clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

How good is Sonny Cumbie? A deep analysis of the TCU offense vs Baylor, part 1

HawkeyedFrog returns from hibernation to write way too many words about TCU’s offense.

Sonny Cumbie
The young OC is taking heat from Frog fans, but is it justified?
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

(For those who remember me, hi, I wasn’t actually dead.)

There has been a lot of sound and fury about the OC position in Frog town for the past few years, and it’s grown particularly heated as the results have sunk in the seasons following the 2014 revelation, which feels so far away now. How much of the blame for this drop in results is really fair to put on scheme or play-calling is the question, as back to back years of freshman quarterbacks also certainly play a part. So how much weight do we assign to design- where and when a specific play was called, and how much goes into execution- whether the team was able to pull it off successfully?

To get a better understanding of that, one has to go to the tape, and while the virus situation might be putting a bit more time into our hands, a play by play breakdown of 12 games is a bit much for my out of practice butt. So I took to twitter a while back and asked which one game in particular felt like it was lost due to offensive play calling and the result was clear- Baylor. Now whether the play-calling was particularly egregious in that game or whether it just stands out because it was such a painful game to lose isn’t something I’ll address, but it seems as good a starting point as any. Let’s break down the few metrics of our admittedly subjective scale, depending on my subjective judgement built from watching a few thousand games of football, playing it, analyzing it, writing about it and coaching it.

Plus: The offense has the defense where it wants it, something clear is set up and there’s sense behind why it did/should have worked. We’ll give positive points of up to 3 per play, depending on design against the defensive coordinator’s call. Remember, sometimes the best playcall gets you an incompletion, so a bad result doesn’t mean no positives if the execution is poor- unless it appears to be repeatedly going to a well that has been proven to be ineffective (Calling for Foster Sawyer to throw repeated fades against OU, I am looking in your direction.)

Minus: Sometimes the defense throws the paper to cover your rock, it happens. But when it does happen, we lose a point. Sometimes a bad play call can have a great result (Straight dropback, Boykin-to-Doc-tip-to-Green against Tech, take a bow), but phenomenal execution doesn’t mean it was a good idea, nor a blueprint for future success. We’ll again give negative points up to three, depending on how egregious the decision was, based on the game to that point and the situation.

Execution: When the play accomplishes more or less than it may have ideally accomplished because of a mistake by a player on the field, we’ll mark it with a plus or minus here.

This is part one but you only watched one game?: Well I decided to really watch the hell out of this one game, to the point where even the writeup of the first half is a whole heck of a lot of words. Part two and three are already written, but for the sake of keeping under 13k words in an article, separation is important.

All clear? Let’s get to it. Feel free to follow along here.

Play 1: 1st and 10, TCU 20, TCU even spread 1 back pistol, Baylor 3-3-5 stack right.

Straight zone read to start off, the Frogs try to read the DE at the bottom of the screen, but the left guard is thrashed by the Baylor NT so a running lane never opens. Duggan is forced to keep rather than make an exchange with the NT there, and scurries out of the tackle attempt by the unblocked end to get one yard before being wrapped up. Play +0, Execution -1.

Play 2: 2nd and 9, TCU 21. Hurry up means no defensive formation look, TCU still even spread

Duggan rolls right and reads that way, with the left side receivers running quick breaking routes to the right for a flood concept. Duggan has two open and goes to his first read, complete for 6 and two more on the YAC. Nice design, multiple open options. Play +2, Execution +1

Play 3: 3rd and 1, TCU 29. TCU double tight right, two receivers left. Baylor, 10 up (10 players within three yards of LOS)

Reagor motions toward the right pre-snap to stall the defense a bit, but there’s no read here. Sewo finds a crease and hammers through the middle to the Baylor 36. Sometimes you get credit for not overthinking it. Play +1, Execution +2.

Play 4: 1st and 10, Baylor 36. TCU even spread, back right. Baylor 3-3-5 spread stack

Straight dropback, Baylor drops 8, Duggan reads the mass of bodies in the middle and knows he has one on one downfield, but he’s flushed by the three man pressure right as he’s about to deliver (LG beaten again), Duggan dumps it to Sewo before being hit, Sewo gets 6. The playcall had been set up to take a TD shot here, but the pass protection let two get to Duggan on a three man rush. Ah, 2019. Play +1, Execution -2.

