Um, we won? Ya, that's good. The defense was average, but average was good enough to beat a below average Kansas team. The offense was also very average, and if it wasn't for a bunch of giveaways from Kansas and a busted play to start the second half, this could easily have gone wrong.
I was happy with Boykin's performance on the whole. I didn't appreciate the interception, but didn't mind the rest of his decisions. My eyes saw a more confident and calm quarterback, who is still surrounded my incompetence.
Let's start with the offensive line: Jesus this group is pathetic. No consistency, no fire... Is it talent? Scheme? Coaching? Attitude? I am at a loss.
The wide-receivers once again turned in a lackluster effort, dropping passes, running wrong routes... This might actually be the worst coached group on the team. Coach Luper was brought in to recruit and had limited WR coaching experience, and it shows.
The running backs started fumbling again which is always a bad sign... A positive was the emergence of Aaron Green in the running game, who ran with authority and HELD ONTO THE BALL.
One more thing that pissed me off: Gary said that the defense wasn't doing anything special in the first half, just trying to figure out Kansas first... UM, isn't that why you watch tape? Why don't we come in with a game plan and execute it? I don't get it, it just seems crazy to me. And, all things considered, this ended up being the worst defensive performance of the year.... Weird.
Believe it or not, but I am going to go all positive with this one: This team can, and maybe should, end the season with 10 wins. We are 3-3 right now with six games left before a bowl. Add a bowl win, and we have 10 wins. Hear me out:
TCU is a TD dog at Okie State, will likely be a push vs. Texas, will be favored vs. WVU, Iowa State, Kansas State, and will probably be a 10 pt. dog to Baylor should they continue on.
At the end of the day, is it so unimaginable that we win out? I am not arguing it is probable, not at all. I am simply saying this: The path to six wins is easy, the path to seven is in eyesight. Wins eight and nine will require some work but, with the growth of this team since week 2 I can see it happening.
But, maybe I'm crazy.
The defense once again played very well, with Paul Dawson coming in at linebacker and look like a TCU linebacker should- making plays and making sure people he hits stay tackled. The d-line got fairly consistent pressure on Heaps, continuing to grow as the season progresses, which made the Frogs' occasional blitzes even more effective.
Though the offensive playcalling again left much to be desired much of what the Frogs tried to do was effective, and despite the two interceptions I thought Boykin had a good game. With his legs to simplify coverage I consider anything over 60% decent for the (still) young QB, though I'd like better YPA and I don't consider either interception his fault- one was a tipped pass and the other was a miscommunication between he and Cam White which can happen to anyone.
Additionally I thought he had a good game making the necessary reads in the ground game, holding the ball for the perfect length of time on the speed option and making good pull decisions in the zone read. B.J. Catalon and Aaron Green acquitted themselves well on the ground and Cameron Echols-Luper showed that it is possible to catch a punt cleanly and run with it- which is what TCU fans have been waiting for for the past two years.
This could have been so much simpler if the secondary had kept their hands on the ball. I counted five different opportunities for the Frogs to come down with interceptions and they only came down with one, a bullet that seemed to be right to Jason Verrett to give our dreadlocked overlord his first pick of the year. I imagine there will be plenty of hands practice this week, as TCU's defense could have surpassed the (incredible) turnover performance by the Frog offense and kept the game a laugher with just a little more luck.
My personal favorite Waymon James also had a game he'll want to quickly put out of his mind, which was all the more galling given his complete destruction of the Kansas Jayhawks on the ground last year. James contributed to two turnovers, once tipping a pass from Boykin that was intercepted on TCU's very first play, then fumbling as he went head over heels across a pile of bodies. After that his day was over, which is a terrible shame considering again how effective he was last season.
Let's hope he gets his head on straight and 20 carries this week. There was also the issue of the offensive line, which far too often left Boykin high and dry in the pocket- but it's pretty much to be expected by this point.
THE FUMBLES (AND BRANDON CARTER)
For the second year in a row, Kansas benefited from numerous inexplicable TCU turnovers- this time accounting for every last one of their 17 points. The good news is that most of the turnovers were of a fairly fluky nature- as is often the case with turnovers, but for so many of the breaks to go against TCU is as much of an anomaly as last week's turnover free performance against the Sooners was. It's frustrating, but I'm not going to be too worried about it unless we see similar issues crop up against Oklahoma State.
Brandon Carter, you leave me speechless. You were such an amazing player last year that I didn't think that the dropoff without Josh Boyce would be too steep, and yet here we are in 2013 where your only major contributions have been negative. You were supposed to be replacing Josh Boyce, not Skye Dawson, but still every week on when we pass you disappear and when we think you've disappeared from the punt return game you appear like a ghost to drop the ball and torture us yet again. I don't know if there will be a time when you're a contributor to the offense again, but please, if the coaches try and send you out to field a punt again just don't go. I'd feel much better with ten men and no returner than with your flailing failing attempts to make a big play.
Defense. Paul Dawson, my oh my. Dawson got the start over Jonathan Anderson and recorded not one, not two, not three.. but seventeen tackles, including 3.5 for loss. At the other linebacker position, Marcus Mallet recorded nine tackles of his own. Verett recorded his first pick of the season, but came out late with an injury, and missed most of the fourth quarter. Ten forced punts by the defense on the day, and a key fourth down stop late negated things happening on the other side of the ball, once again. This unit is incredible. The offense looked a little better, from the standpoint of being able to move the ball, but that's about it. Which leads me to...
Happy hands hold on the the ball. Sad hands sit on the bench. Five turnovers for the Frogs, including an interception for a touchdown, made this game a lot closer than it ever should have been. Another Brandon Carter fumbled kick, Catalon had a fumble (which ruined an otherwise very solid day for him), two picks thrown by Boykin and Kansas thought it had life for the majority of the game.
THE EMERGENCE OF DAVID PORTER
Like Ty Slanina the past few weeks, David Porter had a big game for the Frogs on Saturday. 4 receptions for 118 yards and a touchdown, including a 75 yard TD gallop, have now placed Porter atop the receiver heap in terms of total receiving yards this season. However, here's a fun Brandon Carter fact: he's still second on the team with 14 receptions (Cam White has 15). I'd have guessed he was way down that list.