1. The defense is now down 5 (or more, depending on who you count) defensive starters
Kenny Iloka went down in the first quarter, at the time making it as many defensive starters out as quarters played this season. On the other hand, the defense looked to be in solid positioning all game against the overmatched Lumberjacks, save for one deep ball that Iloka’s backup Michael Downing got burned on (the SFA WR dropped the ball). The fresh faces included Downing at Weak Safety, Denzel Johnson at Strong Safety, Ty Summers and Montrel Wilson as the starting Linebackers. Johnson, who played well in the Peach Bowl but didn’t receive much individual fanfare or hype coming into the season, had a pick-six to go along with 3.5 tackles, including 1 TFL after three quarters. Even still, the defensive line is absolutely the strength of that side of the ball, where Chris Bradley was a beast today with a sack and a fumble recovery. Next man up.
2. #TurpinTime needs to become a thing.
Surprise, surprise, Patterson knew what he liked what he saw in Kevonte Turpin after watching his play in Minnesota. Turpin was two blocks away from taking two to the house on punt returns, and also added several catches on the day, including a sleek catch-and-run touchdown. The undersized slot man is shifty, slippery, and just plain fast. I know I speak for a lot of Frog fans when we say we’re really looking forward to watching his career at TCU. #TurpinTime needs to become a thing.
3. Listenbee is back
With Josh Doctson balling out as usual, we were still waiting for Listenbee to break out with a big game, and boy did he deliver today. Boykin connected with Listenbee on two huge plays where he just completely burned the corner, including a beautiful 60-yarder. Those long plays, when successful, really seem to spark the offense, and can certainly open up the rest of the field.
Boykin seems to have improved his vision over the middle as he talked about over the offseason, but still appears to be overthrowing his receivers when he gets them there. After the two sure touchdown passes that were overthrown last week, Boykin just overthrew Shaun Nixon on a pass over the middle when Nixon was inside the 10 late in the first quarter. On a related note, Nixon, Emmanuel Porter, and Trevorris Johnson all had easy dropped passes early on that would have been for relatively short gains, but are the spring-boards to first downs and long drives. If that all sounds nitpicky, that’s because it is nitpicky. The offense will have to execute better early in games against tougher competition later this year. For what it’s worth, each of those guys had plays later in the game that more than made up for the drops.
Boykin got picked off again today on a tipped ball, after last week throwing one as he was being hit from behind. Neither were really Boykin’s fault, but will count against him nonetheless when being considered for postseason awards. Michael Downing also received a gift when he caught a pass from Stephen F. Austin’s quarterback Zach Conque right between the numbers deep in the red zone. As we all know, turnovers are a key statistic for this TCU team, and so far the numbers do not disappoint.
Overall a good win for this team, one in which the very young defense got valuable playing time and the offense rolled. Share your thoughts on the game (and the uniforms) in the comments