"Your gonna see a guy who will sacrifice for this team, because he knows when it comes down to it your gonna do the same for him. That's a team, gentlemen, and either, we heal, now, as a team, or we will die as individuals. That football guys, that's all it is. Now, what are you gonna do?" - Tony D'Amato (Al Pacino) in Any Given Sunday
This game was no fluke ladies and gentleman. On "Any Given (Satur)day", rankings go out the window. As several other tops seeds went down, the Frogs followed suit and outplayed one of the top seeds in the country. The Horned Frogs are now 5-2 versus Top 5 ranked opponents in their last 7 matchups. This stretch of games began in Oklahoma in 2005 with a 17-10 victory. Overall, Gary Patterson has led TCU to a 4-0 record for the fifth time in his tenure as head coach.
Before I dive into the football statistics, there is one large number I would like to point out. 47,394 was the number of people in attendance for the game Saturday, which is the fifth largest attendance ever for a TCU football game. Other than the sheer number of people present at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the crowd was loud and involved throughout the entire game. For a school that is known for traveling well and strongly representing their team on the road, TCU fans did a great job drowning out the Sooner faithful.
In terms of offense, I feel like it is safe to say a pattern has developed. Trevone Boykin is a player that every team in the Big 12 will now fear. Boykin's numbers seemed to go through an "extreme makeover" in the off season, as he averaged 125.9 total offensive yards per game in 2013. Boykin has averaged over 350 yards of total offense per game this year. Just to reiterate, his offensive numbers alone have nearly tripled! Deuce Boogie threw for 318 yards and 2 touchdowns, and he tacked on 77 more yards on the ground. His 395 total yards this week were a career high, which resulted in him receiving Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. Boykin has already surpassed his touchdowns thrown from last season (7) with 10. He has been very consistent by throwing at least 2 touchdowns in all four games so far this season. Not only did the Big 12 honor him with the player of the week award, but Boykin also receives an "Inside the Numbers" shout out of the week award for repeatedly exceeding expectations versus one of the top teams in the country.
There is a group of offensive players that have not been mentioned enough on "Inside the Numbers" this year, which are the big boys up front. The offensive line has provided the players in the backfield plenty of room to run and throw. The increase in the offensive production is centered around a line that has started the same lineup that consists of: Tayo Fabuluje, Brady Foltz, Joey Hunt, Jamelle Naff and Halapoulivaati Vaitai all year (except Fabuluje sat out the SMU game). The line averages 317.6 pounds, which I believe is the biggest average weight TCU has had during the Gary Patterson era. They have only given up 6 sacks for a total of 34 yards this season. Oklahoma has one of the best defensive lines in the country and TCU held the Sooners to 2 sacks and 3 tackles for a loss, which totaled 16 negative yards. I have already given out the offensive shout out award, but there are going to be two this week. The whole offensive line also receives an "Inside the Numbers" shout out for their strong performance.
The rushing attack looked good again this week with a total of 151 yards. TCU has eclipsed the 150 yard mark in every game so far this season. B.J. Catalon finished with a total of 87 yards and averaged 4.4 yards per carry. There was a questionable call to bring back one of his rushing touchdown late in the game, otherwise his total would have over a 100 yards. TCU limited the number of ball carriers this week to three, as Aaron Green also looked good for the Frogs with 26 yards on 6 carries. TCU now has three players with over 100 yards rushing this season.
We all beelieve in Kolby Listenbee! (I did minor in poetry) The player that makes the whole stadium stand when the ball is thrown his way lead the Frogs in receiving this week, with 5 receptions for 103 yards. There is not an offensive player with a more dramatic improvement on the Horned Frog roster. Listenbee had 2 receptions for 29 yards all of last season. Yes those were his season totals, which took him less than a half of football to surpass this year. He currently leads the team in receiving yards with 272 and yards per attempt with 19.4.
