It's a whole new world, ladies and gentlemen. It's a world where I can't even tweet or write about every play, because when I do, three more have happened. Sonny Cumbie and Doug Meacham's debut was as dazzling as anyone could've hoped for. Trevone Boykin emerging as the Boykin circa Baylor 2012, looked as confident and fluid as ever.
Boykin's Your Man.
Take it with a grain of salt, because you know...Samford. But this is as promising as the offense has looked since the beginning of the Andy Dalton era. The game started with a brief eye roll and deja vu of last season--an incomplete pass by Boykin. But by the next play Boykin slipped into complete comfort and TCU had their quickest scoring drive in who knows how long. The Frogs scored in about two minutes, and had it not been for a muff by Ty Slanina--after his first down catch--it would've been even quicker. Who knows, maybe Ty wanted us to see what this offense was all about.
The second drive caught an unlucky break after a Hail Mary strike from Boykin to Kolby Listenbee missed by a hair--but they'd meet up later. On the third drive, it was back to business. The offense continued their fluidity and Boykin and Listenbee were able to connect this time on a 37-yard touchdown pass. After one of the most TCU plays to happen in sometime--a pick originally grabbed by newcomer Ranthony Texada, that was bobbled and picked by Paul Dawson--Boykin connected with David Porter on the first play of the drive for a 19-yard touchdown pass.
Cumbie and Meacham's brilliant play designs didn't slow down. The smorgasbord of plays included a little bit of everything--we even got a little wishbone! Boykin's accuracy wasn't perfect, mostly high, but his confidence and the confidence of the receivers made up for it. Third down efficiency wasn't great--actually, it was pretty terrible. However, wouldn't put things on alert just yet.
Like we'll talk about with the defense, Boykin's missteps and the poor third down efficiency were mostly the result of first game jitters. With every mediocre drive, TCU responded right back with a great one. Cumbie and Meacham also delivered on their promise: everyone's getting touches. Seven players in total got carries--including the four primary tailbacks (BJ Catalon, Trevorris Johnson, Kyle Hicks, and Aaron Green). Thirteen players caught passes. Welcome to 2014.
Having two new favorite weapons in Slanina and Listenbee (LISTENBEE!!!) helps too--and the latter may have answered TCU's lingering question at outside receiver. Boykin beating out Matt Joeckel for the starting gig says a lot. Joeckel looked fine, albeit playing in garbage time. Despite the missteps (HIGH PASSES. LOUD NOISES) we listed above, Boykin was everything TCU needed him to be tonight. He was poised, confident, smart, and quick on his feet. Boykin's on an upward trajectory and that should make you happy.
The only worry real worry was the offensive line. Improved from last year? Sure. But still worrisome. Penalties, and lack of protection for the running backs and Boykin could be a red flag for the Minnesota game in two weeks.
Same Old Story
Buried beneath the first game apprehension and sprawled imperfections, the defense we all know and love was still there. 131 yards wasn't the best half of football Gary's defense has played, and especially given the opponent, it was far from perfect in the first. There were a few missteps--mostly in the second quarter and early third--but big hits and big plays made up for the expected jitters in the first game of the season. Mike Tuaua was simply the man for TCU tonight. Big T had the first big play of the season--a forced fumble sack--early in the first, and another forced fumble that put the TCU offense in the redzone mid-3rd quarter.
Oh, and the white helmets looked fressssshhhhh.
See you tomorrow for overreaction Sunday.