Play 5: 2nd and 4, Baylor 30. TCU twins right, upback and receiver left. Baylor 3-3-5 stack off.

There’s a lot of cushion on all the receivers and a one on one to Duggan’s left. RPO, Duggan sees how much space Reagor has up top (seven yard cushion from his corner) and throws it… way behind on an out breaking route. It’s at worst a first down if the ball is at all catchable, at best it’s Reagor with one man to beat in the open field, 24 yards from the end zone. In the draft process when they mentioned “Reagor had the lowest % of catchable balls on his targets of all of the highly regarded receivers”, this is that quote in a nutshell. Play +2, Execution -2.

Play 6: 3rd and 4, Baylor 30. TCU 3 receivers left (wide side) back right. Baylor 3-3-5 stack, corner press.

Straight drop back, Duggan looks to the one receiver side, but comes back to the double move on the inside slot receiver and throws probably his best ball of the day… that slides straight between his receivers hands. That’s 4 points that we could’ve used later. Play +3, Execution -2.

TCU 3, Baylor 0. Early results are pretty good for Cumbie, he’s got players in the right places, but a bad pass and a heinous drop back to back hold the Frogs to 3. Might want to have the center help left a bit more on blocking though, or set a RB to chip that way on pass plays. Frogs take back over near midfield after a two minute drive and a bad punt by Baylor.

Play 7: 1st and 10, TCU 47. TCU even spread, back left. Baylor 3-3-5 spread stack off

A box like this is begging to be run at, as the Frogs have a big numbers and space advantage to the right. Partial credit as the Frogs run a quick toss to the left, with a Baylor safety taking a poor angle and allowing himself to be blocked by an already engaged TCU receiver. Anderson does those Anderson things he tends to do when he gets a defense moving side to side. Probably would have been five with a better angle by the Baylor safety, but it would’ve been 17 if the LG hadn’t held fairly egregiously. I’m still going to plus it, but I’d like to see that center help soon or it will start going the other way. Play +1, Execution +0.

Play 8: 1st and 20, TCU 37. ReagorCat TCU stacked receivers both sides, back right. Baylor 3-3-5 stack DEs wide.

Presnap Baylor doesn’t look to be playing the stacked receivers soundly to the left and would be vulnerable to a switch route if TCU can get that look with a QB at QB. Zone read that will never be a handoff is the call, but Reagor gets tripped up by the turf monster in the backfield. He’d have likely made it about 3 yards before first reasonable contact, which isn’t necessarily a play ender with Reagor, but it’s not a good playcall. There’s a time and place for gimmick plays in an offense like this, but I am never going to be a fan of fairly obvious ones when already in a precarious position. Running isn’t a bad idea here, but you’d like it to be less screaming “We’re going to run, linebackers come visit!” presnap. Play -2, Execution -1.

Play 9: 2nd and 22, TCU 35. TCU empty with three right. Baylor 3 up 8 back 2 deep safeties

So thanks to the first down adventure, the Frogs get stuck in more obvious passing situations. Baylor’s defensive plan to this point appears to be classic bend-don’t-break, the only time they’ve brought more than 4 was the earlier third and one. This is a spot throw as Duggan isn’t dropping back or even reading, he dumps it to the inside slot for 6 yards. It’s something, but it’s not really good or bad enough to be worth a point. Play +0, Execution +1.

Play 10: 3rd and 16, TCU 41. TCU even spread, back right. Baylor 3 up 8 back 2 deep.

Time to look downfield, possibly with a deep crossing route. Duggan takes a deep drop back, but again has to step up to evade a three man pressure, getting wrapped up in less than three seconds. Before he goes down, however, he flips the ball over to Sewo out of the backfield, who manages to get to the TCU 49 before being chopped down. I can’t comment on the downfield play design, but Sewo only briefly chipped a Baylor pass rusher (the one who ended up wrapping up Duggan) before leaking out of the backfield, which makes me wonder why the heck he was in there instead of Anderson if the goal was not to pass protect, but run a route. Play -1, Execution -1.

