TCU moved to 3-2 (1-1) on the season with a 52-31 win over Texas Tech on Saturday night. Overall it was a decent win, under the lights in Lubbock, on Tech’s homecoming, during a game they declared a blackout.
But TCU was far from perfect in victory, and there are still questions about health, player management, and the rush defense for this squad.
Let’s get into my quick thoughts.
TCU’s rushing attack is phenomenal
Evans got 17 carries on Saturday night, running for 143 yards and two touchdowns. That’s great! It gets even cooler when you realize that all 17 carries came in the first half, en route to TCU carrying a 35-10 lead into halftime.
Then you realize that means Zach Evans didn’t touch the football in the second half. Yes, TCU had a big lead, and Kendre Miller did step in admirably.
Miller was excellent in his own right, ripping off 184 rushing yards and three touchdowns, including a 75-yard touchdown immediately after a Texas Tech score to push the Frogs’ lead out to 45-17. He’s an incredible back in his own right, and deserves his touches. In fact, I tweeted this earlier tonight and I meant it:
A take: TCU has two of the top 4 running backs in the Big 12 on their roster.— Jamie Plunkett (@FrogPreacher) October 10, 2021
But I wonder if there’s some way we could find more balance in both backs’ usage. Tonight it was “Zach in the first half, Kendre in the second.” Maybe next week and in the weeks beyond it could be, both in both halves.
TCU’s run defense continues to be very bad
TCU’s defense has now given up 836 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on 136 carries in the last three games. That’s 6.14 yards/carry. They have to get that figured out in the coming weeks, or Big 12 teams are going to continue to pound the ball on this defense.
Quincy Brown and THT both had good nights
With Quentin Johnston and JD Spielman both out with injuries, freshman Quincy Brown saw early playing time tonight and cashed out. Brown caught his first collegiate touchdown on TCU’s opening drive, going down to scoop a low throw from Duggan just inside the pylon.
Trevius Hodges-Tomlinson continued his campaign to be the best cornerback in the country with a pick six on a tipped pass, pushing TCU’s lead to 28-7 early in the first half.
What did we actually learn, though?
Nothing, really. We knew that TCU’s run game was good, and that their run defense wasn’t great. That’s probably the most disappointing thing in a 21-point victory is that, while a win is nice, it doesn’t seem like TCU made any progress.
You can win big against bad opponents, that’s all good and well, but big leads are also an opportunity to stretch your team a bit. Instead of giving Duggan an opportunity to experiment, they limited him to 10 pass attempts. Instead of giving other guys a run, Some underperforming guys in the secondary still saw the bulk of the play.
This team is exactly who we knew they were, and we haven’t learned anything new. The good news, is that nothing new was learned in a win, rather than a loss like the past two weeks.