Boykin was again able to distribute the ball to 8 different receivers this week. This is actually a season low for the Frogs (13 receivers recorded a catch versus Samford was the high). Josh Doctson continues to be Boykin's favorite target in key situations. Doctson recorded 6 receptions for 76 yards, and 4 of his receptions went for 1st downs. Even though TCU has done a great job spreading the ball around on offense, having Doctson and Listenbee creating space and converting on downs will continue to put a lot of confidence in the minds of Horned Frog fans.
Let's start with the defensive play of the game by Paul Dawson that turned the Carter into an absolute frenzy. To quote the experience best was David Ubben, writer for Fox Sports, "I was there, and I promise you, the press box shook when this play happened." This was the first scoring touchdown for the Frogs this season, which is a surprise this late into the season. With that play, Dawson earned the "Inside the Numbers" shout out of week, as it became the go ahead points the Frogs needed to beat the Sooners.
Even though TCU did give up their highest point total of 33 points to Oklahoma, that was the least amount of points the Sooners have scored this season. The Frogs are currently ranked 7th in the country in points allowed with 13.5 points per game. They also rank in the top 20 of rushing and passing yards allowed per game. The Frogs gave up an average of 25.1 points per game last season. It will be nearly impossible to hold Baylor to 13 points next week, but the lack of points given up this year speaks for itself.
TCU recorded 7 tackles for a loss and 2.0 sacks against Oklahoma. They have also piled up a total of 39 tackles for a loss this season for 135 yards. This more than double what opponents have tallied against them this year (19). With the 2.0 sacks versus Oklahoma, the Frogs have a total of 15 sacks on the season. TCU has recorded a sack in eight straight games dating back to last year.
The defensive backs had a roller coaster ride on Saturday. The Horned Frogs allowed Trevor Knight to throw for 309 yards, but he was only 14-35 passing (40%). The big plays were the achilles heel for the TCU defense. That is something that fans rarely see with their patented 4-2-5 defense. Knight completed four passes for over 35 yards, including a 75 yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard. The Frogs had not given up a pass over 35 yards yet this season. With the top offense in the Big 12 coming up next week, look to see if TCU can adjust and prevent Bryce Petty from completing passes of a similar length.
This statistic will never show up in any fact book, but TCU is currently 1-1 in camouflaged kick returners. We all know B.J. Catalon is not know for his intimidating stature, but his ability to be elusive was taken to another level. Catalon was small enough to lay down in the end zone during a kick return in the in the 2nd quarter and not be noticed. The return was received by Cameron Echols-Luper and thrown over to Catalon. Even though a penalty negated a strong return, the coaching staff pulled off another surprise out of a deep bag of tricks.
On a very surprising note, Jaden Oberkrom missed a field goal for a second straight week. Oberkrom is now 6-9 on the year after missing a 32 yard field goal Saturday. He was able to connect on a 31 yard field goal earlier in the game, but overall Oberkrom is not looking like his normal self. With the score versus Baylor predicting to be a high scoring affair, there will be opportunities for Oberkrom to improve his statistics. Oberkrom also made his first 4 extra point attempts of the game to extend his streak and school record of 100 straight PATs. Unfortunately, his last attempt was blocked and returned for a 2-point conversion. I do not see anyone breaking Oberkrom's streak for quite a long time or possibly ever. So even with his struggles, Oberkrom deserves a tip of the cap for a very impressive school record.
On the punting end, Ethan Perry averaged 45.2 yards on 5 punts, including 2 punts inside the 20 yard line. Perry had an off week last week, but he came back this week with his 2nd highest average yards per punt of the season. Echols-Luper returned two punts for a total of 23 yards and his longest return was 17 yards. Although the numbers are not overwhelmingly high, gaining positive yards on each attempt is a good trait to have in a return team.
Interesting Stat of the Week:
TCU passed for 250 or more yards twice in all of their 2013 campaign. Their highest non-overtime passing total was 288 versus Baylor. They have thrown for at least 250 yards in every game so far this year, with their highest total being 355 yards versus Samford. This statistic really shows how far the passing game has come over the course of the off season. Look for TCU to continue this trend against a Baylor's defense whose best offensive opponent they have faced this year was University of Buffalo.