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Inside the Numbers: Minnesota Analysis

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Inside the Numbers is back as TCU took down the Golden Gophers this past week. For all you stats gurus out there, check out what numbers impacted the Horned Frogs the most on Saturday...

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

"Turnovers are like ex-wives. The more you have, the more they cost you." - Dave Windell

Defense:

You can call the TCU defense divorce court this week then as they were able to disrupt the Minnesota offense all game and cause 5 turnovers. There should have been even more, but we shouldn't be too greedy. In the first 2 games this season, TCU has forced 7 turnovers, 4 interceptions and recovered 3 fumbles. This is exactly what Horned Frog fans are looking for. For the second straight week, the defense prevented their opponent from rushing for 100 yards. The Minnesota offense averaged 233 yards rushing per game prior to this game weekend, but TCU held them to a total of 99 yards on 39 carries. Over the Frogs first 2 games they have only allowed 2.2 yards per carry, which is over a yard better (3.3) than their 2013 season total.

The real feat is the overall yards per game allowed by the TCU defense. They have only allowed an average of 202 yards of total offense so far this season. Granted it will be a lot harder for these numbers to stay that low when we begin conference play, but we cannot ignore these impressive statistics. According to our very own Sports Information Director, Mark Cohen, TCU currently leads the Big 12 in total defense, points allowed and passing defense. They are currently second in scoring defense as well.

The defensive "Inside the Numbers" shout out to Paul Dawson for being the first Horned Frog to receive a "Helmet Sticker" for his team leading 15 tackles, 4 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a pass breakup. Yes that all happened in one game...

With SMU currently displaying the worst offense in the FBS, look for TCU's defense to improve their defensive statistics next week in their first road matchup.

Offense:

It's hard not to start out with the TCU passing offense and Deuce Boogie (Trevone Boykin) again this week. Boykin was 27-46 for 258 yards passing, and that went along with a team high 92 yards rushing on 12 attempts. Even though the completion percentage is not as high as fans would like, the improving numbers do not lie. There are a lot of changes and improvements to the offense over the offseason. So far this season Boykin has a 62.5% completion percentage, which is better than his 59% last year. The percentage is only a little bit higher, but the dropped passes do not show up in that statistic (there have been a fair share of those this fall). He has an average of almost 44 pass attempts per game, which is considerably higher than his average of 34 attempts last season. Boykin threw 7 of the team's 14 touchdown passes in 2013 and he already has 4 in the first two games this year.

The offensive "Inside the Numbers" shout out goes to Josh Doctson for his 6 receptions for 64 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 2 scores are a record for the Wyoming transfer in his second season playing at TCU. Doctson lead the team all three of the categories listed above  and he apparently does not need two hands to get the job done either. If you have not seen it already, go watch his spectacular one handed-catch from Saturday's win.

With the new offense using the passing game to open up the field, the rushing attack has seen more success as well. The Horned Frogs were able to average 6.3 yards per carry this week, with four players rushing for at least 20 yards. Aaron Green looked elusive on his 4 carries for 28 yards, and B.J. Catalon was the only player to rush for a touchdown in each of the first 2 games. Boykin lead the team in rushing yards with 92 for a total of 121 on the season. He had a total of 313 rushing yards in 2013, so look for him to run past that record in the next few games (bad pun of the week).

In terms of what we should look for numbers wise for the next week's matchup, a lot of opportunities to score points. SMU allowed two different Baylor quarterbacks to throw for over a 100 yards in their opening game. In the following week they gave up 254 rushing yards to North Texas. It will be pick your poison for the Mustangs when TCU heads to Dallas next week.

Special Teams:

You can't ask for anything more than perfection from your 3rd year starting kicker. The "Inside the Numbers" special teams player of the week, Jaden Oberkrom, is 5-5 so far this year as he put three more field goals through on Saturday. After watching him drill his season high of 46 yards, Oberkrom appears to be kicking with a lot of confidence so far this season. He also continues to add onto to his TCU record of 88 straight extra points made. Even though he has not attempted a field goal of over 50 yards, I do not think Patterson would hesitate to use Oberkrom when put in that situation.

To follow suit, Ethan Perry was a machine versus Minnesota. Perry averaged just 40 yards per punt, but 3 of his 6 were inside the 20 yard line and one went for over 50 yards. Punters statistics may not be as "pretty" as other positions, but Perry did his job well and consistently put Minnesota in tough starting field position.

Even though TCU has easily reached a 2-0 record there is an area of concern. Punt return has been and still is a struggle for the Horned Frogs. Cameron Echols-Luper was able to break for a return of 46 yards this week, but TCU has a total of 77 punt return yards and an average of 7.7 yards per return in two games this season. After a total 35 yards last week, I was interested to see if the lack of yards was a one time issue, but it was not. TCU's punt return blocking gave Echols-Luper no time, and he was hit almost immediately after catching the ball Saturday. Remembering the glory days of when Jeremy Kerley turn the football field into a giant game of Frogger, it is frustrating to watch this area of special teams lack production.

Special teams should be on the field a lot versus SMU. For a team that has given up 88 points and 7 turnovers in 2 games this season, look for TCU to get in some extra work at Gerald J. Ford Stadium.

Interesting stat of the week:

TCU has given up 1 touchdown in the first 3 quarters so far this season. They have allowed only 2 scores on defense so far. After being outscored by opponents and giving up over 35 points per game last season, this amazing statistic is a great sign for all Horned Frog Fans!