As I was walking out of the stadium yesterday, delirious with joy, I was brought back to reality rather quickly by the thought of "I'm supposed to come up with three downs from this game?". :) I'm not sure if I will be able to do it...
UP - THAT D THO: They say that defense wins championships, and though we won't get a chance to see if that is true nationally, it sure did win a Peach Bowl Championship yesterday. In what was one of the best single game performances in GP history, the Frog D help a very good Ole Miss team to nine rushing yards (that total was a negative number at the half), 129 yards of total offense, forced four turnovers, sacked Bo Wallace five times, and devastated the O to the tune of seven three and outs. I know they were without their top two receivers, and by game's end they were down three guys on the o line too, but in watching the way the TCU players ran around and hit anything with a pulse, would having those guys mattered? A friend of mine, upon seeing the first half score, texted me "Bad Bo must have showed up". Bad Bo didn't start the game - he was forced out of Wallace by the play of the Frogs. Then he was forced out of the lineup altogether.
DOWN - THOSE THREE POINTS: After being completely stifled for 51 minutes, the Rebels used a 36 yard return by Senquez Golson after a Boykin pick to get in to scoring territory. Starting at the TCU 11, the Rebels gained only a single yard, but were able to turn it in to points. The sarcastic clapping from the few remaining Ole Miss fans was pretty hilarious though.
UP - THAT ALL TIME LEADING RECEIVER: With six catches for 59 yards and two touchdowns, junior Josh Doctson set new single season school records for receiving yards and touchdowns, Wednesday. Doc was, as he was all season, Boykin's favorite target, and he rewarded his QB's faith in him with big plays time and time again. It didn't matter who lined up against him, Doctson dominated his one on one match ups all game long. He is one of the best receivers in college football, and should be on the watch list for several national awards in the preseason. He is also one of the greatest stories - growing up a bleacher creature, running on the field pregame as a kid, going to Wyoming when the offers weren't there locally, and coming home to become TCU's second ever thousand yard receiver, and by the end of his career, may be our best ever. And we have him one more year :)
DOWN - THOSE TURNOVERS: Boykin wasn't at his sharpest by any stretch, and with the game all but in hand early, and the way the D was playing, probably took more chances than he otherwise would have in a close contest. Boykin threw three pics, including one in the end zone, and the Frogs lost a fumble - but fortunately for them, only one cost TCU anything on the scoreboard, and by then it was too late for Ole Miss anyway. A little bit of an ugly performance on O, but Trevor made big plays when he needed to, and his receivers and backs did plenty of damage on their own accord to make up for any miscues.
UP - THE CLOSING ON A HIGH NOTE: We finally get to exhale after what has been an insane season. There have been so many highs, and while there have been a few lows, they were few and far between. This is a special group - they fought through adversity, they never put their heads down, just stepped foot on the field time and time again and took care of business. And no where was that better on display than in the Georgia Dome yesterday. This team, who could have whined their way to Atlanta instead came out with a Texas sized chip on their shoulder and SHOUTED to anyone that watched that they belonged on the biggest stage. Ole Miss wasn't disappointed to be there, they weren't overrated, they were a heck of a ball club with a great coach who caught demolished by an even better team and an even better coach. No disrespect to the Rebels at all, and my gosh they were some of the nicest fans I have ever interacted with - even after the game - but it wasn't going to be enough for TCU to win yesterday - we had to dominate. And we did. To Chucky, David Porter, Sam Carter, Kevin White, Mallett, Dawson, Tayo, Anderson, Big Murph, Matt Joeckel and the rest - THANK YOU. Those kids persevered, trusted the process, came on board before we were in the Big 12, and raised their game once we raised our affiliation. They have laid the most solid of foundations and we love you guys. Sincerely.
I'm going to close with that... I'm travel weary and delirious in the best of ways. Leave your ups in the comments and let me know if you would have included any other downs, too.