The Frogs lose their second meeting with SMU in two tries and it might be time for some tough discussions:
Oh man this one is tough, Gary. The losses over the past couple of years have begun to sting less and less (which is not a good thing), but coming off of a bye week where the team had an extra week to prepare for a cross town rival that is less talented than you... and they LITERALLY run all over you? That one really stings and the fan base is really starting to turn against you.
I’m not 100% there yet - which we’ll talk about in a second - but there isn’t much I can try and defend with this one.
NOW BEFORE WE BURN THE BUILDING DOWN I WANT TO PUT OUT A QUICK QUESTION: How much different does this game look if Coleman, Daniels, and Bethley played? Our biggest issue in this one was stopping the run. Bethley is our best run stopper. If we don’t have to move TJ Carter over because our CB depth is so bad, do all of those miscommunications in the secondary happen? Do we get more pressure on the QB if Coleman plays?
The game probably doesn’t turn into a TCU blowout, but I think TCU probably pulls it out by a FG and we’re all more stressed than angry. Missing three of your top five defensive players is not good. I say this because this just feels like last year where the defense had a lot of issues early on, but was able to eventually overcome that as the year went on and they got healthy and had more reps.
Of course having two weeks to prepare knowing what your weaknesses are does not help me feel any better, but again if we still look like this at the end of the season then sure I’ll throw in my torch, but I just have seen this TCU game before. This also felt a lot like the 2011 SMU game where they just attacked our weakness over and over again and there was nothing that we could do about it.
Alright let’s dive into it:
-Zach Evans: 15 carries, 113 yards, 7.5 YPC. 3 receptions, 70 yards and 1 TD. Most talented TCU offensive player since Josh Doctson, maybe even since LT. Talented does not mean best, but I mean we all see what I’m talking about guys. He clearly came to play and he seemed like he was the only one that wanted to win. ALAS WASTING ANOTHER ALL TIME RB PERFORMANCE AGAINST SMU IS BECOMING TRADITION FOR THIS PROGRAM.
-THT being the only defender that knows how to tackle: Ya this one pretty much writes itself. The man can really do no wrong.
-The offensive line caving on 3 and 4 man rushes: Now normally it is the line on the offensive side of the ball that typically costs TCU games recently. This time they were not the position that did that! That being said, to open the half after TCU had some momentum going the offensive line let a 4 man rush break through at our own 9 yard line and strip sack Max (who should’ve fled the pocket). SMU then scored shortly after to retake the lead.
They got beat several times on three and four man rushes throughout the second half to a SMU front that is less talented than them. It has been four consecutive years of subpar offensive line play. I would settle for just AVERAGE OL play. The players have talent! Whose job is it to coach them up? Who should be responsible for the consistent bad OL play? Why are they still employed?
Look I hate, like really HATE calling for somebody’s job but in what profession can someone keep their job when the group that they are in charge of consistently underperforms and hurts the whole company/team? Gary, it’s time: if we have the same OL coach at the start of next season then nothing is going to change. And if nothing is going to change then we’re done here.
-The defensive line: Outside of the offensive line performance against Kansas State last year this was the single most upsetting performance I have ever seen from a TCU position group. I’m not going to attack the 18-22 year olds that play for the university that I attended, and frankly they were missing two of the three best DL personnel on the team in Bethley and Coleman, so this could be unfair. But good golly Miss Molly what in the SAM HELL was that defensive line effort?
They made it look like we were playing the 2017 OU offensive line out there! Ochaun Mathis absolutely understood the assignment and he is exempt from this because he did generate pressure on the QB several times throughout the day. Once again something we haven’t seen in a while. The defensive line got bullied all day long, got their lunch taken, ass kicked - use whatever term you want: the SMU OL ate our DL. SMU was able to rush for 350 yards on the day. Maximum yikes.
-Miscommunications in the secondary: When I saw that TJ Carter was starting at the other cornerback spot instead of #9 I felt relieved and thought that was the smart move... which honestly it might have been the only move we could have made.
Then the game happened and our corners played relatively well - but everything else was tough to watch. Dee Winters, you did your job, you kick ass, we love you. Oh man everything else was bad. Tanner Mordecai did throw 3 picks (one was a heave at the end of the half) but we didn’t make SMU punt a single time. There were a ton of missed tackles in the secondary, and the Frogs’ secondary, which has been a strength in the past, may be just as big of a weakness as the defensive line.
Also I did laugh out loud when #9 came in and gave up a touchdown to basically seal the game, that being said the receiver made a hell of a catch, but I still LOL’d nonetheless.
Lastly, when it comes to that second LB position... just play Shad Banks. He’s more talented, if this is going to be another down year at least let the young players develop.
-Playcalling: Over the past couple of seasons we’ve seen that Duggan struggles with having a consistent connection with the deep ball. Whether it’s going straight through the hands of the receivers, going over their heads, or frankly not having enough time to develop the proper routes down field, we can safely say that it is not one of his strengths. BUT. YET. WE KEEP ASKING HIM TO MAKE THOSE THROWS AND PUTTING HIM IN A POSITION TO PLAY TO HIS WEAKNESSES AND NOT HIS STRENGTHS?
He is great at attacking the middle of the field, which we did a lot of early in the game and it worked! Then we went away from it all the way until the last drive that TCU had where they attacked the middle of the field and you know what happened? They scored on two completions! Why is the play calling asking him to do what he is not good at instead of what he IS good at? For all of us that saw him on TV he looked absolutely disgusted with himself on every deep ball miss/overthrow. Getting your QB in his own head after a missed throw isn’t what you want!
He almost has a pick so we never go back to that area of the field? It is going to be a dang shame if 15 finishes his career at TCU as a losing quarterback (record wise) because his offensive coaching staff could not set him up for success or coach up the offensive line in front of him to give him time to develop. It’s been three years of this. FIX IT.
The offense wasn’t bad, we got plenty of points, typically enough to win a game. It’s just that I don’t get what we’re trying to do with the quarterback position. Because on game days we are clearly not trying to make that position’s life easier.
PLAY OF THE WEEK:
Zach Evans is just a human highlight reel. He’s got another one.
Zach Evans is TCU’s highest-rated recruit ever— Pick Six Previews (@PickSixPreviews) September 25, 2021
Certainly looks the part today, unstoppable pic.twitter.com/stRVEdyOGp
NEXT WEEK: THE LONGHORNS COME TO TOWN
The easiest way to get all of the goodwill back is to beat Texas, Gary. It sure would be great if you gave Steve Sarkisian and the all gas no breaks Longhorn offense a nice L next week.