The time honored tradition is back after a week off. We learned a lot in TCU's 37-33 win, and we were also reassured of a lot of things as well. We learned that this offense can indeed play at a high-level against teams like Oklahoma. Maybe some were just reassured and believed it all along. What no one saw coming is Oberkrom continuing to miss kicks he should be making.
Assurance wise, TCU's defense isn't getting soft anytime soon. The run defense was again brilliant, and despite a few big plays to Sterling Shepard, the Frog passing defense also showed up big. And though Dawson had the biggest interception of the game, Chris Hackett will be the permanent recipient of the "Ball Hawk" Award until someone usurps his throne.
MVP I: Trevone Boykin
Boykin’s stats were virtually identical to where he’s been all season. I’d like his completion percentage to be higher, but he’s been dazzling otherwise. His armstrength has improved significantly since last season, and he was hitting Kolby Listenbee and Josh Docston on passes that he simply couldn’t have made last year. When Boykin transforms into the elusive "Deuce Boogie", the goal is never to break an 80-yard touchdown run, it’s to throw off the defense. He did just that and the Sooner defense commented on Boykin’s craftiness and unpredictability.
The team leader in rushing yards too, Boykin’s going to beat you anyway way he can. If he can beat Baylor this weekend, it’d be criminal for him not to be in the Heisman talk.
MVP II: Paul Dawson
Dawson’s been absolutely outstanding this season. Sitting next to my buddy at the game, I said--as I’m sure most did--the only way either of these teams were going to break away was from a defensive turnover. Dawson answered and won the game.
The Milk Carton Award: Jaden Oberkrom
Get it? Because he’s missing.
Seriously though. There may have been a slight wind, but for someone who can apparently drill 60+ yarders in practice, you gotta hit the ones that are chip-shots in comparission. Especially in close games. #OberkromForHeisman may have officially seen its death on Saturday.
C’Mon Man: Baker Mayfield and his father
There’s nothing I hate more in American sports--because it really only happens in American sports--than a father coddling his adult son every step of the way. Whereas Johnny Manziel’s dad may have given him too much leeway, that’s infinitely better than the likes of Craig James, Maravich, and even the insignificant Mayfields. Stealing signs isn’t illegal. But coming just a few days after your appeal was denied, calling Kingsbury a "scoundrel" and saying he had a vindictive mission against your son, doesn’t really help your defense.
DJ Set Award: Whoever is picking the music.
I'm not sure if this has do with the new Disney partnership--which as far as I can tell is just that guy yelling at everyone before kickoff--but the music this year as been Grade-A. The obvious is the adopted team mantra "We Dem Boyz" from Wiz Khalifa. Is it a great song? Not really. But if it fires up our offense I don't mind hearing that chorus line two dozen times a game. (Side note: A plea for Wiz to release an official "Black and Purple" track). Aside from that, "Black Skinhead" always gets me exited, as does Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down" that's timely played at the start of the 4th quarter. "Tell Me Something Good" is great for a play under review. As David Ubben pointed out, playing Katy Perry was an ever cheeky nod to Trevor Knight. Even hearing Paramore in the stadium is soothing.
Like I said, Boykin’s great--I still want more from a running game that has huge potential. More carries for Kyle Hicks and Trevorris Johnson in the goalline would be nice. Also, you can’t fumble the ball when you’re about to close out your biggest game since joining the Big 12.
What I did like was that TCU’s still coming out firing. Scoring early will be a huge advantage next week in Waco, and doing it against a great defense like Oklahoma convinced me that it can be done on just about everyone. The third-down offense is getting better. Still far from great. But again, this was against Oklahoma. So having the best third-down offense of the season against the Sooners was promising as well.
Derrick Kindred is a great tackler, but when he’s going up against elite speedsters like Sterling Shepard, he’s going to have a bad time. Granted, Shepard was playing in the slot--somewhere where he usually doesn’t play.
The run defense, as always, was excellent.
Special Teams: B+
I like what TCU’s doing on kick-offs. The receiving aggressiveness like we saw on the "Chameleon Frog" was great. On the other side of the coin, it’s intriguing that Oberkrom’s isn’t always kicking it out of bounds, and instead opts for the pooch kick. It’s something that was seen more in the SMU game, but you gotta love the confidence in the kickoff team.