Pretty positive spin on the game from last night.
In the end, the Horned Frogs rode off with a victory low in style points but heavy in grit. And knowing they can squeeze out a difficult road game when the offense is not zipping by people may prove beneficial down the road.
More positive vibes.
If participation in the College Football Playoff relied on a one-game audition in early September, well, even then a reasonable appraisal of TCU would be a favorable one. The defense lost six starters and was without the services of two others due to injury, and it effectively controlled the game anyway. An offense that averaged 46.5 points per game last year didn’t approach that level of efficiency, but the problems appeared fixable: overthrows and false starts and more, but nothing as corrosive as a lack of talent anywhere. And Minnesota is a team that could win its division—admittedly, this may be faint praise for Big Ten West denizens—for which a record 54,147 expectant souls packed TCF Bank Stadium. If TCU made it an easy night, that would have been a significant statement.
Pretty straightforward analysis.
Boykin did not provide the normal, dynamic performance we have come to expect from the Heisman Trophy favorite and CBS Sports 2015 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. It appeared as if we were in for another special Boykin night when TCU jumped out to an early 10-0 lead following a turnover and a quick strike in the red zone to Josh Doctson (8 catches, 74 yards, TD).
Valid point from Boykin in this piece.
“No game is going to be easy,” Boykin said. “We’re the No. 2 team in the nation, and everybody is gunning for us. We’re going to get everybody’s best shot. I think it’s up to us to swing our best punch back. I feel like we did that today. It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day, we’re 1-0, and that’s all that matters.”
A win is a win.
TCU’s Gary Patterson has been known to dust off the old coaching maxim at the slightest peek of a Samford or a Grambling State.
But when the prognosticators foisted the preseason’s No. 2 national ranking on the Horned Frogs and Patterson invoked the one-point principle in front of the news media Tuesday, some brows were raised.
Lathan looked good working against an experienced left tackle last night. Hopefully that production will continue.
Defensive end Terrell Lathan swooped in from the blind side for a strip-sack of Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner, sending the ball into the hands of defensive end Josh Carraway. It set up a red-zone touchdown for TCU and a 10-0 lead.
It's true. Boykin has taken TCU to a very solid place.
“No matter how this whole thing goes, TCU has been better off because Trevone Boykin is here, and I think TCU football has been better because he is here,” Patterson said this week, asked to measure the impact of the quarterback’s improvement since last season. “He’s helped college football. Because he has a flair about him.”
Really interesting tidbit thrown in with the rest.
TCU extended its scoring streak to 281 games, the second longest current streak and now tied for fourth in NCAA history. The Horned Frogs were last shut out in 1991 at Texas, 32-0.
Probably the biggest positive, as far as the future is concerned, is how well the young guys played.
4. Underclassmen making plays. TCU lost an all-conference punt returner when Cameron Echols-Luper announced his transfer to Arkansas State just a few weeks before the opener. TCU’s coaches think they have a solid replacement in 5-foot-9, 152-pound receiver KaVontae Turpin. The true freshman had some issues deciding whether to make the fair catch throughout the game, but got a chance to make some plays in the rushing and receiving game as well. Shaun Nixon also got a chance to shine, making five catches for 43 yards. DeSoto’s Desmon White also got his hands on a few passes and made some big plays, including a 26-yard catch in the third quarter. With Kolby Listenbee largely absent and Deante’ Gray on the sideline, TCU’s young playmakers picked up some great experience.
Patience fans, the Frogs will hit their stride.
Look, the first week is always a crapshoot. Even though Boykin missed numerous throws, he also made a few terrific plays (see: the audible to a speed option for a touchdown) and has a group of elite and dynamic skill players around him. In other words, he’ll figure it out again.
Boykin totaled 338 yards and two touchdowns on the night.
Trevone Boykin threw for 246 yards, completing 26 of 42 passes, and a touchdown and ran for 92 yards and another score to help the Horned Frogs outlast Minnesota 23-17 on Thursday night.