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TCU vs. Kansas State: 3 Up 3 Down

The Horned Frogs destroyed the Wildcats on Saturday, and there were plenty of ups to talk about.

Cooper Neill

Wow. What a win that was. TCU dominated every aspect of the game, allowing K State within one score only once, and keeping the Cats at bay with a suffocating D any time they tried to make some noise. There were several standout performances, and maybe even a nit or two to pick. It's time to take a look at three up, three down.

UP - Trevone Boykin: Boykin reinvigorated his Heisman candidacy with a performance for the ages against one of the best defenses in the country, accounting for almost 350 yards and four touchdowns. Boykin was especially impressive on the ground, picking his spots, finding lanes, extending plays, and breaking tackles. And when he was called on to throw? He was decisive and accurate and mistake free (he may have gotten away with a bad throw or two, but it's not a mistake if it doesn't end up on the stat sheet), and though his passing numbers weren't huge, the fact that he was as effective as he was without B.J. Catalon, Deante' Gray (who isn't just a great receiver, but opens up so many other guys with the sheer threat of his speed), and a clearly hobbled Josh Doctson, shows how much he has improved as a total package QB. His somersault in to the end zone may be his Heisman moment if the invite to NYC does indeed come, and if he strings together three more games (two against the dregs of the conference and another possible showcase game at UT), he will need to go suit shopping I'm sure.

DOWN - That One Time Per Game We Know We're Getting Burned Deep: We allllll know it's coming at least once per game, generally at the least opportune moment, the blown coverage or missed assignment or general beat down of one of our usually solid corners for a long pass play. Last night was no different, as a perfectly placed ball fell in to star receiver Tyler Lockett's hands in stride, and he finished off the play for a 70 yard TD, cutting the lead to 14-7 and giving the Cats their last shred of hope. Maybe we are past the point of these mistakes potentially costing the Frogs a game, but if you give Tyrone Swoopes a cookie, he's going to want the whole box, and I would prefer he doesn't get any. TCU has a chance to tune up against the inept Kansas O before facing Swoopes and the Horns, so there is time to hopefully fix it.

UP - Aaron Green: I think we all knew Green was good, but this good? In Catalon's absence, Green made a case for getting more carries once B.J. returns, with a 13 carry, 171 yard, and one highlight reel 65 yard, cross field, make everybody miss touchdown run that put the dagger in the heart of K State's fan base. It's
Easy to forget that Aaron was a five star kid out of high school, as he hasn't put up the big stats you usually see with blue chip guys. But Green is the perfect fit in this offense, providing a special speed and shiftiness, the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and split out wide, and good enough pass protection to help in blitz pickup. He's also been an incredible leader and unselfish player - as he showed in tweeting out after the game "that was for you (BJ Catalon) love you bro".

DOWN - (not so) Special Teams: The 14-7 game was *this* close to being tied up on a 91 yard kick return score by Lockett, only to see the Frogs bailed out by a somewhat controversial holding call against K State. Funny enough, the penalty was called on the son of the Cat's radio guy, so I bet that made for some awkward air time. But that's beside the point, as the Frogs continue to struggle in kick coverage and the return game. TCU needs to make a tackle in the open field when they are kicking, and catch the dang ball on the other side of the coin. Cameron Echols-Luper has immense talent, but has had a bad two weeks as a punt returner, putting multiple balls on the ground. It almost cost TCU in Morgantown, and they were fortunate to recover the fumble last night. The kick return game was adequate - without the top two return guys Kolby Listenbee and Kyle Hicks caught the ball and gained positive yardage, and that was good enough. Ryan DeNucci handled the kickoff duties last night, using a mix of directional kicks and squibs, trying to limit K State's return. Thanks to a flag, it worked.

UP - Defense: for two weeks in a row, the TCU D has played like a TCU D. After giving up loads of yardage and touchdowns early in conference play, the Frogs have grown up and manned up, maturing in to a vintage GP harassing, run stuffing, all over the field unit. Jake Waters never got comfortable, as he was hit six times, sacked twice, and even when he had time to throw, there wasn't anywhere to go with the ball. The secondary gave up some yards, but had five PBUs and other than the one big play, bent but rarely broke. TCU also
completely eliminated the Cat's run game - they managed only 34 yards on 19 attempts, partially due to the eight tackles for loss. K State came in to the game averaging 38 ppg - even with the garbage time TD, the 20 points was their lowest output on the season since Auburn.

DOWN - The Back Ups to the Back Ups: If I really dig deep to find one last thing to complain about, I guess it would be that the guys that had to step up behind the guys that had to step up for the injured players didn't do much. Kyle Hicks had only 15 yards on five carries, and really only four on four carries with a long of 11. Trevorris Johnson had 25 yards on eight carries, but one was for 15 yard and the rest was basically nil. Ty Slanina dropped a first down catch that hit him perfectly in the numbers and had only one other reception. But David Porter did haul in Boykin's only passing TD on the night, and had seven catches for 84 yards, so he acquitted the backup receiving crew nicely in that.

Special UP goes to the student section - in the first meeting of two top ten teams at the Carter, you guys and gals helped make sure the atmosphere was sufficiently insane. The blackout under the lights was a huge success - the stadium was rocking like nothing I have ever seen; Hell's Half Acre, indeed. And good job not rushing the field after beating a team ranked below us - our friends down I-35 could learn something from y'all ;)

Leave your UPs and DOWNs in the comments!