I have so many other bacon/cooked pig puns to use, but I’m sure you’ve already seen more than enough on the internet this past weekend.
*Shoves 5 more strips of bacon into mouth*
So TCU walked, or in this case ran, out of Hog country with a win. The game was closer than what the final score showed, but at the same time TCU should have won by 30 because we failed to capitalize on a couple of drives in the red zone. Now once again, before we talk about this game I need to mention something almost as important as a TCU win:
GUYS BAYLOR LOST TO UTSA AND IS 0-2 ON THE SEASON.
Okay, where was I...
The running game for starters. The Frog offensive line showed up for the first time in what felt like a season, and allowed the guys in the backfield to impose their will on the ground for 4 quarters. I have to give a shout out to Darius Anderson, who let the entire world know that HE IS A GOT DAYUM MAN, and made Arky defenders look like children. He finished his day with 15 carries for 105 yards and one tuddy. *does math in head* That averages out to 7 yards a carry. Guys, I don’t know how to say this, but he may be our starting back from here on out and I only feel extremely guilty about it because I love Kyle Hicks like a brother. Not to be forgotten though, Kyle had a good day too, in limited action. He ran the ball for 44 yards and a TD, while also showing his value through the air with 19 receiving yards, including a very clutch 3rd down pick up. OH and I’m not done either. Sewo Olonilua scored 2 TD’s today, the first and the last ones of the game, and ran through about 756 defenders while doing so.
I know some of you want me to put Kenny’s performance in the “bad” section of this article, but I won’t. He wasn’t bad really, he looked like 2016 Alex Smith though and took on more of a game manager role. He had 166 yards through the air and didn’t get flagged for a non-throat-slash throat slash penalty...so that’s a win in my book. The passing game wasn’t huge in this one, but when your running game is just controlling the game, hey don’t fix what ain’t broke right?
Of course, I couldn’t not mention the RETURN(?) OF THE TCU DEFENSE. The Frogs held the Razorbacks to 267 total yards of offense. #Big12Defense is going to become a thing again and I’m going to get it tattoo’d on my lower lip. Our defense held a traditional strong rushing attack to a mere 129 yards. It was glorious. And the cherry on top? Austin Allen, the guy that we made look like a Heisman candidate last year, completed 9 of 23 passes for 138 yards.
*Takes bite of pulled pork sandwich*
OH BUT THERE’S MORE TO TALK ABOUT.
The defense also recorded 3 sacks on the day, Issahaku, Banogu, and Bethley all got one. The Frogs also recorded 6 tackles for loss, and looked focused and angry in the trenches. Blacklock, Bethley, and Bradley all had stellar games.
Mason: “Hey Jamie do I have your permission to call this combo the Killer B’s from now on?”
Jamie: *No response*
Mason: “I’m going to take that as a yes”
*** editor’s note:
So the Killer B’s showed up big time in this one, and in this writer’s opinion should be a trio that we can hang our defensive hard hats on for the rest of the season. The entire defensive line played like studs and I can’t wait to see what they do come conference play.
About the one interception... I hope I don’t have to say this every week, but this is the second week in a row so here goes: DON’T THROW THE BALL DOWNFIELD TO TURPIN UNLESS HE IS WIDE OPEN. Turpin is a short throw kind of player. You just ensure that you get the ball in his hands and you let him do the rest, that’s how electric he is. Take the 2015 game against UT, where Turpin had 4 touchdowns. The play that works almost every time is the short slant to Turpin where he sprints up the middle for about 40 more yards. Don’t throw it to him when he’s covered and about 20 yards down the field, because he’s not a jump ball receiver (I miss you Doc) and can’t really beat a 6 foot or taller defender in the air. Once again, if that same play happens and it’s Emanuel Porter or any of our bigger receivers it’s a catch or at worst a dropped ball. Balls down the field to Turpin have ended up in the other team’s hands so let’s not make it a habit going forward.
The only other thing I want to harp on is ball protection. Shaun Nixon made a huge play for the Frogs, but he almost lost it when he fumbled the ball. Luckily it went out of bounds and the Frogs got to keep driving down the field. Later in the game, Patrick Morris had a bad snap to Kenny on Arkansas’ goal line and the other team came up with the ball. We can’t make these mistakes if we really want to contend with the top teams in the conference this year. We could be one of those teams, but we have to play as clean a game as possible going forward. Other than those two things though, I like what I saw in this one.
The Battle For the Iron Skillet is Next:
It’s always good to keep your head on a swivel for this rivalry game. Is SMU relevant? No not really, but this game is more than relevant for them. They could go 1-11, but if that one win is against us then the season would be a success. I’m sure Patterson is keeping the team angry and ready to compete against any team. Let’s hope we don’t sleep on the Mustangs and keep the hype train going full steam ahead next week. I still have a weird feeling Courtland Sutton of the Mustangs is going to give us trouble... but I’ll let future Mason worry about that.
Play of the Game:
This was the easiest part of this article. It wasn’t the winning play, and it wasn’t even when Arkansas’ kicker missed a chip in FG (THE KARMA), but it was the play that really sucked the last bit of air out of the stadium. I believe it was Innis Gaines that delivered the big hit on the Arkansas returner resulting in a fumble, so everyone give him a tip of the cap. Also this play deserves recognition because it was when the entire room that I was in went, “OOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH” in perfect unison.
Another shout out to Kyle Hicks and his great TD celebration where he trolls the Hogs and calls the Frogs instead. It wasn’t super flashy AND DEF WASN’T A THROAT SLASH, but it was a good act of showmanship and I appreciate those things. Anyways, this was fun, onto SMU.