There are four things that are certain in this life:
3) Me overeating at Heim BBQ
4) Gary Patterson owning the University of Texas football program
After a frustrating loss where TCU was basically trying to play a whole game in the span of two quarters, the Frogs bounced back with a vengeance and “upset” the 9th ranked Texas Longhorns on the road. I put quotation marks around the word upset because as TCU fans, we are obligated to mention that TCU has the best record against Texas in the past 9 years of any Big 12 team.
This game had its highs, its lows, and at times was borderline not fun to watch, but all that matters is that the Frogs won. To get it out of the way, let’s start with the bad this week:
The Defensive Line: Once again the Frogs could not get much of any pressure on the opposing quarterback and in fact finished the day with 0 quarterback sacks. The defensive front went against a solid O-line on Saturday, but I’ve just got this feeling that this weakness on defense is going to get exposed later on during the season and is going to keep TCU’s offense from being able to pull away in games. While it is possible for the D-line to improve (specifically I mean the defensive ends), our secondary played really well and for the most part kept UT’s Sam Ehlinger from having a great day (number of TD passes be damned).
While there was little pressure on the opposing QB, the defensive line wasn’t without plays. After all, Corey Bethley was the only player that saw the ball pop out at the one yard line and quickly fell on it to give TCU the ball back with a little over two and a half minutes left in the game. From there the Frogs got a first down and were able to ice the contest.
Team Penalties: 14 penalties for one hundred and nine yards (!!!) is the penalty line stats that you would expect to see at a pee wee 7on7 game. I have no other word to use for it other than terrible. I wish I had the exact breakdown on the penalty stats and how many of which were specifically on the offensive line, but we had what felt like so many drives get killed due to a holding, false start, illegal formation, etc.
While the section is titled “team penalties” it could really be titled “Offensive line discipline” because man they were out of sync. They held together enough to let Max make plays, which is probably what they are going to look like the entire season. We’re not going to beat many good teams with that many self inflicted wounds.
Griffin Kell: The Sophomore kicker went 4/4 on the day drilling FG’s from the following distances: 27 yards, 28 yards, 32 yards, and 49 yards out. We all know how questionable college kickers can be so it’s good to know that we have one that can boot it while under pressure.
Wide receivers: No single wide receiver absolutely DOMINATED today, but it felt like almost all of them made plays. Barber made a couple great cuts, led the team with 7 catches and sealed the victory for TCU by using his speed to get the first down on a jet sweep on 3rd and 7. Blair Conwright caught an absolute beauty of a dime from Max Duggan and continues to make plays. JD Spielman only recorded one catch, but also had two recorded rushes and was a big contributor on special teams. Of course I have to mention...
Quentin Johnston is a DUDE: The true freshman hauled in 3 catches for 70 yards, one of which was a beautiful deep ball from Max, and he is out here establishing himself as maybe the best receiver on the team. While it is not a huge sample size, he has shown that he is able to make plays in any game no matter who is on him. Like I said last week, he is approaching my “Ross Blacklock zone” of he can do no wrong.
Max Duggan, certified tough guy: While he did not record a TD through the air on Saturday he did record two touchdowns on the ground, and he would have had a third if he hadn’t stepped out of bounds at the one in the first quarter. Despite a at times volatile offensive line, Max absolutely cooked today. He got hit and knocked down time after time but he stayed in the game and made plays.
The guy is maybe the toughest SOB I’ve ever seen play quarterback for TCU, and I pray PRAY that he gets better pass protection. The RB’s made plays too and helped take some pressure on him, but the biggest plays of the day on offense were all because of him. He’s shown a ton of progress since last year and that’s without a ton of offseason practice.
With Meacham calling plays and Max being set up for success way more this year than last year, it does make me feel like we can compete with the better teams in the conference. I know we just knocked off number 9 ranked Texas, but even bad TCU teams beat Texas.
Play of the week:
You all have seen the Max Duggan QB keeper for the go ahead score late in the 4th, so I am going to choose a different one. The play that won TCU the game was the stop at the one yard line, where after giving up a big play in coverage right before, Garrett Wallow came in and knocked the ball out of Keaontay Ingram’s hands that led to Corey Bethley hopping on the ball and keeping Texas from retaking the lead near the end of the game. This one saved my temples from going grey.
HOW DO YOU FUMBLE RIGHT HERE?!?! pic.twitter.com/lsq17cPG83— Cover 3 Podcast (@Cover3Podcast) October 3, 2020
Next Week: Purple vs Purple
This team feels a lot like the team I thought we would have in 2018. A young team that would be capable of making big plays, but would also have to grow through some frustrations. While the season is far from over and I am nowhere near writing TCU in to win the conference title... this weekend did feel like a coming out party for the 2020 TCU Horned Frogs. We’ll just have to wait and see until next week when quite possibly the best coached team in college football comes to town.
The Kansas State Wildcats are 2-0 in Big 12 play including wins over Oklahoma and Texas Tech. Absolutely do not fall asleep on Chris Klieman’s team or it will come back to bite you.