Well...that really sucked. No way I can really sugar coat it. I really wish the result was different, but sometimes the night is darkest before the dawn.
If the season ended today, I would consider it a rousing success. We have a lot of promising young talent and this senior class gave us a season to remember. However, now isn’t the time for sentiment, now is the time for some ANALYSIS! Let’s dive in shall we?
For the most part, our offense played about as well as I could have asked for in the first half. Did it help that we lost a really really bad fumble on our first offensive play of the game? No. Did it help that we kind of blew an opportunity for a touchdown on the last drive to close out the first half? No sir. Other than that we didn’t really shoot ourselves in the foot on offense (in the first half).
Kenny played great in the first half. He threw two gorgeous fades (hello there, old friend) to Reagor and Diarse for touchdowns. On the ground he fought for a ton of yards, and even plowed through a couple of tackles for a handful of first downs. The Oklahoma fans next to me were even saying to us, “Hill is looking pretty sharp today” and for most of the game he was just that. Kenny and the offense moved the ball down the field with ease. I know we got blown out, but that first half was really competitive. If we hadn’t dug ourselves a hole early on I wonder how the whole thing would’ve turned out.
Alas, Hill didn’t play a perfect game though. He didn’t really play that great of a second half. But on the whole, I only saw three bad throws from Hill in this one:
- The throw to Reagor on the last drive of the first half. Hill threw it behind Reagor instead of in front of him, and if he had then 18 probably would have either gotten 6 points or at the least very close to the goal line. Instead we ended up with a field goal.
- The deep pass into no man’s land when he was trying to get it to Jaelen Austin on the first drive of the second half. It was no where near the receiver (and thankfully no defender either), so either Kenny misread the route or there was some other miscommunication that went down.
- The interception at the end of the 3rd. Kenny tried to throw it to the receiver, despite being double covered, while under pressure and tried to make a play. I get that at that point we were down 21 and kind of just had to chuck it to get something going, but I really wish he would’ve just sailed that one into the stands.
Now I’m sure there’s going to be some people in the comments that are going to direct all of the blame on Hill because we didn’t win the game (I’m familiar with this phenomenon of blaming the QB because I remember a guy by the name of Tony Romo, who would seemingly take all of the blame for every loss). Some of you might even say, “Mason, how about you critique Kenny for once” and my response to that would be “read the list above”.
I get the frustration after this one, I really do. But I’m not going to lay into 19-22 year old kids who aren’t full time professional athletes. Especially when I know the players and their families read our stuff. I think there is a way to provide criticism without saying “You suck, you are the reason why we lost the game, you should never play a down of football in your life.”... There’s already enough toxicity on the internet, so here’s your friendly reminder to not add more to it.
So once again here is my criticism of Kenny, don’t blink or you might miss it. He played great in the first half, not so great in the second half, and there were three throws that I can point out that I wish he could take back. Would ya look at that, I’m essentially Peter King now.
Anyways, the receivers also balled out. It was pretty clear that they wanted to set the tone in this one, and they played pretty well. From what I could see, from my seats in the OU endzone, they were able to create space from the Sooner’s DBs whenever they really wanted. We were able to get the ball into the hands of our play makers in the first half and you all saw what happened. We were competitive. It’s only unfortunate that we couldn’t keep OU from doing the same and then some... but more on that later. Overall, I really liked what I saw from this unit today and it has me excited for the future.
I also do want to give a shout out to Kyle Hicks. That first fumble really sucked. Like no, Kyle that was bad. However, he bounced back and was churning out big play after big play on the drive where we scored on the Diarse “catch of the year” drive. I’m glad that he didn’t let the early mistake effect him the rest of the game.
On the defense... did anyone play good? Ben “Ostrich Eggs” Banogu was able to strip Mayfield of the ball on one play while making an offensive lineman look foolish. I also believe Texada played a pretty solid game. I’m not sure if he allowed any big catches or scores, I don’t believe so, but if I had to pick a bright spot in the secondary on this one, it was easily him. The senior made first team all-Big 12 for a reason, and he will be missed next season.
