The goals and needs of the defense certainly played into how the offense called plays down the stretch.
5. TCU has a 68 percent conversion rate on third down. The defense has not faced more than 60 plays in either game. That’s not unrelated. Last week, Jackson State got off 56 plays. Saturday, Arkansas ran 54. That’s about a 20-play difference from what TCU has grown accustomed to in Big 12 games. “The less series people get, the better opportunity you have of being successful,” Patterson said. “Kansas State has been a great model for that.”
Are we all in love with Ben Banogu now or what? Swoon.
A+ — Seventeen Horned Frogs recorded tackles, including a team-high eight by Ridwan Issahaku, who had one of three sacks and two of the six tackles for loss by TCU. Ben Banoguand Innis Gaines each forced fumbles. The defense was more dominant than the final statistics indicate. After the Razorbacks gained 137 yards in the first quarter, they were held to 130 the final three quarters, including just 10 in the second quarter.
The Frogs are carrying the state currently, but several teams are inching closer to the top 25.
For their efforts, TCU moved up in both the AP and Coaches Polls. The Horned Frogs moved up three spots in the AP Poll from 23 to 20 and are ranked in the Amway Coaches Poll for the first time this season at No. 20 after being just outside the Top 25 last week. Houston was the only other team to receive votes in the AP and Coaches Poll, receiving 10 and seven respectively. Texas Tech also received two votes in the AP Poll.
Each team will have a chance to move up as TCU hosts rival SMU, Houston hosts Rice and Texas Tech hosts Arizona State.
Great breakdown of how the Frogs out-Hogged the Hogs.
TCU came into Fayetteville on Saturday and did to Arkansas what Arkansas has done to only a handful of SEC opponents in Bielema’s five years. The Frogs sufficiently slowed the Arkansas run game, clamped on the pass, and overcame bad quarterback play by posting a 71% (!) rushing success rate. This allowed them to control time of possession, keep Arkansas’ offense out of sync, and feel like they dominated the game despite leading by only a touchdown until the last couple of minutes.
How many times has Arkansas reached a 70% rushing success rate in an SEC game under Bielema? Zero times.
Getting back to what has worked so often under GP. Will that remain the recipe with the high-flying Ponies heading to town?
The Frogs held Jackson State to 65 yards in total defense last week. Impressive, yes. But, of course, that was against an FCS opponent at home. This was a whole other deal. The Frogs were playing an SEC opponent on the road, in front of a full house on a warm, sunny day in Fayetteville.
These are the teams that Big 12 defenses are supposed to struggle against. TCU, despite its run of success defensively under Patterson (five times TCU has been ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense, the second-most behind Alabama since the NCAA started keeping those statistics in 1937), could be included in that supposition. TCU plays that 4-2-5 defense that Patterson helped usher into the game, built on speed, quickness and linebackers that, in some cases, play like defensive backs. Heck, Travin Howard, the team’s top linebacker, comes in at a scant 213 pounds.
How does an undersized TCU defense shove around a beefy SEC offensive front? Turns out, not as hard as you might think. In fact, the tone-setter came on the game’s third play. TCU’s left end, Ben Banogu — just 245 pounds himself — took on Arkansas’ right tackle, Johnny Gibson, a 333-pound right tackle. Banogu gave up nearly 100 pounds. But he saw something on film, something in Gibson’s pass protection that told him, under the right circumstances, he could get to Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen.