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Three up, three down: Chandler Morris for Heisman

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Was this game for Gary? You decide.

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

We are never ever, ever getting back together

We are never ever, ever getting back together

You go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me

But we are never ever, ever, ever getting back together

Like, ever…

I heard a source telling me that this was playing in the locker room following TCU’s win over No. 12 Baylor on Saturday.

I’m kidding, man, I miss Gary Patterson too.

BUT, I don’t see the looseness and care free way with which Doug Meacham called that game and Chandler Morris played at quarterback in their FIRST game without Patterson as a coincidence.

That’s another article for another day, but (most of) the Frogs did not really appear to miss their old head coach last week, as they put on their best performance since I arrived at this school in 2018 in his absence.

Whether you’re still crying about GP’s departure or you’re happy he is gone, Saturday was a ton of fun. Here’s my three up, three down for the week:

Three up:

1. Chandler Morris

I would’ve been put in jail by the Fort Worth Police Department had I not put this 5-11, 175 pound beast had not been at the top of my list.

He was named Big 12 offensive player of the week this morning, and he could not be more deserving.

To put it simply, in the absence of Max Duggan and Zach Evans, Morris put the TCU offense on his back against the Bears in one of the best quarterbacking performances a Frog has ever produced.

I’ll only say this once: Andy Dalton and Kenny Hill never had a game in their time in Fort Worth like Chandler Morris did on Saturday, and they sure as hell did not in their first-ever start.

*whispers* You can bet your bottom dollar Max Duggan didn’t either.

Morris completed 71 percent of his 40 attempts for 461 yards passing and two scores. That’s the 4th-most passing yards eve by a TCU quarterback in one game, with only Matt Vogler (690), Trevone Boykin (485), and Casey Pachall (473) topping Morris’ total.

Even more impressive? Morris added 70 yards and a touchdown on the ground AND even caught a pass from Taye Barber for seven yards.

The redshirt freshman extended plays, made tough reads, slipped out of intense quarterback pressures, and threw some absolute darts. He legit did it all.

I asked Morris after the game if he even surprised himself at times, and he laughed and said “yeah.”

“I’m not going to lie, yeah, I was surprised I got out of some of the pressure, some of the hits,” Morris said. “My little frame I need to put some weight on this offseason, but yeah I was a little surprised.”

If you go look at Morris’ Instagram captions since he got to TCU, they’ve all been about patiently waiting for his time.

Well, from being held captive by Lincoln Riley in Norman to having the game of his life to knock off No. 12 Baylor, it’s pretty darn safe to say Morris stayed ready, and his time has now come.

I’ve cheered for and defended Max Duggan more than most in this city, and he was never the issue with this TCU football team. However, the quarterback question is over in Fort Worth for the remainder of this season.

2. The wide receiver corps

I was, originally, going to just put Quentin Johnston in this spot, but several members of the TCU wide receiver corps made a huge difference on Saturday.

Starting with Q, he bounced back in a big way from his poor performance against West Virginia (crucial drop, late game fumble).

Johnston caught five catches on the six times he was targeted for a game-high 142 yards and a touchdown. Thirty-eight of those yards were after the catch, making that his third-highest total in that area this season.

As he should, Q made it consistently clear that he was the best receiver on the field Saturday, but his most impressive moment may have come on a play where he did not even catch the pass.

Late in the game, Johnston broke up a pass in the third quarter that Baylor had all but intercepted in the end zone. His quote postgame about the play almost gives me chills.

“I take that straight to the heart. Obviously, it’s my ball or nobody’s ball,” Johnston said. “I went up, obviously didn’t come down with it. He caught it, I just did everything in my power to bat the ball out of his hands to potentially save the drive, and I did.”

That play, had it gone in Baylor’s favor, may have lost the game for TCU. Johnston’s mindset of, “It’s my ball or nobody’s ball,” is a microcosm of the way a lot of Frogs played on Saturday.

Q wasn’t alone, though. Morris went to Barber eight times in the game, completing passes on six of them for 78 yards.

Taye did not score in the game, and he only had seven yards after the catch. What’s most impressive about his game, though, is five of his six catches converted first downs. That’s reliable.

Blair Conwright made his presence known in a similar way, catching two passes for 42 yards, both of which moved the chains for TCU.

Derius Davis showed off his best asset in the receiving game, taking a slant 63 yards to set up TCU’s first touchdown of the day. He finished with five catches for 81 yards.

Quincy Brown, a guy who will be a major game-changer one day, had his best day as a Frog, catching three balls for 46 yards. Two of his catches were contested and two went for first downs.

Overall, this was the type of game from the TCU receiving corp that we have been expecting all year. Guys consistently stepped up and made plays when it mattered, leading to the Frogs’ best offensive performance in years.

3. Shadrach Banks

When Shadrach Banks announced his transfer to TCU, I had multiple people reach out to me personally to tell me that he would not work out.

“Locker room cancer,” “can’t be coached,” “bad teammate,” and “selfish” were among things I heard about the young man after his controversial departure from A&M.

All year long, I’ve been asking Patterson about Banks, and he continually said, “He’s progressing.”

Well, Banks still isn’t playing too many snaps, but he made the play of his life Saturday at linebacker.

Though he had just one tackle, Banks’ game-winning interception of Gerry Bohanon saved the game for TCU in a situation where it looked like Baylor was going to escape with a win.

What is most encouraging about Banks’ situation, though, is the way Morris talked about him after the game.

“That was awesome. Obviously he played receiver in high school, so he’s an athlete,” Morris said. “He’s been nothing but great to us. His locker is next to mine, I love him. He’s awesome.”

I guess people are just bad at judging character of North Shore products who go to TCU, because the Frogs have had nothing but good to say about Banks and Zach Evans.

Especially with TCU’s struggles at linebacker this year, I would expect to see Banks playing more and more snaps over these last three regular season (key words) games.

Three down:

1. The cornerbacks

I don’t want to put much in the three down section, because Saturday was awesome. A few people struggled, though.

Of the five lowest TCU defensive grades from Saturday, per Pro Football Focus, four of them were cornerbacks.

Noah Daniels, Tre Tomlinson, Kee’Yon Stewart, and C.J. Ceasar were targeted 10 times in the game. They gave up catches on six of those targets for 142 yards and three touchdowns.

Known as one of the Big 12’s best corners, THT gave up three catches and two touchdowns himself.

To give some credit, Tomlinson’s incredible recovery on coverage that Stewart blew led to a pass breakup that Stewart was able to intercept. This was one of the most influential plays of the game, and it displayed THT’s relentless drive to win.

Thankfully, the front half of TCU’s defense played out of their minds, but we can’t be convinced that everyone played well defensively for the Frogs just because they won.

2. Jamoi Hodge

He has so much potential, but things just aren’t clicking for this guy yet.

On Saturday, he tied for the team-lead with eight tackles, but he also missed one. Not to mention, he gave up three catches on all three times he was targeted for 43 yards.

Struggling in coverage has been a problem each of the three primary linebackers have struggled with this year for TCU. Thankfully, it did not cost the Frogs the game on Saturday.

3. The refs

I feel like a broken record saying that may have been the worst refereeing performance I’ve ever seen on Saturday.

There were 19 penalties assessed for 176 yards in the game, and even more flags were thrown, as the crew had to pick up flags on several plays.

Rumblings on Twitter said that the Frogs might be holding on purpose to make the refs call it. I’m not sure about that, but regardless, the refs had annoyingly quick triggers all day long.

It’s the Big 12, though, what’s new?