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MMQB: Run Max Run

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The Frogs dominate the ground game en route to another Big 12 win.

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas Christian Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

Max Duggan you beautiful bastard. MAD MAX INDEED.

When things weren’t working through the air (for a multitude of reasons) he called his own number time and time again, and sure enough he took over the game on the ground and led TCU to victory. You could say he ran away with the victory (please hold your boos).

In a year where we are still not sure if the Frogs could sustain back to back wins, they pulled this one out, and while it wasn’t always pretty I’ll take a win over a loss.

The Good:

-Max Duggan, certified INSANE person: While the passing game wasn’t working, and the offense seemed borderline...constipated at times, almost all of our big plays came on quarterback runs from Max Duggan. A 48 yard run and an 81 yard run from QB1 resulted in touchdowns. He finished his day with 3 rushing touchdowns for 154 yards on the ground - which would be an even higher number if he was not sacked three times on the day as well.

If he can get his passing back on track, he’s the epitome of a true dual threat quarterback. He’s got “mom’s coming home and I haven’t done any chores” speed, and if we can get him some help in pass protection, his ceiling continues to climb!

To accurately describe my feelings about Max Duggan, I would like to take a page from the film “Gladiator”

My name is Maximus Duggan Meridius, commander of the Frogs of the South,

General of the TCU offense and loyal servant to the true emperor, Gary Patterson.

Father to a Texas Tech linebacker.

Husband to the game of football.

And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

Max all of us will ride into the very gates of hell for you. Okay maybe not all of us, but I FOR SURE will.

-Zach Evans, human battering ram: Okay first thing’s first, get this man a tighter helmet. Second thing, when the offensive line lets Evans get out in space he is one tough guy to bring down. When his helmet popped off for the second time in the game and he got whacked in the face by a Texas Tech player’s helmet, he was on his way to carrying an entire huddle of opposing players into the endzone with him. Last week he showed off his elite acceleration and this week he showed off his strong legs and ability to not go down. He didn’t have the yards per carry that we want to see, but he just needs that one crease to break one loose (similar to what his quarterback got on the day).

-Darwin Barlow continues to produce: Tech was able to tee off on a lot of our runs out of the backfield, so the run game didn’t break off a ton of chunk runs, but Barlow was able to rip off a 22 yard run to get TCU out of its own red zone and allowed TCU to then string together a sustainable drive all the way into the Texas Tech endzone. As I mentioned last week, I think there is a spot for every back on the roster to get playing time, but Evans and Barlow should be the featured two going forward.

-Quentin Johnston once again: As I mentioned earlier, the passing game wasn’t really going on the day, but we still found a way to get QJ (and our other playmakers the ball) involved, setting him up to score on a great end around call in the red zone.

-The Ochaun Mathis game: All this season and last season TCU fans have been waiting for the game where Mathis begins to show himself and take that next step/meet the high expectations that we have for him, and on Saturday he made a statement. He finished the day with 6 total tackles, and 3 sacks - all of which came in the first half. He abused the Texas Tech offensive tackle early on, and when he wasn’t getting a sack himself, he was helping set up the rest of the team get pressure on the Tech QB. It’s nice to control the line of scrimmage in back to back games!

-Trevon Moehrig and Dee Winters: At this point there is not much more that I can say about these two that hasn’t already been said. What I will say is that they are both very good at football. That is it.

-TCU Special Teams: Last but not least I couldn’t leave out how important TCU’s special teams were on the day. Whether or not the TCU offense capitalized on the opportunities given to them by the special teams unit, the Frogs started more drives within Texas Tech territory than in their own, thanks to solid returns by Derius Davis as well as a blocked punt by the punt return unit. The only negative thing that happened to this unit was a missed kick by Griffin Kell that was the result of a block.

The Bad:

-TCU Defense is still giving up big plays: For almost all of the game. the TCU defense played so so so so SO well, and let Texas Tech shoot itself in the foot with ineffective screen pass after screen pass. But both of Tech’s touchdowns in this game happened when the corner got beat one on one (and fell down both times) to give up long touchdowns to keep Tech in the game. The Frogs also got really lucky on a deep ball drop that would’ve taken it to a two point game had the ball not gone through the opposing wide receiver’s hands.

Look most teams are going to score on us, and the TCU offense for sure needs to do a better job of helping out the defense (BY SCORING MORE POINTS) but giving up only 18 points is not something to just shrug off. It was impressive, especially considering that 12 of those came on two plays. Now imagine if those two plays never happened (editor’s note: and they might not have if they Frogs had their first or second string CB available)!

-The TCU offense failing to take advantage of opportunities: As mentioned above in the good section, the Frogs were gifted great field position time and time again by the TCU special teams and defense. Yet they were only able to come away with 13 points while starting within Tech’s 40 yard line, when it could have easily been 28 or 35! The first offensive play of the game was an aggressive shot to the end zone (hell yes) that the defender made an incredible play on, so I don’t sweat that one, but if we do not take advantage of the opportunities given to us by opposing teams then we aren’t going to win many games! Especially not against good teams!

I’m happy that we won, but this game should not have been as close as it was. Yes we won by 16, but it shouldn’t have had to come down to Duggan putting the game on ice with like two minutes left. We should’ve been up by about four or five scores. The pass blocking is still a little suspect, but the offensive line is making progress - and that needs to start resulting in more points in the red zone.

Oh also I failed to mention in the good section, but holy sh*z we went for it on 4th and 6 from our own 40. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS TCU TWITTER, KEEP LETTING THE COACHING STAFF HEAR ABOUT IT. Also, give the ball to Pro Wells more!

Play of the Game:

Max Duggan track star. 81 yards. BUMP:

Also Duggan hit the turbo button and led TCU to cover on the 9.5 spread :)

Way to go Maxi.

Next Week: A trip up to Morgantown

The Frogs travel up to a place where they haven’t won since 2014: Morgantown, West Virginia. The Mountaineers have a very stingy defense, but TCU has a chance to put together a three game win streak for the first time since 2017. Let’s keep the momentum going.