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MMQB: Guns Down, Frogs Up

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The game ended up being very tight, but the Frogs escaped Lubbock with a win

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 16 TCU at Texas Tech Photo by Travis Tustin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Hello win column! It feels like it’s been some time since I have last gotten to say that. At this point, a win is a win and any Frog fan that is unhappy with that - well I truly don’t know what else to say other than...what team have you been watching all year?

It ended up being very close near the end and the two teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter, but a Jonathan Song go ahead field goal ended up being the winning play on the day.

Let’s jump into it:

The Good:

-Jonathan Song, automatic - Legatron himself had nerves of steel all day long. Song went 4/4 on the day, was responsible for all of TCU’s points in the second half, and to be frank every time he went up to kick from within 40 yards - I was like “we got this”. It’s been a long time since we last had a kicker have a consistent season like this where I’m not stressed when we trot somebody out there.

-Sonny Cumbie, first quarter wizard - This is not me saying we don’t need a new playcaller, and this is also not me saying that Sonny should be fired. Cumbie called a great first quarter, and was aided by some lucky breaks. Duggan kept the opening drive alive with a couple of scrambles (including one for a TD) then we got good field position out of an interception, and then we strung together a solid 83 yard drive to close out the quarter.

This was the best called quarter of the season for Cumbie, which netted the Frogs 17 points - and it even carried over into the first part of the second quarter where he called a play action pass that Max was able to uncork to Reagor for 72 yards and another TD.

The rest of the game was a bit inconsistent, but we’ll talk about that more later.

-Here is your weekly Ross Blacklock appreciation sentence

-Taye Barber - The Sophomore had himself a career day. Finishing with 8 receptions for 137 yards, one of which included an absolute gorgeous haul in for 43 yards. Barber has appeared to get better and better as the season has gone along. Now that he appears to be consistently healthy, he has shown that he can be a solid number 2 WR if not the 1B to Reagor’s 1A.

-Max Duggan, running man - This pretty much speaks for itself, Mad Max has been playing hard and making big plays with his legs. He has such underrated speed, and he made some clutch runs on 3rd down all throughout the game to keep drives alive/called his own number for a touchdown.

-Jalen Reagor getting early touches - While he only had 3 receptions (one of which was a monster grab) it was good to see us get Reagor the ball before the 4th quarter this time. That’s it. That’s the analysis.

The Bad:

-The third quarter - The Frogs let Tech back in the game after leading 27-16 at half, and allowed the Red Raiders to shut us out on offense while scoring 12 unanswered points and leaving our defense a little confused. Jeff Gladney got ejected for what was pretty clearly targeting, and the field seemed to get a lot more open for the Tech receivers from then on.

We also had a handful of offsides penalties called on us, but I also have to give credit where it is due, Jett Duffey (the TTU QB) came alive in the second half. His mobility gave us fits last year and this year was only slightly worse. He had a couple of magician/Jedi Master like escapes and it was truly frustrating to watch. He bought the time necessary for his receivers to get open - and then he hit them in the numbers. That being said, had he converted one of the two point conversion attempts on the day, this could very well be a totally different column.

-Defensive miscommunications/breakdowns - I touched on them a little bit above, but we looked slightly lost at times. Specifically our secondary in the second half after Gladney got ejected. Julius Lewis got burned once for a huge TD, we left someone completely open later in the 3rd quarter for an easy TD pass, and while you can’t be perfect every game - it really is atypical of a TCU defense to get burned like that multiple times a game.

Hopefully Gladney’s absence for the first half of the OU game isn’t make or break for our defense (YIKES).

-Give Darius Anderson the ball more - I don’t need to elaborate here.

The Rational Quarterback Analysis Manifesto

Well this one is truly a tale of two halves. We didn’t score a single touchdown in the second half, but we scored 3 all in the first. It wasn’t as if we couldn’t move the ball in the second half - in fact we got into Tech territory pretty easily on several drives, we just could turn those drives into touchdowns.

At this point in the season Duggan is showing us more and more that he’s going to be QB1 going forward - making plays with his legs, getting better with his arm, and developing clearly better chemistry with his receivers. I’m excited to see what he does next year with a whole offseason as the presumed starter.

Now, would he still benefit from a new play caller? Probably. I think Cumbie did an actually pretty good job in this one, but penalties/miscommunications/dropped passes really aided to the stalling out of several drives in the second half. I hope this is a trend closer to what Cumbie can do instead of him peaking, but only time will tell. These next two games are going to be watched under a microscope by a lot of people. If Cumbie calls a good game and keeps us in the fight in Norman and then has a good day against WVU, then he’ll most certainly be around calling plays next year. A lot of that is predicated on how we execute in those 2 games so you all know how it goes. You can’t scheme up a TD pass if the WR drops the pass.

Not much to dive into here really, but Duggan is trending up and if Cumbie could quadruple his performance in the first quarter going forward - that’d be great.

Play of the Game

I was between this one and Duggan’s opening drive third down run, but I have to give it to the man that had himself a career day. Taye Barber went down the field, covered by a Tech defender, saw the ball get tipped for a half second, and still had the concentration to bring it down.

Next week: Norman at Night

Oh boy, this one has the chance to get ugly really fast, but we need to throw everything at this game. There are 2 games left in the season and we HAVE to win at least one if we want to make a bowl game.

Hold me Gary, I’m scared.

Go Frogs!