The FOW staff will stop by with their thoughts over the next 12 hours... First up, Fungo Frog...
The offensive line looked bad.
Brandon Carter looked bad.
Trevone Boykin was a shell of his former self.
The playcalling was... Consistent with the abomination that has been in place since the start of the 2012 season.
This TCU team is average, at best. Average teams struggle to win on the road in conference play, and TCU couldn't get it done tonight in Lubbock.
I don't blame the refs. Sure, they muffed at least three calls late that hurt TCU, and several more early that were questionable, but I don't blame them. If TCU had stepped on offense, the game wouldn't have been close.
UPDATE: I have to stop writing now, TCU just got another false start penalty.
What a night....
There will be a lot of vitriol and angst directed at the refs this week (including by me) and it will be deserved. However, there were four failures in this game that made TCU lose.
#1.) Failure to tackle- This was a big problem early and late, as on many of Tech's completions (and both the first touchdown and the fumble at the one)TCU had at least one tackler bounce off of the Tech running back/wide out. The defense was amazing in the second, third and much of the fourth quarter, but with better tackling TCU might have been able to win this game with ten points.
#2.) Failure in playcalling- Casey Pachall did not participate in this game, but you wouldn't be able to tell that from the way the plays were called in the first half. The TCU running game works- right now it is the one consistent good about this team, and we didn't stick to it all night. The zone read, option to the outside and inside the tackle runs were there for the taking all game, but the Frogs tried to pass their way out of trouble. The key stat of the game was third down conversion rate, where TCU went an absolutely mind-boggling 1-11 on third down for the first three quarters of the game. The reason for that? Bad playcalls and penalties that consistently put TCU in third and forever situations. Boykin can be a good third down quarterback (remember Baylor last year) but you have to give him third and six or less for his legs to be enough of a threat to open up the passing lanes. Finally getting the ball back after a load of controversy on tech's second touchdown possession, the Frogs again abandoned the running game when they had three time outs and about four minutes left. I love Patterson and know he's fiercely loyal to his guys, but Jarrett Anderson has been a miserable failure as playcaller- it needs to be addressed.
#3.) Failure in Boykin's decision making- Trevone Boykin can be an effective quarterback. Tonight, he was not. Too often did Boykin try to make something happen on the ground (admittedly the playcalling influenced that) but after he slid short of a first down Boykin flipped into run mode to try and make up for that mistake and only ended up making more problems. Boykin is a dangerous running threat, but he needs to realize that he is not Denard Robinson where tucking and running is an at least okay decision all the time. Tech was spying on him and Boykin tried to force things in both the running and the passing game that weren't there, leading to bad picks and consistent third down and forevers. Use your legs to buy more time for the guys downfield to get open or run for the first down if it's there, Boykin. You don't have to beat the other team by yourself.
#4.) The officiating. There was no consistency in calls as clips and pass interference flags were thrown and picked up with seemingly no rhyme or reason on both sides. It is a shame that TCU played such a poor game that it came down to a few boneheaded referee decisions to decide the game, but we did and they did. I don't understand anything about several of the calls in the fourth quarter, and given the rulings on the field the referees didn't either.
There will be positives to take out of this game (The defense played amazingly for three quarters, running the ball is effective) but they are few and far between. TCU should have never been in a position to let the referees decide the game, and as a result we're 1-2 and 0-1 in the Big 12. Things are going to need to change, or this season will end with nothing more than the same disappointing bunch of "what ifs" that last season did.
Purple Wimple: I'll tell you what the hell that was: it was the Michigan State of the South. TCU has no offense to run; it has players, but it has no offense. Case in point:
From about 1:00 left in the first quarter to about five minutes into the fourth, the Horned Frogs did not convert a single possession. That's about 36 minutes of football in which the Horny Toads were stopped by... by the mighty Texas Tech defense?
TCU stops itself with utterly unimaginative play calling, with unimaginative use of skill players, with stupid penalties. There's a place where blame for that squarely lies, and I'm now officially joining the rising chorus of fans and lettermen who want a change in the offensive coaching staff.
Let's find a coach who'll play a quarterback who'll make a read before tucking it under arm and running. Find a coach who'll call something different on third down, or hold players who won't run the called plays accountable. Let Tyler Matthews try and convert a third down; Boykin ain't gonna. Let Aaron Green show us what he's got. Heck-- maybe he should be returning punts and kicks. Let's try something else, because what we've been trying isn't working.
I have a lot of questions. A lot of questions. Why didn't Patterson kick the field goal on 4th and 6? We were on the 25, well inside Oberkrom's range.
Why did we abandon the run with 3:36 left and all three of our timeouts? Boykin threw it past the first down marker three straight times.
What was the plan on offense? Why the hell, on third and short and fourth and short, are we not handing the ball off and running straight at them? I'd rather have our offensive line, who started moving Tech's D-Line, block for our backs than two wide receivers on an option play to the flat. You totally negate your strength by doing that, and we are not the fastest team in the league anymore.
What happened to our ability to wrap up and tackle? Verrett missed multiple tackles last night. So did Olabode, and Sam Carter, and Chris Hackett. Kevin White, bless his heart... He actually had pretty good coverage on that last touchdown pass, but it was a wonderful throw. He did get beaten several times throughout the night though.
The refs were awful. Awful. Terrible calls for both teams (for Tech: the PI on Amaro, possibly White's INT) and we know the ways they screwed TCU too. Those guys will be repremanded by the league. However, if TCU had been able to move the ball consistently and score points, it wouldn't have mattered. A.k.a. it shouldn't have mattered, because we should have come into this game with some sort of gameplan. We didn't.
I've had enough of this offensive incompetence. Rusty Burns and Jarrett Anderson need to go. Bring Back Justin Fuente. Or go get someone who can actually put together an offense that makes sense. We are wasting our athletes at this point. And if that's the best Boykin can play, let's give Tyler Matthews a shot.
Boykin had happy feet all night. Never looked comfortable. Unaceptable.
All of it. Unacceptable. Changes need to be made, and after the punt against LSU, and the going for it on 4th down tonight, people need to start asking Patterson some hard questions.