This is the greatest piece of writing that Carlos has ever done, and I love everything about it.
Also, the Frogs are 4-0 Down Under. And playing well. Which is good.
The Longhorns’ star, of course, was Jim Halpert with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting, nine rebounds and two blocks. Michael Scott added 13 points, and Meredith Palmer finished with 17.
TCU more than matched that production behind Bane, who was 8-for-16 shooting, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers, and had six steals. Robinson had eight assists and five rebounds, while Kenrich Williams added 12 points and seven assists.
“We had some good runs in there,” TCU coach Jamie Dixon said in quotes provided by the team. “We were playing a lot of different combinations to give some guys opportunities. I think that was the most important thing. I’d like to play better for 40 minutes, all coaches would, but we certainly did some good things.”
Veteran team. Low Expectations. Potentially wicked defense. That’s generally the recipe for success under Gary Patterson, but there are still plenty of “ifs”.
If Hill can get into a groove after a rough first go in Fort Worth, this offense should be able to trade blows with every Big 12 unit save Oklahoma’s and Oklahoma State’s. The defensive slide is worrisome, but given Patterson’s track record, this feels more like a temporary blip than the start of a prolonged downward spiral. The Horned Frogs return more production than every other Power 5 conference team this season, according to Connelly. That production may not have gotten them very far in 2016, but it does set the table for a major upturn. And though the conference schedule isn’t favorable (road games against Oklahoma State, Kansas State and Oklahoma), TCU has a credible argument as the Big 12’s No. 3 squad behind the Sooners and Cowboys.
A unit that has gone under the radar this offseason, but needs to take a big step forward, is the offensive line. If the protection and run blocking improve, so will the offense.
Gary Patterson knows his offense must improve. “What we need to do to move the football. If that's running it, then you run it. If it's throwing it, being able to be more of a vertical game, then be more of a vertical game,” he said during Big 12 media day in July. Consistency, especially at the quarterback position, will take this team far — especially with a schedule that features tough road contests at Arkansas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
Patterson has rarely endured extending losing streaks at TCU and should be able to get his team back on track.
I am all-in when it comes to the Nick Orr bandwagon, and he could very well be the biggest surprise breakout defensive player in the Big 12 this fall.
Speaking of the secondary, senior safety Nick Orr could be poised for a monster year. As a junior, Orr led TCU with four picks, good enough for third in conference behind West Virginia's Rasul Douglas (8) and Baylor's Orion Stewart (6) - Oklahoma's Jordan Evans also had four. Orr has started 26 consecutive games for the Frogs. Now tag teaming with Niko Small, the two could become the most feared pair of safeties in college football. Orr will find a way to make an impact whether or not he finds the ball in his hands, but expect a new level of urgency and anticipation that might create more takeaways.
Okay, I love this kid already.
DC: "He's a great coach. He's a defensive coach, so I like that a lot. They run a 4-2-5 defensive, and I think I can really excel in it and learn a lot from him."
DMN: Can you expand on how you see yourself fitting in on TCU's defense?
DC: "I see myself at whatever position they need me at. I know I can go in there and play. I'm versatile, and the defense will let me excel."
DMN: Do you have a prediction for TCU's season?
DC: "With the talent that we got in the 2017 class, I think we can make a run for the national championship."