This was, without a doubt one of the most fun weeks leading up to a game in a long time. The folks over at The Daily Gopher are awesome, don't you agree? And the game itself, man. Josh Doctson has raised the bar for TCU wide receivers. If you haven't seen his catch yet, do yourself a favor and watch it ASAP. It's incredible. Definitely worthy of it's No. 1 ranking on SportsCenter's Top 10. Doctson's day went beyond that catch though, as he hauled in six catches for 64 yards and two touchdowns. The most impressive thing though? He's only fourth on this team in receiving yards right now, behind David Porter, Kolby Listenbee and Ty Slanina. This wide receiver core is quickly establishing itself as a more than capable unit. Ten guys caught at least one pass on Saturday, led by Doctson with six, and David Porter, who caught five passes for 59 yards.
Meanwhile, the defense was so sweet on Saturday, it caused Marshall to beg the question: Is this the best defense Gary Patterson has ever had? While we can debate that until the cows come home (and debate it we will), what we can all agree on is how dominant the performance was this weekend. Five turnovers forced, and only 41 rushing yards allowed to David Cobb, who came in having run for 291 yards in Minnesota's first two games this season. All three starting safeties had an interception, and Paul Dawson recorded 15 tackles, four tackles for loss, a pass break up, a quarterback hurry, and a forced and recovered fumble.
Jaden Oberkrom, what a beast. 3-3 on field goals, hitting from 37, 45 and 46. He also increased his extra points streak to 88 in a row.
I suppose the negatives in this game are obvious. Trevone Boykin's passing game was shaky at best, as he completed 58.6% of his passes (27/46). He did manage to throw for 258 yards and two touchdowns though, but he often looked as if he was rushing his throws. I have a theory behind this that I'm going to flesh out into this week's Midweek Musings, so keep an eye out for that this Wednesday.
I couldn't tell if Minnesota's run defense was just really good, or if the TCU running game couldn't find any consistency because they were looking to throw the ball so often. Outside of Boykin, no TCU player had more than 6 rushing attempts or 28 yards rushing, although Aaron Green looked good for the small sample size, averaging 7 yards per carry on four attempts.
I'm willing to overlook Boykin's interception, simply because it was a pretty clear pass interference that didn't get called. However, if he puts that ball on the outside shoulder, it makes it harder for the defensive back to get to the ball. David Porter's fumble is unacceptable though, and it took points off the board for TCU. Tuck that ball, son! The fumble happened on Minnesota's 28 yard line, which at the very least would have been well inside Oberkrom's range.
TCU needs to go back to the drawing board on kickoff coverages, because Minnesota tore that unit up on Saturday. 5 returns for 152 yards won't cut it in the Big 12, where offenses can move the ball.
The Iron Skillet
TCU improved to 89-3 under Gary Patterson when allowing 17 or fewer points. Defense, baby. Hopefully that record improves to 90-3 in a few weeks against SMU. Yes, there's another bye week between now and then, but that just gives us an extra week to get whipped up into a frenzy before we all sprint over to Dallas and take over Amon G. Carter East.
To get you prepped, here's a crash course in Iron Skillet history.
TCU and SMU have played all but six years since their first meeting in 1915, and TCU currently holds a 46-40-7 edge in the overall head to head.
The actual Iron Skillet didn't become a part of the rivalry until 1946, when (as it's rumored) a TCU fan saw an SMU fan cooking frog legs in an iron skillet before the game. They wagered that the winner would keep the skillet and the frog legs, and it became a yearly tradition, eventually being endorsed by the two universities.