I was also glad to see Morris play the whole game at the center position. The big boys were able to open up lanes for Hicks to run through and those plays kept us in the game.
I want to give a special shout out to the very polite OU fans that were sitting next to my friends and I during this one. They had a pretty good sense of humor and said nothing but nice things about our university. And you all know what, it’s refreshing to see the team that you are playing against represented in such a good way. #Sportsmanship
That being said, a man can only take hearing the phrase “Beat that TCU ass” so many times from the fan behind him before he loses his mind. Lucky for me the guy had to Facetime his fiance for the entire fourth quarter. How he got enough signal in AT&T Stadium is a miracle to me. Anyways, speaking of the bad...
Well the defense didn’t have a great game. I’ll just leave it at that. Gary if you’re reading this, don’t hate me. You know I think the world of you and am incredibly thankful for everything that you do for the players and the university.
Now as I was saying the defense... well for starters we couldn’t cover Mark Andrews, the Oklahoma tight end. He caught two tuddies on the day and as soon as you saw him line up in the redzone, you knew they were going to throw the ball to him - but sadly it looked like there was nothing that we could do to stop it. I’ll give credit where credit is due, if anything Lincoln Riley is a very good offensive coordinator. In my time watching him call plays for OU the past 3 years, I don’t believe I have seen him mismanage a game (except outside of the UT game in 2014). The guy’s system is very good and like I said earlier, their playmakers on offense just out-played our playmakers on defense.
We didn’t tackle very well. Rodney Anderson didn’t destroy us on the day, but there were times that we weren’t able to get off the field on third down where we had the receiver or running back pretty much wrapped up, but we just couldn’t make a tackle and they got an extra 3 or 4 yards that they probably shouldn’t have.
The secondary got beat pretty much every which way. But not in the way that I thought would happen. It wasn’t one of those days where Mayfield danced around in the backfield making defenders miss and extending the play before finding open receivers for clutch plays. I think that happened maybe once. He just got the ball into the hands of his play makers pretty quickly and they did the rest. We got beat deep twice and then we left a guy open with a lot of space on a short pass to the sideline.
On the other side of things our offense just couldn’t get anything going in the second half. Play calling was quirky and questionable at times, throw in a couple of ugly penalties, the occasional missed throw, but most importantly what hurt us the most offensively in the second half offensively was that we kept getting stuck in 3rd and long. The OU defense was feeling it and we just couldn’t match the intensity.
Also, the OU special teams unit did a great job of keeping the ball out of Turpin’s hands. They sent it over his head on just about every kick off so that he never got the opportunity to set us up with great field position.
To sum it up as best I can, we just flat out got beat by the better team. There’s no real shame in admitting that. I really dislike Oklahoma, but I’m not going to take away all the hard work their players put in over the offseason. It may feel like i’m holding my hand down on a piping hot oven, but I’ll say it. Mayfield is the best QB in the country this year and he’s put in the work. I’m looking forward to seeing him play for the Browns on Sundays in the future. That’s all I can really say.
Back to the Riverwalk:
Well we got disrespected again, but I’m sure one of my illustrious colleagues will fire off about that, so I’ll leave that to them. That being said, Shaw vs. Patterson is quite the matchup. I doubt the game will be as legendary as the last time we played in the Alamo City, but let’s enjoy it nonetheless.
Play of the Game:
It’s not even a question. This play got recognized by ESPN top ten. This was arguably the best catch of the season for the Frogs and is up there with the Doctson catch vs Minnesota in 2014.
I present to you: John Diarse II, I catch with one hand not two.
Who needs two hands for the catch?— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) December 2, 2017
Not @TCUFootball's John Diarse, that's for sure. pic.twitter.com/nXMR1Jb7vq
We still got one more to go. See you in San Antonio on the 28th.