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Mailbag: Answering your questions for week 4

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We opened up the mailbag yet again for the 2019 season, and we answered!

NCAA Football: Texas Christian at Purdue Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports

It’s week four in college football and game three for the Horned Frogs! Mason is back to answer all your questions about playing SMU, what TCU did right (and wrong) against Purdue, and who holds the keys to this season’s success.

Changing nothing at Purdue except reversing rushing and passing yardage, and I think everyone would be ecstatic. Why is that?

Hmmm, so we have a total of about 300 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. I agree, people would be incredibly excited seeing that for a couple of reasons:

1) Assuming that Duggan is the QB that amasses these numbers, the biggest question going into the season is now answered. We would have “the guy” and we could all stop bickering about it on the internet.

2) Quarterback is the most important position in sports.

3) In the big 12 it is very “on brand” for a team to have a high powered offense and be able to score points. It is a lot harder to do that and keep up with teams such as Oklahoma when you aren’t able to score at least 42 points on them.

The biggest thing here is that we are really all just waiting on one QB to really out perform the others and announce himself as the guy. A lot of the fanbase is starving for it, and I don’t blame them. We haven’t had any consistency there since Mason “QB hall of famer” Kenny Hill graduated at the end of the 2017 season. That being said, I still think we can put up 30+ points a game with this O-line and running game performing as it is.

If his nerves settle over time will Duggan throw with more touch? How long does it take a freshman quarterback to learn that finesse?

Well I’m hoping with a couple more games under his belt (and maybe an actual start or two) he’ll learn that not every throw has to be a 100 mph fast ball. I think the best thing that we can hope for this year is that he goes through his progressions and by the end of the season he is showing some sort of growth in this touch. I don’t really think it’s very possible to vastly improve one’s touch on throwing the football midseason, what with all of the game planning, two a days, etc. I think this offseason is when he’s really going to have to take the time to make those improvements. That doesn’t mean we won’t see the occasional floater from time to time, I’m just saying don’t bet on vast improvement by end of the season.

In terms of how long does it take a freshman QB to learn that kind of stuff...I’m not too sure, I’m going to give a cop out answer and say it really all depends on the skill of said quarterback. Could be one offseason, could be two, or they could never develop that type of finesse.

AM games vs PM games?

If you put a gun to my head and I absolutely have to choose one, I would probably end up saying PM - if we are strictly talking about TCU, which is in the middle of north Texas and tends to be in the 80’s/90’s for 2/3rds of the season...so at least by the 4th quarter of 2:30pm kickoff games the sun is almost going down.

My real answer though would be in totally depends on who we are playing. For example, I am not crazy about playing FCS schools at night time - while yes the more night time games the better and they typically come with better attendance, etc - the reason why is because my whole day is now planned around this event since I can’t miss watching the Frogs at home. If we are playing someone like OU, UT, or a very high quality opponent then sign me ALL the way up for a nighttime or even 2:30pm kickoff. The most fun atmosphere I have ever been a part of at Amon G. Carter stadium was without a doubt the night game we had against Kansas State (ranked #7 at the time) back in 2014. It was a blackout game, we were at the height of playing very well, and the whole crowd was in to it.

Now on the other hand if we are playing someone that I feel relatively confident that we will beat I would prefer to have an 11am kickoff time. I can shotgun a pumpkin spice latte in the morning and make it to my seats by kickoff time if that means I have the freedom the rest of the day to do whatever. I’m not saying my day is more important than TCU football, but it’s nice to have that flexibility. I may want to go to Buff Bros after and watch the other good games, I may want to take a nap, watch the other games, drink some whiteclaws - and it helps that I don’t miss any of the 2:30pm or later games that have potential to be really good because I am supporting the Frogs. I suppose that is what a DVR is for, but you all get the picture I’m trying to paint here. AM is nice because it means we get to do other things with the rest of our days.

Railhead vs Riff Ram BBQ?

Heim.

But I do have respect for Railhead.

How does TCU get a big name non-conference game at Amon Carter without JerryWorld stealing it?

By big name non-conference I’m assuming you mean a program on the size of an Ohio State, Michigan, USC, Notre Dame (please yes) Alabama (please no), etc. Of course money will always talk and with us being so close to AT&T stadium it’s going to be difficult for those games to not get vultured away from us when the exposure and monetary gain is so much more if we decide to play there. It’s just a shame that we haven’t had a good team play there since the Andy Dalton years...

I think the way that we get a game like this actually at the Carter is by scheduling it to be later in the season and somehow by coincidence AT&T already has been booked up for that season. Other than that I truly don’t know how we say no to more money and more exposure. As a fan - who wants to have a home game against these programs, and is always interested in road tripping up to the other team’s venue - I get the frustration. Just realistically if that venue wants us to play there I don’t know how we turn that down.

Why do we still play SMU?

Because we can’t have anything nice.

In actuality, this is the one game a year that we have almost nothing to gain other than playing time and bragging rights. It’s not very fair to SMU to say that we shouldn’t play them because they are bad right now (boo hoo I know) since I’m sure they probably would have been saying the same thing about us when we were awful back in the day.

It’s not easy to get excited about SMU and whenever we’re losing to them, even if it is from some fluke way of scoring on their first drive, I just turn into a jar of nails on a train track waiting to get run over. I will say that I do enjoy having some sort of rivalry with a trophy, not every school has that and we do so that at least bumps our program’s clout a bit...even if it doesn’t come close to Paul Bunyan’s Axe.

I’d like to think that someday, SOMEDAY, SMU will become a solid program in the American Athletic Conference and will at least strive to be a 8 win team every year. Of course I hope we beat them every year but at this point we have nothing to gain by playing a perennial 5 win team every year. This year could be different seeing as they already have 3 wins and are looking good in at least 2 of those games.

You truly could ask this question of most rivalries where one side has dominated for so long, but the only thing that makes sense to me in terms of why we play them every year is because of the history and it is an easy excuse for us to play an away game 35 miles up the road.

Now that Sonny has moved down to the sidelines, what has he been seen doing there?

I see a lot, A LOT, of helmet slaps after players do something good/make a play. He’s no Doug Meacham with his sunglasses on, crouching down like a mad scientist ready to call the next double reverse. Truthfully, I don’t entirely know why he decided to move down from the booth - I know for last year’s Ohio State game he was up in a booth but maybe that was just because he wanted to see the whole field.

In terms of what all I have seen him doing there I have kept a list:

-1 visor toss

-38 player helmet slaps

-12 talks with the quarterback

-8 talks with GP (3 of which were while standing next to each other and not facing each other)

-9 drinks of gatorade

-2 hair adjustments from the wind.

All in all, not too exciting, but I do like having him on the sidelines if it means he can communicate with the players easier.

Who has bigger Iron Skillets, SMU or our receiving corp other than Reagor?

Woof. Yes the drops were very bad, and hopefully it is not a sign of things to come. That being said if Duggan lets off the gas just a little bit I think it’ll help make those passes a little more catchable for those guys.

That being said, my answer is hopefully our wide receivers are holding up the biggest Iron Skillet of the day by the end of the 4th quarter.