Penalties suck, but Cumbie didn’t make smart adjustments to his calls to compensate for the down or distance, and got stuck with the wrong personnel on third and forever. The Bears also continue to get home with just a three man rush, so adjustments are badly needed there.

Play 11: 1st and 10, TCU 42. TCU tight right, H back left, receiver each side and RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 tight stack.

After a nice pick, the Frogs get the ball with good field position. Traditionally after a turnover is when you try and pop a big play, to try and deepen the psychological damage on the other team. Instead the Frogs are loaded up to run what looks like a wham play, with the H-back crossing to hopefully pop an unsuspecting lineman. Instead he crosses all the way across the tackle box before turning upfield and totally missing Baylor bringing a corner blitz that side. Anderson has less than zero chance and does well to get back to the line of scrimmage. Baylor threw rock to TCU’s scissors on that one, but the execution made it worse. Play -1, Execution -1.

Play 12: 2nd and 10, TCU 42. TCU even spread, RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 with the bottom DE wide.

Second and ten is one of those unfortunate down and distances from a coaching perspective, because you want to get something to keep yourself from being in a hole on third down. This usually means a safe play designed to get 4-5 yards is the traditional goal, though as the Frogs are near midfield they may be thinking four down territory, which means you can be more aggressive on second. It’s a straight dropback from the frogs here, while Baylor sends 4 and drops 7, with the Frogs running a switch route up top hoping to find the Bears in man. Instead Baylor is in zone and there’s a good bit of illegal touching by a Baylor safety on the inbreaking route up top which goes uncalled (Refs -1). With the pocket breaking down rapidly as a Baylor DE loops around the RT, Duggan steps up and takes off and slides after a gain of four, and a Baylor player gets a late one in that adds on 15. Baylor dropping deep created a nice running crease, so nice read by Duggan to keep, but I don’t think this was a good call to attack a coverage that Baylor has been running a lot so far. Play -1, Execution +1.

Play 13: 1st and 10, Baylor 39. TCU even spread, RB pistol. Baylor 3-3-5 spread backers.

The Bears haven’t had a lot of numbers in the box apart from when TCU has been in a “We’re definitely running” formation, and this is the first time TCU is really trying to take advantage of that. The play is a basic zone read, with the RT and RG leaving the Baylor DE unblocked to look for work outside and chip the NT respectively. The DE turns his hips but freezes in place, so Duggan completes the give and Anderson has a path to the outside, who gains 8 before first contact. Duggan might have been better served pulling here, as the DE had taken himself out of the play by stopping momentum and there was a hat for a hat up top, but you can’t fault the read. Getting Anderson into space almost always pays off, more please. Play +1, Execution +1.

Play 14: 2nd and 1, Baylor 30. TCU Trips right, RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 close, even the deepest safety is within nine yards of the LOS.

This should be play action heaven, three downs to get one yard, the Bears just got gashed by the run and the defense is thinking run all the way, and we actually see the Bears bring all six in their stack. It looks like a zone read with a bubble to the trips side, but the unblocked DE is turning the corner to the RB right away, and the setup is perfect for dumping the bubble screen- the outside slot has great position to seal the charging safety, the topside corner is bailing and looking away from the play, at the very least this should be TCU ball inside the Baylor 10… but Duggan doesn’t pull, and the unblocked DE just corrals Anderson for nothing. I didn’t like the playcall at first watch, but on a closer look this was a perfect setup that Duggan just did not read at all. Either it was a called give presnap, in which case it would be a -3 (you have to read a read), or it’s a huge gaffe by Duggan for failing to read on a read play. The design is there, so I’m putting the blame on Duggan. Play +2, Execution -2.

Play 15: 3rd and 1, Baylor 30. TCU double tight right, receivers either side, RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 tight stack

I really prefer pistol for situations like this, because Baylor is outnumbered to the heavy side, but unless it’s a toss, the RB is running into Baylor’s strong side or up the middle by alignment. It’s an inside zone (no one is left to be read) that Baylor crashes down on to the intended running lane. Even for legs like Sewo, this is doom if he doesn’t improvise and cut away from the intended lane. Fortunately Baylor crashed so hard that two safeties are the only ones unblocked and within three yards of Sewo when he reaches the LOS. Sewo is not going to have his momentum stopped short by two safeties. Much like last play where we gave credit for the design rather than the result, this time it works in the other direction- Baylor had this play dead to rights, but their contain man overcommitted inside and Sewo made the play himself. Play -1, Execution +2.

