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TCU Football vs Kansas: Keys to Victory

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There’s no way the Horned Frogs lose back to back games to SMU and Kansas, right? RIGHT?!

TCU vs SMU Football | Fort Worth, TX | September 21, 2019
We need a lot more Darius Anderson celebrations to get a win Saturday.
Melissa Triebwasser

Turn the page. The Frogs couldn’t afford to get too high after the Purdue win (but they did) and now they can’t afford to get too low after losing to SMU. Kansas comes to town to open Big 12 play, and after losing to the Jayhawks in Lawrence a season ago, there’s a rare revenge angle to the showdown.

Going 2-2 on the season would suck, but back to back losses to SMU and Kansas could be season-enders. How can the Frogs get back on track? Let’s look at some keys.

Shouldn’t have to be defensive about the defensive line:

This unit is so talent. Like, insanely talented. With Ross Blacklock and Corey Bethley anchoring the interior, you and I, dear reader, could average a sack a game apiece. I mean, when you watch the games, those two dudes are basically being blocked by the entire offensive line, a GA, and the mascot! And yet, the D Line has combined for...

... zero sacks.

ZERO.

SACKS.

For his part, Blacklock has two - one in each of the first two games. But how in the ever-loving hell have the combination of Ochaun Mathis, Shameik Blackshear, Parker Workman, et all failed to record even a single, solitary QB sack?

It’s frankly preposterous.

Gary Patterson’s defenses have been at their best when they can get in the backfield with the rush, and that has been MIA in 2019. That means relying on blitzes and specials to pressure opposing passers, which means more work for a young, inexperienced secondary, and more linebackers chasing plays big yards down the field.

If the Frogs want to beat Kansas Saturday, they better get the Jayhawks behind the chains, and it ought to come from the guys charged with pressuring the QB.

Get whatever QB in a rhythm early

Mike Collins is supposedly a candidate to play Saturday, and I am not sure if that is supposed to make us feel better or worse. Whoever the TCU coaching staff decides to trot out, though, one thing is clear - they have to get the quarterback into a groove before halftime and find a way for that guy to make some plays and get the offense on the right track.

If Max is still the man, which I fully expect, then the recipe is clear - get the ball out of his hands quickly by giving him short throws to his first option. Quit throwing the ball to Jalen Reagor behind the line os scrimmage and try to hit him on some screens or curl routes. This offense doesn’t need to be big play or bust, it just needs to move the ball through the air enough to keep defenses honest will Jet and Sewo combine for 250 yards a game.

I get so emotional baby:

Gary Patterson admitted that his team wasn’t exactly fired up for last Saturday’s game against SMU, an annual meeting that hasn’t seemed to mean much to the Frogs for a long while. It ended up costing them big this meeting, as the Ponies jumped on top of a flat Frogs’ team and never looked back, talented enough to hold on to their early lead.

Well, if the thought of losing back to back games to SMU and Kansas isn’t enough to ensure TCU comes out with their hair on fire Saturday, I don’t know what will do the trick.

TCU was ready to play in the opener. They were out to prove a point at Purdue.

And they disappeared against SMU.

This is a talented team, but not the kind of talent that can show up at kick-off and turn it on in a way to win weekly. They need to prepare and practice like this is a season-defining game, because it very well could be.

Where’s the love?

Whatever is or isn’t going on within the coaching staff, they better have it figured out Saturday. The weird sending of Cumbie to the podium, the back-tracking, the calling out fans... it’s all been very uncharacteristic of what we have seen out of this program through the years.

There’s nothing wrong with accountability, and there have been coaching mistakes made, certainly. But if Patterson is saying he’s going to have a bigger say, and he’s going to make his OC accountable, well, then... it’s time to see the needle move in a positive direction.

Frankly, it does not matter one iota what we, the fans, think when it comes to who plays quarterback or what the play calls are. But it matters a heck of a lot what the coaching staff thinks about those decisions behind closed doors.

It’s time for GP’s staff to get on the same page and execute a game plan they ALL believe in.

Otherwise, last Saturday is going to end up just being the tip of a very sad iceberg.

A lot can be remedied by winning, so go get a win, Frogs.