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MMQB: The Bounce Back Starts Now

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TCU has four games left to prove they belong among the elite teams in 2017.

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Iowa State Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

The first loss of the season is never easy. Dreams of an undefeated season are dashed, team flaws flare up, and, because of a perfect record to that point, all the criticisms that have been held back seem to flow stronger than the Nile.

I won’t lie. I got caught up in it. A bunch of you did too. But here’s the thing. We have to remember that as mad and frustrated as we are, the players are feeling 100 times worse. You could see it in their tweets after the game.

But here’s your silver lining: This offense had its worst game of the season, the biggest clunker we could have possibly seen coming from that side of the ball, and the Frogs only lost by a touchdown.

Why?

The Good

The defense played outstanding in the second half. The first half was rough. Big penalties extended drives, and it looked like Iowa State was ready to ride their size advantage at receiver throughout the day.

But then Ranthony Texada and Jeff Gladney buckled down. They were absolutely incredible in the second half, as a part of a secondary that allowed just six completions for 36 yards to Iowa State in the second half. Gladney also recorded his first interception by playing a deep fade, a route that Iowa State had hammered away with in the first half, perfectly.

And the run defense. Oh, the run defense. We can’t understate how good David Montgomery is. He rushed 10 times in the second half for 19 yards. For the game he had 74 rushing yards on 25 carries, good for just 3 yards/carry on the day, his lowest output of the season.

Special teams was also really good on the day. Adam Nunez punted very well, with two 50+ yard punts, and pinning ISU inside its own 20 six times. Meanwhile, TCU’s lone score came when the clock struck Turpin Time.

Turpin has now recorded a passing touchdown, receiving touchdown, rushing touchdown, punt return touchdown, and kick return touchdown this season. He’s the first player to do that since Christian McCaffery did it in 2015.

The Bad

The offense. Need we really say more here? Zero points scored. Six penalties, including five holding calls, for a total of 55 yards.

4-14 on third downs, three turnovers, and 0-2 in the red zone.

We’ve spent time talking about Kenny Hill’s day already. It was bad. no need to rehash it. However, we need to talk about something for a moment.

The Rest of the Season

There’s no way you bail on a quarterback after one bad game. I saw a lot of “let’s ride with Shawn Robinson” stuff throughout the day on Saturday. I get that people are frustrated, and some folks just seem to want to hate a 23-year-old because he got drunk at Texas A&M, and had a bad day playing football a few days ago, but let’s not forget that Hill was an integral part of getting this team to 7-0.

And, the Frogs are sitting at 7-1. Not 1-7. If it was the latter, then yeah, it would have been long past time to give Robinson a shot. It’s not, though. TCU is 7-1 and tied for first place in the Big 12. They have four games left (Texas, @ Oklahoma, @ Texas Tech, Baylor), and a reasonable chance to go 11-1, or 10-2.

As painful as it is right now, I think this loss will serve the same purpose as the Baylor loss did in 2014. Inspiration for the rest of the season. It starts again this Saturday, when the Frogs host Texas.

Play of the Game

I mean, there’s really only one to choose from.