That was horrific. Absolutely terrible.
Zero points on offense. The ineptitude was grand and wide sweeping. Only two offensive players get a pass today: Darius Anderson and Kyle Hicks.
Here are the takeaways.
1. Kenny Hill had a no good, very bad day. His accuracy woes came back, his turnover woes came back, and TCU’s offense stalled out completely. It’s still confusing to me that TCU insisted on asking him to throw the ball late in the game, when he was clearly rattled. He finished the day 12-25 for 135 yards and two interceptions. He overthrew Turpin on a sure touchdown from the two yardline. He took a sack and fumbled from the three. His second interception was the nail in the coffin for TCU.
It was arguably his worst game as a Frog, and there are really no excuses to be made. He never looked comfortable, and his throws were consistently off target. He had several opportunities to run, but he didn’t take them.
2. The penalties were out of control. 11 penalties for 104 yards. If it didn’t end in a turnover, TCU’s offense was killed by penalties. Austin Schlottman got hit with four holding calls today. There were false starts. Other holding penalties on linemen and wide receivers. And defensively, multiple pass interference calls and an illegal hands to the face. Two of those penalties extended drives for Iowa State, drives that would eventually result in touchdowns. Meanwhile, penalties took points off the board for TCU. A defensive offsides by Mat Boesen negated a pick six for Ridwan Issahaku. It was horribly undisciplined football.
Were some of the penalties questionable? Sure. But when you keep getting caught over and over, you lose the benefit of the doubt with the officials.
3. Darius Anderson and Kyle Hicks were great. Both had 12 carries. Anderson finished with 95 yards, and Hicks wound up with 80. Both had several runs called back by holding penalties, or TCU may have had two 100-yard rushers on the day. I suppose penalties were the reason they didn’t get the ball more, but I really have no clue. Which leads me to the next takeaway.
4. This was a bad day calling plays for Sonny Cumbie. Multiple play-action passes inside the 10 yardline, when his QB clearly didn’t have it. An option on 3rd and 12. 3rd and 6 QB draw. Again, I suppose the running game didn’t get enough work because penalties kept setting TCU back, but Hicks and Anderson probably both needed 20 carries in this game.
5. Texada and Gladney battled back in the second half. TCU’s undersized secondary got exposed a bit in the first half, especially Ranthony Texada. He gave up a few big plays, and eventually a touchdown to Allen Lazard. Iowa State’s receivers are massive, and it was a matchup TCU was concerned about going into the game. However, both corners buckled down in the second half, and made some tremendous plays to keep TCU in the ballgame.
6. The defense did everything except score, and they should have. I thought the negated pick-six was big when it happened, but I didn’t realize just how big it was. beyond that mistake though, TCU’s defense really did play a strong football game. They held the second-best rusher in the Big 12 to three yards a carry, and they really shut down Iowa State’s offense for the majority of the game. Big stop after big stop kept the Frogs close, but the offense could never take advantage.
7. Turpin Time kept the scoring streak alive. If it wasn’t for a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, TCU’s second-best NCAA scoring streak would have been broken. Turpin was patient in waiting for his blockers, and then he turned on the jets to house the second-half opening kick.
8. I’m over the WildFrog. It’s over-used and easy to stop. I thought that TCU would eventually run a few different plays from that formation, but they insist on just running it up the middle over and over for minimal gains. Also, it should never, ever be used if the team is outside the two.
9. Adam Nunez was great again, but his number was called too much. Nunez punted nine times, for an average of 42.6 yards. He had two punts over 50 yards, including a 58-yarder, and he pinned Iowa State inside their own 20 six times. While it’s nice to have a good punter, it’s even better when you don’t have to use him.
10. TCU still controls their own destiny. The CFP is probably a pipe dream at this point, unless more chaos strikes the Top 6, but TCU is still in the driver’s seat to make it to the Big 12 Championship and a New Years Six bowl game. Winning out is how that happens, though, and the Frogs have a lot to fix between now and next Saturday.