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MMQB: Down But Far From Out

The Frogs dropped one to Ohio State, but there was a lot to like despite the loss.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Texas Christian Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

I want to start this week’s MMQB off by saying that I’m surprised how quickly I was able to get over that loss. I normally sulk on a loss for a couple of days, mull it over, feel a bit angry to at least Monday morning...but this time not so much. I’m not entirely sure why, but other than the final score there was a lot to like as a Frog fan (there were also a lot of things that caused me headaches), but let’s start with the good:

The Good:

Team speed. The offense looked really fast in this one, especially in the first half. We were playing with some crazy tempo on the first handful of drives. That first drive (that ended in a missed field goal as a result of a TD run that was called back for holding) we were firing on all cylinders. The run game was surprisingly effective, and other than the strip sack in the first quarter, the offensive line was able to match the pace of the play calling w/o looking like they were getting gassed. Our wide receivers were able to get separation and against Ohio State defensive backs that’s something to note. Be on the lookout to see how this passing game evolves over the season. Exciting to see what our offense will look like come November.

I mean Darius Anderson doesn’t belong in the good section, because he belongs in the great section. The 93 yard touchdown run that put TCU ahead 14-10 in the second quarter made me scream like my whole body was engulfed in flames...but in a good way. He also had a nice 16 yard touchdown run later in the game as well. If it weren’t for the hold called on Turpin on our opening offensive possession, number 6 would have gone for a hat trick.

The defense also played with great speed in the first half. I have to give a shout out to the heat seeker himself, Innis Gaines. The man can fly and deliver the boom. Garrett Wallow actually looks like a regular heat seeking missile himself. Every time I saw him on screen, he was flying to the ball, which is just what Gary loves to see. I talked about the TCU WR’s earlier, but oh my for most of the game the TCU DB’s played out of their minds. Disrupting passes, coming off for blitzes, making tackles. They did it all.

Our play calling in the first half was delicious, on both sides of the ball. Other than asking your Sophomore QB in his first big test to throw the ball from inside his own endzone in the first quarter...I really liked what I saw from both Cumbie and of course Patterson.

Shawn Robinson looked electric and he balled out that night. Did he make some mistakes that a young QB is bound to make? Of course he did. It was his first big (like really big) test of his college career - more on that later. He passed for 308 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions, with one being a pick from a D-lineman on a shovel pass. The guy looked comfortable for the most part, despite being in a hostile environment where OSU fans outnumbered TCU fans about 70/30 in Jerry World. Oh ya and I’ve gotten this far into the article without even mentioning the gorgeous touchdown he threw to TreVontae Hights. This is a game that this team can learn from moving forward and we use as a point of reflection of what works well, what doesn’t work, and what absolutely gives other teams nightmares.

Also just going to leave this here:

The Bad

The third quarter, the third quarter, the third quarter. Ugh, we had them in this one and we legit played to their level for almost the entire game. I am loving what I am seeing from Robinson at quarterback, but I think the shovel pass pick is almost indefensible. The only thing I can really say is that in a big game like that and it being his 4th game as a starter, Shawn was trying to force a play that wasn’t there (Sewo Olonilua was covered by 4 defensive lineman) and tried to force it anyways. He’s young, it happens, but please never let anything like that happen again...and I don’t think it will because number 3 knows he messed up there.

I’m not sure if Anderson is nursing some sort of injury, but I don’t know why we didn’t give him the ball more. He looked good on almost every carry that he had - especially that one that he took 93 yards - and to be fair Olonilua looked good too, but I would have liked to see maybe 5 to 6 more handoffs to Anderson. I think it’s just because I haven’t gotten enough of him this season and I just want to see more. I think both of our primary running backs are equally as talented, and serve equally as important uses, but it just looked like Anderson’s break away speed out of the back field was killing the buckeyes in this one.

Again, other than the 3rd quarter (throws up in mouth) and the last Ohio State drive that really just milked the clock away, I thought the Frogs played pretty well. There are more small nits to pick, but I think there was a lot more to enjoy in this game than there was to lament. We matched the level of intensity of one of the deepest teams in college football, and other than Bama, Clemson, or Georgia come November (I’m sorry I’m not going full homer just yet) I think we look like we can hang with just about anyone once things start clicking. This reminds me a bit of the 2014 team. Looked good early on, suffered a loss in the first half of the season and then just kicked absolute ass down the stretch. We just need to find that season defining win.

Play of the Game:

It’s not even a question, this play made everyone in purple go insane.

Next week: Meeting of the Horns

It’s the Big 12 opener in Austin next week, and the Frogs are facing a team that is coming off of back to back wins against Tulsa and a very underachieving USC team. Texas may not be back, but they still could be dangerous. I know how much Gary loves to beat Texas, so let’s hope the Frogs come out angry and mean on Saturday. It’s time to move on to the next one.

-Go Frogs