Well, well, well. No hangover for Patterson's boys on Saturday, as the Frogs posted their most lopsided victory in Big 12 conference play. The victory over Oklahoma State put them right back in the thick of the title race, with Baylor losing on the road in Morgantown and OU falling to the Wildcats at home. Here we thought we survived our toughest stretch of the season, but how many playoff implications will be resting on the seven day stretch between November 1-8th? Yeesh. There will be time to look ahead later, but for now, let's talk about what went right (and maybe some wrong) yesterday.
UP - BOYKIN, DOCTSON, and CATALON - Holy cow, what a triumvirate of talent that is. With Boykin banged up, I expected Cumbie and Meacham to call B.J.'s number a little more often, but they didn't really need to, as he broke off two long touchdown runs on his way to a hundred yard rushing game on only ten attempts. But the injury to Boykin's non-throwing arm didn't seem to slow him down anyway, as he had a career day through the air (in only three quarters!) to the tune of 410 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 41 yards rushing, and was as effective in picking his spots to take off and run as I have ever seen him. There was one play in particular where Boykin had to slide up in the pocket to escape pressure, and saw a big hole open up in the middle of the field. Instead of tucking in running though, he rolled to his right slightly, kept his eyes up the field, and hit Ty Slanina for a big gain and a first down. Another time, he had a similar situation, but took the running lane, gaining a big chunk of yards, and sliding at the end instead of taking the big hit. The improvement in skill, maturity, and decision making on a week to week basis has been amazing. Having great talent to throw to helps as well, and receiver Josh Doctson accounted for more than half of Boykin's big day, hauling in seven receptions for 225 and two scores. The touchdowns, one for 77 yards and the other for 84, put away the Cowboys in the first quarter. I feel strongly that Doctson is criminally underrated - their is so much depth at the position in the Big 12, that he has not gotten the recognition he deserves. But with opportunities to go toe-to-toe against Tyler Lockett and Kevin White in the coming weeks, maybe Josh will finally get the recognition nationally that he deserves.
DOWN - JADEN OBERKROM - Oberkrom missed a field goal, and while it was from 48 yards out, that's a very makable kick for the machine-legged junior. And not only did he miss it, he looked really bad in doing so. It didn't hurt TCU yesterday, and he looked great with much more pressure against Baylor, but it's certainly something worth keeping an eye on with a couple of potentially very closely contested games coming up.
UP - HACKETT, KINDRED, TEXADA, CARTER, WHITE - The back end of TCU's defense got absolutely exposed against Baylor, but you would never know it watching them play yesterday. The combination of veteran leadership and youthful energy was enough to help the group bounce back in a big way against the Cowboys, as those five guys accounted for two interceptions (including a crazy athletic one from Kindred, who came out of absolutely no where to haul in a pick on a long pass), four pass breakups, and oh by the way held OSU without a completion the second half. That's right, Daxx Garman didn't complete a single pass in the entire second half. Garman is no Petty and the Cowboy's receivers aren't as deep or talented as Baylor's, but they're no slouches either. That was an impressive performance by the group, who will need to be just as tough in the weeks ahead.
DOWN - KICK RETURNS - Other than B.J. Catalon's score last week, we haven't gotten much out of this group. And the coaching staff must agree, as it seems they throw a different combination out there every time the ball is kicked off. Yesterday, it was Catalon and Deante' Gray, neither of whom gave the Frogs much in the way of starting position. I'm really grasping at straws here for my "DOWN", and this is about as good a bad as I can find.
UP - D LINE - Daxx Garman had made his share of mistakes in Big 12 play, but had shown time and time again that if you give him time, he has a big arm and can make big plays. TCU was well aware of that, so they never gave him the chance. Garman was hit five times, sacked twice, and generally harassed every time he dropped back to pass. He only completely 10 of his 25 attempts, and as previously mentioned, none after the second quarter. The reason the Frogs were so effective against the pass was that they were able to shut down the run; the Cowboys only gained 126 yards despite 39 attempts, and their best playmakers in the backfield were completely bottled up. The front line, led by a resurgent Chuck Hunter and the inspired play of Davion Pierson, spent most of their day in the backfield, making life miserable for whoever had the ball in their hands. The OSU offense never had the chance to get going, and that was thanks to a great defensive game plan, and even better execution.
DOWN - UP - BONUS UP! - No need to end on a negative after one of the most complete beat-downs TCU has put on a ranked opponent in the last ten years. Big UPS once again to the students, fans, and everyone in the stadium who has helped make the Carter a definite home field advantage, and one of the toughest places to play in the Big 12. It sure is loud and that sure is fun, and after two years of middling success on their home field, the Frogs have proven they can absolutely dominate in Fort Worth. It doesn't seem to matter who is coming to town; the team plays with a confidence and a swagger in front of their home fans that should strike fear in to any opponent. I know those Red Raiders will be talking smack all week, but this is our house boys, and we owe you even more than we owed Okie State. So come on over, and let's have some fun.