The second half was fun. TCU scored a rushing, passing, interception and kickoff return touchdown all in the fourth quarter alone to blow open what was a tight game at halftime. Offensive Coordinator Jarrett Anderson finally heard the pleas of fans, bloggers and just about anyone with a lick of common sense after the half and TCU came out to establish their will on the ground, and suddenly all of those issues that have plagued the TCU offense this season- inconsistency, turnovers, red zone woes and penalty on top of penalty- seemed to disappear. The Frogs even were able to pass successfully in the second half off of play action, scoring big gains on even simple wide receiver screens once the threat of TCU's dynamic duo of Waymon James and B.J. Catalon were established. Patterson also schemed up ways to get consistent pressure on Garrett Gilbert in the second half, leading to another nightmarish performance by the former Texas Longhorn, chucking four interceptions and being sacked seven times. Also a special congratulations to both Ja'Juan Story and Ty Slanina who scored their first touchdowns as Frogs. Ty, I was dead set against burning your redshirt this year, but if you continue playing like this I'll grow to accept it quite quickly.
Let me start by saying I'm sure Jarrett Anderson knows many times more about successful offenses, establishing tone and calling plays than I could ever hope to. Now that that has been established... what the hell were you doing in the first half, coach? Time and again Trevone Boykin dropped back to pass or bolted off on quarterback isos that fooled no one, while James and Catalon combined for just 20 touches. It's one thing if you're doing read option, zone read or speed option plays and the defense is overplaying the running backs, it's another entirely if you're relying entirely on Boykin to do everything in the offense- which given TCU's lack of depth at quarterback is the last thing we want. Let's hope that lessons were learned after the dichotomy of offensive performance in the first and second half and I don't have to write a "Fire Jarrett Anderson" post halfway through this season. Additionally... Brandon Carter, it pains me to say this, as I was probably your biggest fan last year, but I am deeply worried any time you're in a position to touch the ball. The fact that you tacked on a personal foul for jaw jacking only exacerbates the issues already present in your play. I hope that you get back to your 2012 self in the passing game, but I sincerely hope I've seen the last of you trying to field punts this year.
I've been calling and calling for TCU to run the zone read this year, as it was one of the plays that Boykin excelled at last year and with a healthy Waymon James the threat is even more deadly. Finally we saw it Saturday against SMU... with Tyler Matthews on the field because Boykin lost his helmet. You madden me, Jarrett Anderson.
This, being my first and possibly only real game (cuz I was there) was truly representative of everything I think about TCU Football right now. I see a team that has no identity, a team that starts flat every game, a team that doesn't believe in itself and has too many cooks in the kitchen. On TV, that is obvious. In Person, that is obvious.
But, there are good things too. The running backs are super athletic, that is clear. I liked the running formations under center, I felt like those gave us 4-6 yards each time we lined up. I thought the WR were better, especially guys like Slanina and Story who have been pushed down the depth chart for no reason but broke through on Saturday. The defense was awesome, but special kudos to the defensive line and linebackers for getting a rush in the second half. The secondary held their own, even after losing Jason Verrett, so that was good.
One other good: Congratulations to Jarrett Anderson on figuring out a play calling scheme in the second half that works. Run lateral, run middle, short pass, short pass, etc. etc. All that did is produce two scoring drives. The formula is simple and we have done it before, there is no reason we can't keep it up in future games.
Oh, and kudos to GP for actually thinking at halftime that Matthews may be the answer. He is finally starting to open his eyes to reality.
One more: way to show up fans, I was impressed with your numbers, but not your noise.
The offense was totally flat in the first half thanks, mostly, to bad play from Trevone Boykin. His throws in the flats and on crossing routes were routinely behind the WR and poorly timed. The playcalling didn't adjust, thus TCU was inefficient for most of the first half. The defense had a tough first half when it came to the pass rush, thanks to GP out thinking himself and trying to spy Garrett Gilbert. Garrett can run, but he is not an athlete, and we figured that out in the second half.
Brandon Carter... Man, you are such a beating. You are always jacking and swagging, good play or dropped punt, it doesn't matter. Why can't you grow up and just play?
Oberkrom missed a very makeable FG, and even though he made two more I hate the precedent this sets. GP needs to know that he can take the points and that he doesn't have to go for it, anytime his confidence is shaken the team gets worse overall. Get your shit together OB, I need you to be perfect on anything shorter than 40.
Well, it is OU week. Can we win? My gut tells me no, and my head tells me no. Which means, maybe. I wish we had a shot, I just don't see it. Sure, it is a good matchup. The OU offense, despite a good week at ND, isn't anything to write home about and the TCU defense should have a shot. But, can we score? We are bringing our offense, our QB, our coordinators into Norman, at night, on national television. Is there any simulation where that ends well?
I will say this, there are two clear schools of thought regarding TCU right now. One thinks we have figured our stuff out, Devonte might be back this week (will try to practice this week), and we are heading towards a brighter future. Others think we got lucky, that there is no positives that are real, and we are going to get curb stomped in Norman. Well, by Sunday morning, we will know which is true.
Welcome to OU gameweek, Frog Fans.
Let's never do that again, mmmkay?