It wasn’t pretty, but TCU got their first home win of the season today winning 34-18 against Texas Tech, moving to a 3-3 record on the year.
I’m not sure what it is, but TCU seems to have a knack for playing in some of the weirdest, most peculiar college football games across the country week in and week out.
Neither team had much to play for coming into this matchup, having three conference losses will do that to you, but it sure made for some entertaining football. The game started out rough — and I mean really, really rough.
After the first eight drives of the game, TCU and Texas Tech had combined for only 35 yards and one first down; talk about sloppy play. Even though there were 35 combined yards, Tech had only -1 yards after their first four offensive drives thanks to a dominating performance from the Horned Frog defense. Colombi and the Texas Tech offense struggled to get anything going early on as the Frogs defensive line did a fantastic job of collapsing the pocket and keeping the pressure on the newly 1st string QB.
The Frogs defense was putting the pressure on early, accumulating three sacks after Tech’s first two drives. Linebacker Ochaun Mathis had himself a day with three individual sacks in the first half alone.
Other than a solid defensive outing for the Frogs, the officiating stole the show with numerous questionable calls. For example, does anyone really know what happened in the 2nd quarter? I’m convinced not even the refs knew what was going on. With around 4:30 remaining in the 1st half, TCU threw an incomplete screen pass that was later called as a backwards pass recovered by Texas Tech… even though a TCU player scooped up the ball. After discussing the call for what felt like hours, the refs came out to deliver the most mumbo jumbo speech I’ve heard in awhile. “It’ll be fourth, no wait third down, from the 16, no 11 yard line,” said the ref.
Got to love Big 12 officiating am I right folks?
Another instance occurred in the 4th quarter when Taye Barber caught a short pass to convert a 3rd and 5, but was penalized for “offensive facemask” due to his gnarly stiffarm. Again, not sure what the officials were thinking on that one.
Offensively, not much has changed for TCU compared to previous weeks. Yet again, the Frogs ran more screen passes in this game than the entire country combined — or at least that’s how it feels watching all these check-down throws. Duggan didn’t have the best day through the air, throwing for only 28 yards and an interception in the 1st half and finishing the day with only 73 passing yards. Where Duggan lacked in the air, he made up for it on the ground running for 154 yards and three touchdowns on 19 attempts, including an 81 yard touchdown in the 4th quarter to call game.
Things started to heat up a bit towards the end of the first half. Both teams finished with a combined 10 first downs after only gaining one in the first eight drives of the game. Even though the Red Raider offense eventually started producing some yardage, they never got in great scoring position. Their only touchdowns came from a 57 yard bomb downfield and a 60 yard pass that the cornerback had tripped himself on, allowing for the easy score. Early in the 3rd quarter, Tech had a 4th and 3 from their own 8 yard line and decided to go for it, though the TCU defense came up huge with the stop. I’m sure coach Wells is wishing he had that one back.
Possibly the best unit on the field today was TCU’s punt team. They had one blocked punt and gave up -12 punt return yards; a perfect outing from a special teams standpoint.
Even though the Frogs came up with the win, the most frustrating aspect of today’s game was the inability to capitalize off phenomenal field position. On two occasions TCU began a drive within their opponents 25 yard line. After both drives, the Frogs came up with 3 points from a field goal, and had one blocked on the second go around.
Defensively, there are a lot of positives to take away from today’s game. Offensively, we learned that the Frogs are still all over the place and are yet to find their true offensive identity. A win is a win nonetheless, now the Frogs can look ahead to West Virginia next week.