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MMQB: Hooked and Hungover

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TCU finds itself at a crossroads after dropping the big 12 opener in Austin.

TCU v Texas Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

That game was not alright, not alright, not alright. In our Pick ‘em article I predicted that TCU would come out and be the team that was better coached, better motivated, and would bounce back after the loss from Ohio State. I was wrong on just about every front there. We looked sloppy, missed a lot of opportunities, and frankly got kind of embarrassed. I’m not saying we got spanked, but we just looked like everyone wasn’t on the same page.

I’m going to switch it up this week, let’s just jump in right into the bad stuff:

The Bad:

- Losing to Texas. We almost had the 5 year streak complete...it would’ve set the school record for longest winning streak against the University of Texas. Oh well, looks like we are just going to have to win the next 5 in a row.

- Dropped passes. We had a couple of dropped passes that would’ve picked us up first downs, and to be honest I’m a little frustrated with Turp as a receiver this year. It’s recency bias, because I know what he is capable of as a receiver, but he’s had some dropped passes the last 2 games and I need to see him get back in form. I know SR hasn’t been putting them in the basket per se, but they aren’t uncatchable. I believe in you Turp.

- Shawn Robinson’s turnover issues. QB1 had 3 turnovers that he was responsible in this game: 2 picks and a fumble. The first pick was once again a result of him hawk-eyeing his receivers and the DB made a play on the ball after reading Shawn’s eyes. This is something that I’ve pointed out in the past couple of MMQB entries, and he HAS to work on this if he ever wants to reach his ceiling as a passer. He’s got the arm talent for days, I just need to see him take that next level making his reads. The second pick he just didn’t see the safety (at least that’s what it looked like to me) and to be fair it was a good play by the safety. The fumble was probably the biggest momentum killer of the game. It came right after the Horns had missed their second FG of the game and Shawn called his own number but the defender came from behind and knocked the ball loose.

Now I’m not going to rip into a 19/20 year old amateur athlete, because I try to be better than that, but this was a bad game from Shawn. I don’t know if Texas just game planned really well for us or if we just executed very poorly. They made our running backs almost a non factor, and forced number 3 into making costly mistakes. Hats off to them there. It is also worth noting that he is only a true sophomore and has started 5 games in his career. He’s not a finished product yet, and has plenty of time left to develop, so hold off on the eject button just yet. This is the first time since the 2007 Andy Dalton season that the Frogs went into a season planning to start an underclassmen under center. Take a deep breath, and trust the coaching staff. The tools are all there, we’ve just got to see Shawn Robinson put them all together.

- The luck of the schedule - something that is worth noting is that with the Ohio State game being at AT&T stadium in Arlington, the Frogs have not played a legit home game since the season opener. Four full weeks will have gone by when TCU takes the field against Iowa State, and I do believe that this had a bit of a factor in our performance. A team typically builds its confidence and rhythm at home. That’s where 99% of teams are more comfortable playing and as a result tend to win more. I know I’m not shattering any pre-conceived notions by saying this, but it is worth taking a look back at TCU’s schedule:

  • Southern at home
  • On the road at SMU (in a thunderstorm)
  • In Jerry world against Ohio State with 70% of Ohio State fans in the stands
  • On the road in Austin to face the Longhorns for the conference opener.

I don’t think we’ve established our rhythm on offense yet, because how could we? I’m not trying to make excuses, but I think once we hit this next stretch of games is where we will really see what type of team this is. I thought at the beginning of the season we were a 9-3 type team. After this game against UT we looked closer to a 6-6 team. I can see us going on a 2016 USC like run where once we hit our rhythm and find our identity on offense, we just go on a tear. I can also see us going 2016 TCU and losing some heartbreakers and getting blown out because of self inflicted wounds. Only time will tell.

- Last thing, the turnover drought. It’s been 2 games now since the TCU defense has forced a turnover. We’re going to need to get something up in that column if we want to stay around in those close games.

The Good:

Well let me see...I liked our uniform combo? Although with the way that we played, I doubt that we’re going to see that combo brought back.

The team didn’t give me much to work with in this category, but I did like the speed that our defensive ends played with in this one. I know we haven’t seen a lot pop up in the sack category this season for Banogu, but he’s now being game planned for and double teamed on a lot of snaps. We’re going to need big plays from other members of the D-line and I liked what I saw from Collier in this one. He got pressure consistently when the UT offensive line was worn down late in the game.

Play of the game:

Again there wasn’t a ton to work with here, but I did enjoy the return of the face route when in the red zone (and by enjoy I mean I did not like it, but it worked so what do I know). I present to you........the return of the fade route:

Up Next: revenge game

I don’t care that we came out sloppy last game. It’s on to the next one, and this is one that I want us to win by 3 scores at MINIMUM. I’m still bitter about losing to Iowa State in a heartbreaker last year...so let’s run them out of the building when they come to town. This is an Iowa State team that gave OU a scare just a couple of weeks ago, so let’s not sleep on them. I don’t want to see the Frogs drop to 2-3, but now is the time to prove what kind of team this is. There’s only one way out of this hole, and this team is going to have to crawl it’s way out.

- On to the next one.