Play 16: 1st and 10, Baylor 24. TCU twins and upback left, RB pistol. Baylor 3-4, 1 deep.

Baylor brings on an extra run defender here for the first time, TCU lines up in what I called the “Play Action” formation during the Kenny Hill years because honestly the Frogs ran play action out of it over 90% of the time. Sure enough, a play action rollout with the upback rolling to the rollout side to chip. The Bears are bailing out hardcore after being fooled by the rollout and Duggan has four options to survey as he rolls out. The first is Reagor, who is in tight coverage outside. The second and third are both of the twin receivers from the left that are screamingly open. The fourth is to keep and gain at eight yards because all four Bear players that side have turned their backs to Duggan entirely, like a backwards version of the old children’s game “Red light, Green light”. Three really great options, but Duggan never comes away from that first read, despite the time bought on the rollout and throws off balance, without setting his feet. The player who should be shoving Duggan out of bounds after an eight or nine yard run instead runs underneath the throw and intercepts. Four options, three of them good, and it ends with a pick. Play +2, Execution -2.

As a fellow play caller, this drive hurt my soul as twice Duggan failed to make a read and turned big play opportunities into zero yards and a turnover respectively. This was a solid drive by Cumbie that Duggan just self destructed on. The kid is exciting, but things like this are why his spot atop this year’s QB chart would not have been set in stone had the injury bug not claimed the top challenger. The TCU defense puts together an excellent three and out that takes about 1:30 off the clock and the Frogs again look to extend a 3-0 lead after a beauty of a punt is fair caught by Reagor at the 40.

Play 17: 1st and 10, TCU 40. TCU Tight right, trips left, RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 Stack 1 deep.

The Bears are showing man with a single safety deep to keep from being gashed by the run again, while TCU looks like it’s going back to the well with the zone read/bubble combo. The difference is the RB is set to the non-receiver side, so the bubble is just window dressing here, there’s no way for Duggan to make a second read after reading the DE. The Baylor DE again turns his hips to crash down on the RB and again Duggan doesn’t read it, instead faking a drop back after handing the ball off. Anderson gets two, despite being wrapped up immediately by the unblocked DE. This play is either the dumbest in the playbook or somebody goofed big time- the RT shoved and released without giving the DE a second glance, which makes me think he was thinking zone read 100%- if you’re beat, you look for a moment before you move on. Duggan dropped back after the handoff, which makes me think he was thinking inside zone- the keep read was there, but Duggan wasn’t looking at the DE at all. It wasn’t a second level RPO, because the TE who would be the only target is blocking. Someone screwed up, but without knowing who I can’t score Cumbie on it. Play: ???, Execution: -2.

Play 18: 2nd and 8, TCU 42. TCU even spread, pistol back. Baylor 3-3-5 wide stack.

With the Frogs off schedule the Bears are going back to their pass prevention formation. TCU looks to be running a variation of a Mills concept, with a crossing route from one slot and a deep post from the other. The Bears are dropping and have this one pretty well covered, so Duggan gets flushed and dumps the checkdown off to Sewo to pick up a nice chunk. Mills is one of my favorite route combos, but the Bears were ready for it and are still getting pretty quick pressure from that three man rush. Play: -1, Execution: +1.

Play 19: 3rd and 3, TCU 47. TCU twins right, upback and receiver left, RB right. Baylor 3-3-5 Stack, wide DE.

Once again Baylor has everyone within 8 yards of the LOS on third and short-ish and TCU is in the Play Action formation. Sure enough, the upback crosses the formation like he’s going to block but instead releases as Duggan fakes the handoff and dumps it off to the upback who has a nice potential lane down the sideline against a Baylor backfield that is largely moving away from him. It’s as easy a throw and catch for a first down as you’re likely to see, I don’t really get why the formation still doesn’t seem to be a tipoff to defenses, but Baylor was not ready. Play +2. Execution: +1.

