It was an impressive performance from all three phases of the game Saturday, as TCU Football delivered their fifth win in the last six tries against their in-state rivals. Let’s look at some of the game’s standout players.
After a couple of tough games, Jeff Gladney reminded us why he’s one of the conference’s — and country’s — best cover corners. Sure, the Longhorns had a few completions against the senior on the day, but when TCU needed a big play, Gladney delivered. Eight tackles and three PBU’s certainly made an impact for the defense.
Mor Tre Please:
The sophomore safety continues to show why Gary Patterson had so many good things to say about him in the offseason, as he delivered another big day as part of a secondary that tortured Sam Ehlinger all afternoon. Moehrig’s four tackles, two pass break-ups, and a beautiful interception tell just part of the story of the impact he had on Saturday’s game.
But, just look at this pick!
After the game, Moehrig said he thought Ehlinger was going to throw the ball out of bounds. Maybe he tried, but it didn’t work out.
Take Taye to the Bank:
Welcome back, Taye Barber! The Frogs’ speedy slot receiver reminded folks why he is talked about as such a difference maker for the offense. It’s really hard to double and triple cover Jalen Reagor when you have someone with the wheels that Barber has lining up on the opposite side of him — and when Texas chose to shift coverage to Reag’s side, Barber took full advantage.
Despite playing limited game snaps this season, Barber has developed a really great chemistry with quarterback Max Duggan, who targeted the sophomore receiver seven times on the day. That resulted in five catches for 94 yards, including two spectacular grabs.
One went for 51 yards in the first quarter to set up a Sewo Olonilua run, while the second helped salt the game away for the Horned Frogs. When Max and TCU needed a big play, he went to the day’s favorite target, and Taye rewarded him with a hell of a play:
More of that, please.
College Kickers. COLLEGE KICKERS!:
It’s been a tough run for TCU kickers since the graduation of Jaden Oberkrom, as the Frogs have struggled to find a reliable leg from just about any distance on the field.
Well, in 2019, they might have two.
Jonathan Song had another solid outing, as he made both of his attempts (32 and 33 yards) and all of his extra point attempts. That makes him 13-14 on the season. Meanwhile, freshman walk-on Griffin Kell gave us hope for the future, nailing a deep ball from 52 yards out as time expired in the first half — after missing from the same spot and being bailed out by a Tom Herman time out.
He was pretty fired up:
Kell has been really solid on kick-offs this season, and could be the heir apparent to senior Song. Looks like TCU special teams is in good hands — and feet — going forward.
Cumbie Calls Game:
Let’s give it up for the Frogs’ much-maligned play-caller, who finally took the training wheels off his freshman QB and called a final drive that was playing to win, not to not lose.
Cumbie has struggled in 2019, vacillating between quarterbacks (at the behest of his boss), relying on a boring, vanilla offense that wouldn’t fool the JV team, and failing to find ways to get his best players involved.
On Saturday against Texas, he did two things — one, recognize a weakness in an opponent and attack it, and two, make effective halftime adjustments while keeping the foot on the gas.
It wasn’t a perfect game by any stretch; how Darius Anderson only has nine touches in the run game, I’ll never understand — but the final few drives were what we have been waiting for the last two years.
The Frogs passed on early downs, called aggressive plays early and often, and weren’t afraid to air it out. They allowed Max to make decisions, and didn’t change the game plan when he made a mistake.
Oddly, that worked:
TCU EARLY DOWNS RUSH RATE VS TEXAS:— parker fleming (@statsowar) October 27, 2019
1st Half: 65.5%, 13 points scored
2nd Half: 52.17%, 24 points scored
Now that he’s got a full complement of playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, hopefully this is a sign of things to come.
Who get your game balls for Saturday? Let us know in the comments!