a multitude of sins, but 4-4 doesn't, and if TCU doesn't improve its line play, it'll be there in exactly four weeks.