Trevone Boykin will tell you he had an awful game. But despite all the underwhelming offensive statistics, especially for a team that's putting up more points than anyone in the Nation, yesterday may have been TCU's best win. And after the Baylor debacle, it felt pretty good to be on the winning side of a dramatic fourth quarter. A tough win on the road may have been just what the Horned Frogs needed to begin their final playoff push.
TCU now gets to play at home--where they play better--under the lights against a fiery Kansas State team. But before our game this Saturday, Oklahoma and Baylor will face off, thus making it the most important weekend in the Big 12 to date this season. If TCU can escapes Kansas State, and win the rest of their games convincingly, they may just earn a spot in the inaugural playoff.
"Miss or make, we're going to love you either way"
Great teams find ways to win. It sounds cliche, but it's true. The stats may have shown the Boykin from last year, but the 2014 version was undoubtedly there--especially in the 4th quarter. It took one perfect drive, and one perfect throw to Kolby Listenbee, to set up one perfect field goal by Jaden Oberkrom, to give TCU the perfect win. What Boykin's doing between the lines is more impressive than putting it together when it counts. After the game, the junior stood up in the locker room and took responsibility for his performance. And right before he nailed the game winner, Boykin told Oberkrom, "Miss or Make, we're going to love you either way".
That's your MVP, everyone.
The defense is back...but it really never left
The narrative for TCU this year has been the offensive turnaround and the defense especially took a backseat after the Baylor gaffe. Patterson rightly took the blame after trying to implement a new, more complicated scheme against Baylor's high-octane offense. Yesterday's game in Morgantown started out disastrously, but after West Virginia's first few drives, the Horned Frogs buckled down, started to tackle, and make big plays against one of the Big 12's most productive offenses. Oberkrom's kick was emotional and amazing, but TCU's 5 forced turnovers was the real MVP of the game. The young corners have some work to do, but just like Verrett was thrown into the fire early amid less than stellar results, it worked out for the better.
Two Kevin Whites enter, one leaves.
Speaking of corners, let's just tip our hats to our Kevin White. The TCU Kevin White held the best receiver in the Nation to 3 catches for 28 yards--one of those catches was a 23-yarder that was a result of missed tackles at the line. So yeah, the TCU Kevin White is pretty great. Going with point above, Kevin White used to get torched all the time and wasn’t initially loved by TCU fans. But early experience, like with Verrett, made him stronger. That’s why I have nothing but faith in Nick Orr, Torrance Mosley, Corry O’Meally, and Ranthony Texada becoming super stars--and with Deshawn Raymond committing on Halloween, great things are on the horizon for the TCU secondary.
Boykin’s troubles weren’t entirely his fault. The wind was blowing in hard, and it caused trouble for both him and Trickett. However, TCU was most successful Saturday when they were running the ball. The five defensive turnovers, all giving the Frogs great field position, were all wasted with trying to force passes in the wind against an aggressive, and kinetic Mountaineer defense. Trevorris Johnson and Kyle Hicks would’ve worked really nicely yesterday, and perhaps put TCU in position where they didn’t have to kick a last second field goal, as well as taken significant pressure off of the Frog defense.
Oberkrom for Heisman, Forever.
Whatever slump Jaden was in earlier this season, after the Tech game and Saturday night in Morgantown...all is forgiven...forever. Because unlike he-who-shall-not-be-named, you're defined by the field goals you make when the game is on the line. Oberkrom went into the pressure cooker and kicked a no-doubter rocket straight through the uprights.
Hackett is the most talented player on defense
Paul Dawson is having the best season, but Hackett is something special. Only in Patterson's system could a safety like this exist, and maybe that's why I always put him under the microscope. Hackett was absolute fire in Saturday's game. Once again, he came up with a big pick--though he could've had three--forced a huge fumble, and made tackles when the rest of the defense couldn't.
No love from the Coaches Poll
Who cares, doesn't matter. Moving on.
Total Fourth Quarter Yardage: TCU: 162, West Virginia:-2
A nice little stat from FOX's David Ubben. Pretty much TCU's win a nutshell.
Bad calls were a plenty. Big 12 refs keep Big 12 reffin'.
You'll hear a lot about Josh Caraway's violent facemask on Clint Trickett that looked something straight out of Mortal Kombat. You'll also hear about the defensive holding by West Virginia on what could've been TCU's last drive. While obvious, neither were called. The latter would've been more detrimental to the outcome, but the first could've been detrimental to Trickett's health. The Big 12 refs continue, deservingly so, to get no love. If they were trick-or treaters, they'd get apples.
Win, and they're in
As we learned in the Baylor game, it's not how you start, it's how you finish, and TCU came out the victor in a heartbreaker.
It's well timed too...the voters love TCU. We'll see where the committee puts the Horned Frogs on Tuesday night, but you'd have to think it'd be in the Top 5. The win against West Virginia, above everything else, was a gut check. You go into Morgantown, play less than mediocre offense, but piece together a brilliant last drive resulting in a last second field goal for the win? It wouldn't even surprise me if TCU snuck into the Top 4. It's not extremely likely that will happen, but West Virginia is a damn good football team. The voters saw just how aggressively and nearly perfect the the Mountaineer defense was playing. They also saw how TCU's defense shut down the Heisman darkhorse, Kevin White, and force Clint Trickett into his worst QBR of 2014. TCU's destiny is just about completely in their control.