Play 20: 1st and 10, Baylor 47. TCU even spread, pistol back. Baylor 3-3-5 stack wide backers, 1 deep.

Back in Baylor territory for the third time the Frogs keep things simple with the classic zone read to try and get a numbers advantage against a Baylor DL that is causing havoc so far. Duggan

reads the DE’s feet freeze and completes the exchange to Sewo who would probably love to pound straight ahead, but the Baylor NT is through the line again easily shrugging off the RG, so Sewo cuts across and through a gap on the other side and mashes forward for 7. Trying man to man on that NT is not working no matter who’s doing the blocking, but Zone Read is a good, if conservative first down play because it’s unlikely to be a major disaster. Play +1, Execution +1.

Play 21: 2nd and 3, Baylor 40. TCU trips short side, back left. Baylor 3-3-5 wide DEs, 2 deep.

TCU crowds one side with bodies to allow for a ton of space to the right, a straight fade will likely be a one on one situation and it’s not a bad risk to take on second and reasonable. Instead it’s another zone read, with Duggan riding the handoff option as long as possible before pulling back and cutting up toward the three receiver side. The blocking isn’t great as by the time Duggan makes it to the LOS he’s having to cut toward a spot where three unengaged bears are converging. A good cut gets a first down, but they drew a ton of bodies to a very small area of the field, the upside was never going to be good. Nice effort by Duggan but the blocking needed to be better. Play -1, Execution +0.

Play 22: 1st and 10, Baylor 36. TCU even spread, pistol back. Baylor 3-3-5 wide DEs.

The first thing that stands out is that the LT has a huge split distance away from the LG- that’s not the worst thing in a passing situation, but on first and 10 it’s odd. Baylor brings five against what looks like a third consecutive zone read. The topside DE that was pushed out wide by the LT’s alignment that he does an excellent job of making Duggan hesitate, but Duggan misses his hips turn and makes the give, and the DE smothers Sewo before he gets any further momentum. The goal may be to get Baylor complacent and set them up for something later, but at this point it’s not a great strategy. Play -2, Execution -1.

Play 23: 2nd and 12, Baylor 37ish. TCU even but wide spread, pistol back. Baylor 3-3-5 wide DEs, showing pressure.

Straight dropback here as the Frogs are forced into a bit of predictability and Baylor brings five to try and force a third and long or another errant Duggan throw. Duggan stands in the pocket admirably and delivers a nice ball before being absolutely blasted (once again the RG is doing nada, just staring at the one Baylor rusher who is blocked well), but the ball is high by necessity and can’t be reeled in. Baylor has been getting home with three, so if you’re going to pass something quick to make the Bears pursue sideline to sideline would seem to be more effective. Play -1, Execution -1.

Play 24: 3rd and 12, Baylor 37ish. TCU even spread, back left. Baylor 4-2-5 pass rush set

Baylor is in an interesting look here as TCU is in obvious passing territory and the OL has not been keeping the pocket clean so far, a definite change from their earlier strategy of rushing three and playing coverage. The Bears send 5 on a twist and Duggan has to try and step up in the pocket almost as soon as he hits the end of his (deep) drop and gets corralled almost instantly. Everyone is going deep, and on third down in plus territory, this should definitely have a checkdown to get something to make this four down territory, especially if Baylor is showing heat. Instead yet another trip inside Baylor territory ends with nada. Play -2, Execution -1

Not a great drive, the Frogs got predictable after early success and didn’t handle Baylor’s adjustments well. Sometimes you can use tempo to keep a defense from making adjustments, but even if you do use it, you can’t expect defensive players in 2019 to be consistently fooled by the same zone read teams have widely adopted since 2004 (And that former TCU OC Justin Fuente invented the most popular tweak to in 2009). The Bears start to click a bit on offense, but a missed FG keeps TCU in front 3-0.

Play 25: 1st and 10, TCU 20. TCU even spread, back left. Baylor 3-3-5 stack wide LBs.

False start. Execution -1.

