This is not the TCU defense we know and love, but thanks to a couple insane offensive performances, they only needed to be great twice. There is a lot of work to be done on that side of the ball, most of which could probably be solved by showing this video on loop leading up to Texas:
But outside of a few dumb penalties, a ton of missed tackles, and the occasional torching of guys not named Nick Orr, it wasn't that bad of a performance ;) Ultimately, the D got the one three and out and the one tackle they needed, thanks to some super human efforts on the other side of the ball. And... you guys, an angel got it's wings Saturday night, because Gary smiled. That's when you know.
UP - JOSH DOCTSON: - Could it be anyone else? TCU's new single game receiving yardage record holder had three touchdowns and just short of 200 yards receiving... in the first half. He was absolutely unguardable, and as the wide receiving corp was decimated by injuries - guess it was their turn this week - with Ty Slanina going out early (for the season with an apparent collarbone injury), Emanuel Porter banged up, and Kolby Listenbee held out, it was Josh that Boykin turned to time and time again. And the man we called Doc sure did deliver. He made an insane route change on a deep ball, coming to an almost complete stop to deke the corner, before lunging out and hauling in a Boykin bomb for a score; and even when he couldn't make the catch, he was still a hero, deflecting the ball into Aaron Green's hands for the winning score - just like they drew it up, I'm sure. The future pro should jump to the top of the conversation when it comes to who the best receiver in the country is, and if he isn't atop the Biletnikoff Award list right now, he should be. There are some incredibly talented wide receivers in college football, but I would argue there are none that mean more to their team that TCU's #9. Josh finished with 18 receptions (school record), 267 yards (school record), and three touchdowns (one shy of the school record). Not a bad day at the office.
DOWN - JOSH CARRAWAY: When you are the only experienced player starting on the defensive line, you shouldn't be the one making terrible penalties time and time again. Carraway was flagged for multiple personal foul penalties, taking shots at Mahomes after he released the ball, giving the Raiders extra yards, and most egregiously, extending Tech drives. His late hit on Mahomes on a third and long in the red zone turned what would have been a field goal attempt in to a touchdown, which is probably the only reason Green's miracle play was needed. After having a breakout game against SMU a week ago, the defensive end became a near liability Saturday afternoon. You can bet the trip home was especially unpleasant for him, and Patterson will have some extra work for him to do on the practice field before Texas comes to down. And the thing about it is, we REALLY need this kid. He is supremely talented and a mismatch for most offensive lineman, with his freaky combination of size and strength. If he gets his head on straight - and he will - he has a chance for a big game at home Saturday morning.
UP - AARON GREEN: The new and forever 'King of Fort Worth' will never have to pay for a drink in town again - that is once he graduates and it's no longer an NCAA violation. While it will be the touchdown catch heard 'round the world that stands out to most fans and the national audience, it was his tough running in the second half that made it possible. After struggling to break one through the first two quarters, Green took it upon himself to be the man after halftime, piling up yardage and wearing the Tech defense down. His ability to pick up first downs on the ground and keep the clock moving had the added benefit of keeping the TCU D off of the field, and considering how easily Mahomes was able to march his team up and down the field most of the game, that was crucial to the final result. Green finished with 162 yards on 28 carries (which I am fairly sure is his career high), two rushing TDs and of course the one receiving. Is there a more under-appreciated back in college football? Green can do it all, and also possesses the leadership and work ethic that this team relies on when the going gets tough.
DOWN - JADEN OBERKROM: The good news is, he seems to have one of these games a year, and fortunately, it didn't cost TCU the win in Lubbock. Oberkrom kicked it short early, allowing Tech's dynamite returner Jakeem Grant to eat up yardage on special teams (whether that was on purpose or not I can't say). He had a field goal blocked early - and it wasn't the push of the Tech D, it was the oddly low trajectory of the kick - and straight missed a normally gimme 25 yarder soon thereafter. While the six points left on the field didn't ultimately cost the Frogs the win, can you imagine how differently the game may have played out if the Frogs had them? I don't think there is any reason to worry about the normally reliable senior going forward, he might have just slipped on a soggy tortilla or two out there. ;)
UP - TREVONE BOYKIN: All those yards to Doc had to come from someone, and on a day where he didn't play his best football, the Heisman candidate still had 322 yards and three scores at the half - and 527 overall. Boykin missed a couple open receivers, and struggled with overthrowing a few guys on the short and intermediate routes, but without two guys he relies on so heavily - Slanina and Listenbee - he still dropped in a couple picture perfect dimes on the deep ball, made a sliding catch on a two point conversion, and led the team on the game winning drive when it seemed the Frogs were doomed. Boykin is amazing... and the fact TCU had a chance to win late comes down to his leadership, skill, and heart. He also managed the game perfectly on a couple of long (by TCU standards) drives late, using the clock, making adjustments at the line, and marching his team down the field deliberately for crucial touchdowns. He also used his feet incredibly well Saturday night, not running for big yardage, but keeping plays alive and avoiding taking too much punishment, something that had been concerning in the three prior games. It really was a masterful job for the QB from behind center, and while he can play better, he could not be a better or more effective leader for TCU. The Frogs may be dropping like flies, but as long as #2 is on the field, they will have a chance in every came on their schedule.
DOWN - CORRY O'MEALLY: The senior is the man that Patterson has called on to lock down the side of the field opposite sophomore Nick Orr, but he continues to be targeted by opposing offenses early and often. It seems that just about every game opens with him giving up a deep pass, and while he did a great job getting his head around and making a big stop once Saturday, he was victimized on the deep play too many times. O'Meally wasn't the only one who played poorly in the secondary; after looking really solid through the first three games, Denzel Johnson came back to earth quite a bit, Michael Downing was... Michael Downing... and Julius Lewis and Ridwan Issahaku never made their presence felt. Fortunately, the deep ball isn't one of UT's consistent strengths, and while I am sure they will try it, he should have a shot to be more effective in this week's game.
THE KAVONTAE TURPIN OH NO HE DIDN'T UP OF THE WEEK: Is there any question? I'll just leave this here: