The city was painted in purple yesterday as football returned to Fort Worth. Frog fans dutifully filed into the stadium to see what has become an annual battle to a crazy ending between TCU and Texas Tech. Last year, we won it with the Immaculate Reception.
And this year, we weren’t so lucky.
But we’re known for looking at the #Brightside, right? So let’s take a look at a couple of things that went right yesterday.
First, let’s all stand up and applaud for our defense. Without them, it would’ve been a much more embarrassing game. Remember back in Week 4, when all the Talking Sports Heads were commenting on the fact that our defense had yet to get an interception? Then we had two against SMU that week. We all cheered and high-fived while reminiscing of last year’s defense and wondering if this year’s team might actually have learned something from their predecessors. Yesterday’s game made it clear that they did. There were still a few challenges—Tech was 10-20 on 3rd downs—but the defense had an interception and fumble recovery. The interception led to TCU’s first touchdown with 4:40 left in the first quarter. The fumble recovery allowed us to get into field goal position, which we unfortunately couldn't take advantage of. In his post-game press conference, Patterson was proud of the defense, saying that they “played unbelievable.” They held Patrick Mahomes to just 206 yards, after he had 819 yards against Oklahoma last week, so that’s definitely saying something. It seems Gary Patterson’s defense might finally be living up to its historical reputation.
We also saw improvement in penalties (thank goodness). The Frogs had four penalties for a total of 25 yards yesterday vs Tech’s one penalty for five yards. This is a particular pet peeve of mine, so I was thrilled to see improvement here.
Finally, it was nice to see KaVontae Turpin return to the field yesterday. He finished the game with four receptions for 39 yards, one carry for two yards, and a 28-yard kick-off return. While those aren’t the huge numbers we’re used to seeing him put up, I would much rather bring him back slowly vs have him get injured again.
Those of us who attended TCU 10+ years ago can remember the struggle this football team has gone through. You would tell someone you went to TCU and they would give you a blank stare and ask, “What’s that?” Then LaDainian Tomlinson came around, and the response was, “Isn’t the school LT went to? He’s good!” And then the Rose Bowl happened and Wisconsin left their tears in Pasadena. And slowly, TCU became a household name. Until suddenly I was on a plane and watching the Alamo Bowl with the flight attendants gathered around my phone on layovers, cheering for the Frogs. This team has come a long way, and we can be proud of our history. That’s saying something in today’s CFB. Keep looking at the Brightside folks. We have a lot to be proud of in 2016.