Play 26: 1st and 15, TCU 15. TCU TE left, twins right, H back left, set back pistol. Baylor 3-4 1 deep.

The play is a nice pin and pull zone stretch, where the TE blocks down on the end DE (giving him a good angle to block a player he couldn’t generally block heads up) while the tackle pulls behind him to leadblock upfield. The lead blocks from the LT is decent, but the backside contain isn’t great and the H-back gets beaten far too quickly. This was possibly just a solid block from the H-back from behind a footrace between the back and the deep safety down the sideline. Instead it’s a gain of 5 to get the penalty yards back. Play +2, Execution +0.

Play 27: 2nd and 10, TCU 20. TCU even spread (wide to the right) pistol back. Baylor 3-3-5 wide LBs.

Back to the zone read, the unblocked DE turns his hips, so this should be a pull. Instead, Duggan hands off and the back has to cut it very, very wide to avoid being tackled immediately- the DE is literally extending his arms to wrap him up before he’s made one step forward. It’s a nice effort to get a few yards, but Duggan botched this one. Play +0, Execution -2.

Play 28: 3rd and 7, TCU 23. TCU trips left, back right. Baylor 3-2-6 wide DL.

The Air Raid classic mesh concept here, with the closest slot on the left setting the depth and clearing out the defenders while Reagor runs underneath. Duggan again has to step up immediately as the LT gets beaten and delivers to Reagor a bit later than he might have liked. As a result instead of open grass, Reagor has three safeties converging on him by the time he makes the catch and turns upfield. A little shake and bake before turning upfield gets the Frogs a much needed first down though. Play +1, Execution +1 (Reagor individually deserves a +2 at least, very clutch)

Play 29: 1st and 10, TCU 31. TCU double tight right, WR each side, back right. Baylor 3-5-3.

Interesting change of formation for the Frogs forces Baylor personnel into unique positions. Zone stretch, but as the stretch is away from the extra blockers, the gaps don’t get covered and Sewo has to cut back immediately and start upfield to pick up 3. I get you want to keep the defense honest, but this is like throwing a change-up before you’ve let them get a look at your fastball. If you’re going to create additional gaps on a zone stretch, run that way. Play -1, Execution +0.

Play 30: 2nd and 7, TCU 34. TCU even spread, back right. Baylor 3-3-5 wide backers.

Quick playfake as the Frogs run what looks like another Air Raid staple, 4 verticals, but instead it’s 4 curl routes of different depths. Duggan is under quick pressure again, but delivers a nice ball (given the pressure) that splits two Bear defenders and sets the Frogs up near midfield with under three minutes in the half. Play +1, Execution +1.

Play 31: 1st and 10, TCU 48. TCU trips right, back right. Baylor 3-3-5 stack.

Zone read with a bubble, but it looks like the RT either didn’t get the memo or the DE shot his gap so quickly that he ends up running entirely past the mesh point. With no read, Duggan hands off (he probably should’ve kept, but that’s hindsight) and Sewo mashes forward for five. A basic tweak on the zone read, but it worked in keeping the pursuit home. Play +1, Execution +1.

Play 32: 2nd and 5, Baylor 47. TCU trips right, back right. Baylor 3-2-6.

Baylor is a bit out of position, despite not a lot of hurry up from the Frogs. TCU fakes the inside zone and the Baylor backers bite hard- but the playfake sets up a nice pocket for Duggan and as the far receiver on the trips side comes back like it’s a tunnel screen, the two slot receivers break deep and Wells pops wide open. Duggan delivers an okay ball (with the time he had it should’ve been better, really) and Wells makes a difficult catch to set the Frogs up inside the Baylor red zone. Now this was an excellent playcall, well set up by the plays before it. Play +3, Execution +2.

Play 33: 1st and 10, Baylor 18. TCU trips right, back right. Baylor 3-?.

While with three time outs I’d probably be thinking about letting some playclock run off before snapping the ball, the Baylor defense doesn’t look sure on how they’re supposed to be so there’s definitely merit in quickening the pace. I think this is the zone read bubble again, but nobody is getting unblocked/optioned, so not sure if it’s more of an inside zone or someone miffed. I’m thinking miffed, as the inside linemen seem to be expecting help. Instead it’s a quagmire and Sewo has no chance whatsoever. Play ?, Execution -2.

