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MMQB: Sooner or Later

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TCU drops back to .500 after dropping another one in Norman.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 16 TCU at Oklahoma
Sooner players were running away from the TCU defense all night long Saturday.
Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I know Baylor is our most hated rival, but I always take losses to OU pretty hard as they are the team that I tend to hate the most (for personal reasons that I will not dive into here, but my therapist is very familiar with why). We haven’t played OU close since 2019, even then we haven’t played them with a real chance to win since 2016. Once again TCU got pantsed and kicked to the curb by OU.

Also of course the week I can’t write the MMQB is the week that we have a fun win. Alright let’s get into it:

THE GOOD

-Quentin Johnston God of the new world order - This was his coming out party. Night game on ABC, called by Kirk and Chris, and QJ balls out to the tune of 7 catches, 185 yards and 3 BIG MAN TOUCHDOWNS. If fans of CFB didn’t know who QJ was, they certainly do now! QJ in one on one has to have the offense smiling from ear to ear from now on.

-Max Duggan career day - 20/30, 346 yards, 4 passing touchdowns. That is the best passing game Max has ever had and of course we lost it. Of course we did. That poor tough as nails kid gives his all every game and you know what he has to show for it? Another freaking L. Alas, the bright side of this is that hopefully all of the people that are saying “Max isn’t it” or “we just need a new QB” can put it on ice for the next couple of weeks. He made good decisions all game, and while he did throw a pass or two behind his receivers he had a great game. If he played for almost any other TCU team, that performance would have been enough to win the game! Unfortunately the 2021 team hasn’t totally gotten its defense figured out. I apologize for the sarcasm in the good section; like I said I’m taking the loss hard.

-Offensive line for once!!! - EVERYBODY SAY IT WITH ME, THE TCU O-LINE GAVE UP NO SACKS. Are sacks the same as pressures given up? No. BUT I was so sure Nick Bonito was going to have a day against this OL, but he in fact did not. I am shocked - that being said I would still like a new OL coach, but hey I’ll make you (current OL coach) a deal. If the TCU OL does not give up more sacks than games we have left on the schedule, then I’ll never bring up how bad the OL pass protection has been ever again.

THE BAD

-Punting decisions with a bit of a rant from me - Gary... if you are too scared to show up and roll the dice in big games, then what are you doing anymore? If you are not willing to make the changes necessary to get this program where it CAN be, and if you are not willing to then trust those decisions that you have made up to that point - in a big game - then what are you doing anymore? Genuinely. What is the point? If you are not going to try and win the game, or at least let your upperclassman QB have a chance to make a play on 4th down late in the game then you should not be the head coach anymore. Extreme reaction on my part? Yes one hundred percent, but man that punt on 4th down from the OU 38 when the Frogs were down 21 seems like the perfect encapsulation of TCU football for the past 4 years.

WE HAVE THE TALENT. But we have been putting that talent in such a hard position to win. Despite the talent and the recruiting rankings jumping way up since where they were 8 years ago, I’ve been writing the same thing about the offensive line for 4 years, and the issues with the defensive line have been repeated for 3 years now.

I have defended Gary over and over and over and over across these past 4 years. Anyone that has read any MMQB from the past 6 years knows that my only expectation for TCU is 8-4. That’s .500 in conference play and most of the time undefeated in non-con. However, I don’t understand why that seems so hard to get to these days. We have the talent. We have a great defensive mind as head coach. So why have we not seen any improvement in the state of the program over this time? Well, due to the poor management of the roster TCU is so thin at so many positions and at the same time the head coach is not willing to make the necessary changes where they need to be made on the coaching staff.

I will always and forever root for the players that bust their you know what’s every day at two a days, while going to school, and choosing to play for TCU. But hot damn it’s getting harder and harder for me to not just check out of these seasons. This is not a call for pity for me, especially since I feel like a lot of you feel the same way... but I don’t know how much longer we can keep doing this. Gary is without question the greatest coach in program history, and if you think the statue was a mistake then good God what does a coach have to do to get a statue in your eyes? Be Nick Saban? F.O.H. But he HAS to change things up, or else we are never going to compete for a conference title and we are going to keep getting jumped by other programs in the conference.

It really was that punt from the OU 38 that broke me. There is no shame in losing to the best program in the conference, but when you’re out here making head-up-the-arse decisions like that then I give up. Did we force a three and out after that? Yes! But that was the exception on the night, not the rule.

I’m not even going to write about the defensive performance since we all know it was el assico, but again 3 injuries should not spell doom for a whole unit.

Takes deep breath

Okay okay okay, in Gary’s defense he did go for the onside kick which I think we were all fans of on paper. I can’t TRULY say that he is scared in big games, but that punt from the OU side of the field is going to be right up there for me with the running back pass on 4th down in the 2019 SMU game. It really was just the two back to back 3 and outs on our last drive of the first half and the opening drive of the second half that did us in. I don’t think the punts were truly the white flags that we’re making it out to be - but that doesn’t make them any less frustrating. What is really driving me up a wall is the lack of progress this program has shown and it’s finally seeping out.

-Injuries - Ya I think it may be time for a new strength and conditioning coach? I mean this is like year 7 of 8 that TCU is always decimated by injuries. Our best offensive player did not play, our best defensive player got hurt and didn’t play at all in the second half, Max played through an injury, and hell even our back up running back tweaked his leg in this one. I don’t know what it is, maybe it really is a curse from above, but fool me once shame on you, fool me 7 times and I don’t know what else to say.

PLAY OF THE GAME:

QJ annihilating a DB and saying “you’re too small” - genuinely might be greatest thing I’ve ever seen. I mean hang this in the guggenheim:

The play even got a shout out from Dallas Cowboys legend Dez Bryant:

NEXT WEEK: WEST VIRGINIA COMES TO TOWN

Neil Brown has yet to lose to Gary Patterson since taking over as WVU HC 2 seasons ago. Will the streak continue? I sure hope not! I promise rational headed Mason will be back next week.