The Frogs do well when they win the turnover battle - and they dominated Baylor in that category Saturday.
TCU had its best performance in terms of turnovers on Saturday since the team’s season opening 55-7 win over Southern on Sept. 1, matching that day’s mark of 3-0 in the turnover battle. The Horned Frogs wasted no time in getting the party started as Ben Banogu stripped the ball from running back John Lovett on the second snap of the game before it was recovered by Markell Simmons. TCU recovered a second fumble -- a far more critical turnover -- in the second quarter when Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer lost the football in the red zone before it was recovered by Corey Bethley.
TCU’s third and final forced turnover of the day came early in the third quarter when freshman defensive back Trevon Moehrig-Woodard intercepted Brewer, pressured on a shot deep down-field. The Horned Frogs have won the turnover battle in two of their past three games after falling as low for a tie for last place in turnover margin among all Power 5 programs at the end of October.
The Mule made the most of his shot when the Frogs needed it the most.
Muehlstein has waited patiently for his turn and didn’t disappoint against the Bears. He took care of the ball and managed the offense well enough to get a win.
Asked his thoughts when Collins went down, Muehlstein said: “My heart rate picked up a little bit. I was like, ‘All right, well, I’ve got to go step up. I was ready, mentally focused, ready to take control if I had to.
“I’ve been here for awhile. I’ve been in the program. I know offense pretty well. I’ve been doing it for five years, so I guess when you go in you don’t even think about it.”
TCU’s injuries have created stories for guys who may not otherwise have seen the field.
“My dad is big on anything that you’re willing to put in the work, you can achieve,” Cole said. “He firmly believes that. He preaches don’t listen to the critics. If you believe in yourself, you can accomplish that. I’ve just kind of stuck to that, believed in myself throughout the process. Just kept my head down and kept working.”
If Cole wants to try and further his playing career as a professional after the season, his dad wouldn’t stop him.
Jeff Novak knows what it takes to make it in the NFL and his son has the frame to put on even more weight if a team feels he could slide into an O-line position. Plus, Cole is still new enough to the game where teams could view him as an intriguing developmental piece.
“My message is to keep dreaming,” Jeff said. “He wants to get ready for his pro day and he wants to run well. With his story and not playing in high school, his football IQ is so green and he’s so inexperienced that you don’t know what the ceiling is.
This is the first truly big game of the Matt Rhule era. This is his first time on a Baylor sideline with stakes this high. Time to show us what you got for real. The crowd is going to be bananas for this game - Matt Rhule bought himself that trust with a great win over a good team on Homecoming - but he can lose that energy again with a second poor performance in The Revivalry. Mental breakdowns cost us the Iowa State game, everything from red zone penalties to missed field goals to an on field brawl to a confrontation with a referee. That can’t happen Saturday. Saturday will tell us whether or not Baylor - and Coach Matt Rhule - have what it takes to do what it takes when backs are against the wall and s**t gets tight.