We won! Trevone Boykin didn't turn over the ball and keyed all three of TCU's touchdowns! Bowl eligibility is still mathematically possible! My lucky Rose Bowl shirt remains undefeated! Someone muffed a punt and it wasn't us! Brandon Carter contributed to the game in a net-positive way for the first time ever (though Casey's second interception was all Carter)! The playcalling wasn't as inept as it has generally been! Woo!
The special teams were dreadful, setting up the Cyclones for 14 of their 17 points and failing to set up punt returns or rush the punter well. More worrisome- the defense looked poor in the second half despite the Frogs offense not killing them with three and outs on every possession. The tackling was suspect and previously inept Cyclone quarterback Grant Rohach suddenly found a rhythm that he hasn't shown in any other game this year- this is a very bad sign with teams like Kansas State and Baylor ahead of us on the schedule, as yes the Frogs were without Jason Verrett this week, but he's not going to multiply into every member of the secondary by the time the Bears come to call either. The offensive line continued its dreadful play, being routinely beaten by the Iowa State d-line and the TCU running backs often had to evade men in the backfield before making any positive yardage.
THE ROOTING INTEREST
Finally TCU's offensive coordinators showed a commitment to the running game, with Trevone Boykin coming in to take snaps where he would either hand the ball off or run with it, and Aaron Green racked up 19 carries, a season high for any TCU running back. This focus on the ground game let TCU do some good things even with the pitiful o-line performance, as Trevone Boykin accounted for all of TCU's scores on the ground and Aaron Green was able to break a run late to set TCU up to win the game. It was great to see, but at the same time, I can only imagine the frustration that Waymon James and B.J. Catalon must be feeling to see this newfound commitment to the running game coming in the week when TCU's two best running backs didn't make the trip with the team- how many games could the frogs have won if they'd committed to the run before today? At least the two we now need for bowl eligibility, and possibly more. This is why I feel conflicted in my rooting interest this next week, as I am firm in my belief that TCU needs new offensive coordinators and nothing in the next two weeks can make up for the misery of the previous ten. I always want TCU to win, and I will always want TCU to beat the hell out of Baylor, but this week against Kansas State is a pretty big deal for bowl eligibility, and if TCU pulls it out I think Patterson might try to keep Anderson and Burns around for another season. In the end I'll cheer for the frogs, but I'll be hoping for something more like a 5-3 victory rather than a shootout.
Bowling is still an option! HAHAHAHAHA. Just kidding, did you see what Kansas State did to Tech? And Baylor. Oh that is going to be awful. Simply awful. However, Boykin had a splendid game, and we actually handed the ball to a running back not once, not twice, but 19 times. Who knew we just needed our top two running backs to get hurt and be an idiot before we started running the ball. Aaron Green and Jordan Moore both ran hard on Saturday, and we finally saw what can happen when a back gets it consistently. Green had his two longest runs of the day, 22 and 17 yards, in the fourth quarter, on the last drive, setting up Boykin's third rushing touchdown and the winning score.
We almost lost to Iowa State. 1-7 (now 1-8) Iowa State. The defense looked lost without Verrett on the field, and Iowa State had moments where they moved the ball very well. Granted, they're still Iowa State, so they didn't even accrue 300 yards of total offense, but think of what a decent offense like Kansas State might be able to do. Also, I'm going to start a petition for a Receiver INT statistic, one that will penalized the receiver for tipping/bobbling/being a doofus and not catching the ball which results in an interception. Pachall threw two bad picks in the game, but the third one, the one that almost cost TCU the ballgame, was totally on Brandon Carter. Speaking of which, before that play, Carter had actually had a decent game, with 6 catches for 93 yards.
THE 4-8 HORNED FROGS
Look, I'd like to say that this win gives me some confidence that the Frogs could still turn this into a bowl season, but frankly, I just don't see it. TCU travels to Kansas State this Saturday, a team that's won three games in a row and hung tough with Oklahoma Sate and Baylor. The Frogs will need their best game of the season to win this one. Frankly, I don't even want to talk much about Baylor. I've had several people tell me the Frogs will surprise Baylor, and that the Bears will be looking to the Texas game. False. Remember what we did to them last year? Murdered them in Waco. They'll want payback for that. There will be no mercy. This team could very well be 4-8 when it's all said and done. But hey, at that point we'll get to really start talking about who replaces the comedy duo of Jarrett and Rusty.