Fort Worth, TX - It wasn’t pretty, but TCU is 1-0 after a 39-7 win over Arkansas Pine Bluff.
Seven fumbles highlighted TCU’s effort on Saturday night, as the Frogs struggled to hold on to the ball all night.
The big storyline coming into the night was whether or not a quarterback would separate himself with on-field play. After game 1, it seems like we’re inching toward an answer.
Alex Delton started the game as planned, but his timing looked off most of the night. He missed a touchdown pass to Tre’vontae Hights throwing behind him, and he underthrew most of his passes downfield.
Overall Delton struggled on the night. He missed on a few big throws, took two sacks, and never looked completely comfortable. He did impress with his legs, though, rushing for 67 yards including a 54-yard designed run to open the second half, putting TCU in the red zone.
Meanwhile, Max Duggan flashed a laser rocket arm, albeit a slightly wild one at times. For now we can chalk it up to nerves. Overall he looked good, completed 16 of 23 passes for 165 yards and a touchdown.
Duggan really started slinging it in the second half. including a beautiful dime to Jalen Reagor for a 37-yard touchdown.
Duggan didn’t flash the same ground threat that Delton did, and he definitely had his freshman moments. A ball slipped out of his hand as he scrambled to the left, and fortunately rolled out of bounds. He also had a few off target throws, some drastically off. But for the most part it seemed like Duggan played a better game than Delton.
That being said, we’re probably a long way off from having a definitive No. 1 guy.
Back to the fumbles for a moment. Three came from muffed punts, and all were dropped by Jalen Reagor. Reagor is electric, but this performance will no doubt have people asking whether he should be back there or not. There were already going to be questions about whether you put such a valuable guy in a situation where he’s almost guaranteed to take a hit, and this will add to that.
Reagor finished with five catches for 71 yards, and he had plenty of help at wideout tonight. Tre’vontae Hights, who entered the game with six career catches, had eight receptions for 108 yards to lead all receivers. Derius Davis had four catches, and Tevailance Hunt had three catches for 61 yards.
Defensively, TCU swarmed Pine Bluff, led by Garret Wallow with 13 total tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss. Ochaun Mathis finished with seven total tackles and 2.5 tackles for loss, as he flashed why people around the program have been heaping praise on him since he got on campus.
So the Frogs move to 1-0, but have plenty to work on in the two weeks before they travel to face Purdue. Keep it here, as we’ll have plenty more coverage of TCU’s first win of 2019.