Play 34: 2nd and 11, Baylor 19. TCU twins left, TE 1 wide right, back left. Baylor 3-3-5 stack wide DEs.

The Frogs take their time this time and Baylor is stacking the line. The play is a zone read variation, but the Baylor NT just absolutely destroys this play. The design is for the center and LG to combo the NT before one climbs to the second level- instead the Center pushes the Center back so immediately that when the LG gets there the best he can do is neutralize that forward momentum and so the LB that was supposed to get climbed to is unblocked and free to wait for Anderson to pick a gap and fill it immediately. Play +0, Execution -2.

Play 35: 3rd and 12, Baylor 20. TCU trips left, back left. Baylor six standing rush set.

Again with a chance to prevent a good fourth down opportunity Baylor shows aggression and man to man with one deep safety shaded to the trips side. This means one on one for Reagor, and Duggan gets a clean dropback and there’s only one place Duggan is looking. Given that it’s a single read, this ball should probably get out quicker, but Duggan fires a rocket that sinks quickly and thanks possibly in part to what looked like a grab from the Baylor CB, Reagor is unable to come up with a tough catch. TCU has to settle for three. Play +1, Execution -1, Refs -1.

Play 36: 1st and 10 TCU, Baylor 26. TCU even spread back right, Baylor 3-3-5 wide LBs.

Baylor can’t corral the squib kick and the Frogs get another possession with 26 seconds in the half. Quick playfake and Duggan has time to look at four verticals but the coverage is solid and Duggan steps up instead of dumping it off to the back, gaining 7. Probably the right call, TCU still has three time outs, and while Sewo probably could have gotten out of bounds, it would’ve taken more time off the clock for him to get there without much more potential gain. Play +0, Execution +1

Play 37: 2nd and 3, Baylor 17. TCU empty trips left. Baylor 3-2-6.

Given the depth of all of the bears you could almost call this a 3-7-1 by Baylor, they’re not showing pressure but they’re not tipping their hand. Duggan drops back and reads middle to right, where the Frogs are attempting a switch concept but it’s well covered. Eventually Duggan bounces out and has to throw it away. There’s plenty of time here, so I’d like something that has a bit more of an option than just waiting for end zone. Play -1, Execution +0.

Play 38: 3rd and 3, Baylor 17. TCU trips right, back right. Baylor 3-2-6.

12 seconds left, again the Frogs have one on one on the one receiver side but the safety is a bit more neutral this time. Straight inside zone here, no read and Sewo gets the head of steam for a first down. I like the playcall here, get some shots at the end zone and one missed tackle puts Sewo one on one with the FS with a head of steam. Play +2, Execution +1.

Play 39: 1st and 10, Baylor 14. TCU trips right, back left. Baylor 3-2-6, Wide DL.

With eight seconds left it’s time for shots at the end zone. Duggan takes a drop back and holds the ball too long before throwing it away, no real look at what routes are being run. Ehhh. Not a lot of great options for calls in the too far to run zone, so we’ll call it even. TCU kicks the field goal as time expires. Play +0, Execution -1.

So, 39 plays this half, the Frogs are up 9-0 but it definitely feels like it should be either 13-0 or 17-0 and that the Frogs have squandered some good opportunities thus far. Let’s check the tallies thus far.

Play total: +15. Nine +1s, Seven +2s, Two +3s. Eight -1s, Three -2s.

I’d say for the first half the offensive playcalling is a solid B, there have been good opportunities that haven’t been executed, but also some annoying habits and a bit of lack of imagination with base runs.

Execution total: -10. Ten +1s, Three +2s. Ten -1s, Eight -2s,

Some of those execution minuses are a consequence of playing a team that was, though it disgusts me to say so, consistently better than TCU last year, but it’s still not a great start and a big contributor to the points being left on the board. Execution is a D+ to this point.

In part two we’ll talk half time adjustments and continuing to armchair coordinate the offense in a subjective fashion. You’re excited, I can already tell. Keep tuned in here and it’ll be hitting you soon, same Frog time, same Frog channel.