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Quick Thoughts: Frogs fall flat

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TCU drops to 2-2 on the season

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU fell to Texas on Saturday 32-27, dropping the Frogs’ season record to 2-2. It was an abysmal performance masked by a late touchdown. Let’s get into things.

Feed Zach Evans

Zach Evans had 18 total touches. That is unacceptably low. He had nine after halftime. Those 18 touches resulted in 124 yards of offense and a touchdown.

To compare, Bijan Robinson had 37 touches, 238 yards and two touchdowns for a Texas offense that understands where their strengths lie.

Zach could easily be that for the Frogs, but the coaching staff simply refuses to let him. It’s an indictment of the coaches that several things are true four games into TCU’s season:

  • Max Duggan has not progressed as we hoped - he is what he is, and yet we consistently see the coaching staff call plays to his weaknesses. If you want to stunt your QB, continue to do this.
  • Zach Evans has 57 carries for 443 yards and three touchdowns through four games. That’s 14 carries a game. Give him 20 carries a game and let him be the workhorse he deserves to be.
  • Max Duggan would benefit from a healthy run game that doesn’t require him to be the lead rusher. He ran the ball 16 times on Saturday (to just 15 for Evans). Yes, some of those are RPO’s and reads, but that goes back to playcalling. TCU isn’t designing its offense around Zach Evans.

Turnovers

TCU turned the ball over three times on the day, matching their total amount through their first three games. The defense managed to keep Texas’ points off turnovers to nine, which was a small miracle, but those points made the difference in the end, as TCU lost by five.

Derius Davis had a particularly bad day with two fumbles, one on a reverse and one on a punt return, and a dropped pass that should have wound up being an interception.

Injuries and Depth

Khari Coleman and Noah Daniels were both back after practicing this week for the Frogs, and both made a few good plays in limited time. Hopefully their woes are behind them, and they’ll both be available for the Frogs the rest of the way.

On the other side of things, Bud Clark, Deshaun McCuin, Wes Harris, Corey Bethley all missed Saturday’s contest with injuries. At safety that left Lakendrick Van Zandt and T.J. Carter, alongside Josh Foster and De’Vawn Armstead. They played alright today against a Texas passing game that isn’t the best.

Wes Harris’ absence was felt, as TCU’s line was leaky in several key spots, including a holding penalty against Harris’ replacement, Brandon Coleman, that killed a TCU drive late in the third quarter.

We’ll all be holding our breath for Quentin Johnston as well after he went down with an apparent leg injury right before halftime and didn’t come back out.

Ref Show

The refs had a terrible day. From ejecting T.J. Carter for targeting after never even throwing a flag to some incredibly soft personal fouls on both teams, both fanbases had legitimate gripe with the stripes on Saturday. In all, TCU and Texas combined for 16 penalties for 177 yards.

The State of the Longhorns

Bijan Robinson got the number of touches I pray that Zach Evans will get one day. Robinson was the absolute difference for Texas today.

Outside of Robinson I wasn’t terribly impressed with Texas. Casey Thompson is a game manager, his receivers dropped a handful of passes, and the defense was shaky against a TCU offense that refuses to reach its potential.

TCU coaching

The questions are starting to rumble about TCU’s coaching staff. The structure on the offensive side of the ball doesn’t seem to be working, with Jerry Kill and Doug Meacham simply not coming to terms with the talent they have available to them.

Defensively, players aren’t wrapping up, guys are out of position, and we’ve seen SMU and Texas run for a total of 634 yards in the last two weeks.

At some point this staff has to find solutions to the weaknesses of this team.