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Keys to the Game: Effort, Execution, and a Game Plan that makes sense

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TCU Football is simply going to have to play better to have a chance against Texas, regardless of their record against the Longhorns.

Keys to the Game Melissa Triebwasser

I don’t feel like we need a long drawn out Keys to the Game post this week. What TCU needs to do to beat Texas is pretty clear, and if Saturday didn’t expose some weaknesses to address, then, well... I don’t know what to tell you.

So let’s keep it simple this week.

TACKLE LIKE YOU MEAN IT

The amount of arm tackles Saturday would have made a middle school coach blush. And that’s when they were even in a position to make a play. Ulysses Bentley and co treated the A gap like a turnstyle, and it felt like first contact didn’t happen until the second level of defense was reached — if even then.

THE DEFENSIVE FRONT NEEDS TO SHOW UP

The secondary isn’t great but my goodness they would look a hell of a lot better if there was any pressure applied on the opposing quarterback — AT ALL. The defensive front has one sack on the season, and it came against Duquesne.

Ochaun Mathis seems to be giving as much effort as he can, but with the interior line and the other end doing absolutely nothing, he’s been stymied by double and triple teams. Additionally, SMU absolutely gashed the front in the run game, mostly just straight up the A gap, and backs went nearly untouched at the first level. Everything needs to be better. Period.

PLEASE GOD STOP THE RUN

I just touched on this, but seriously. Run defense is about knowing your assignment, executing assignment, and giving effort.

None of that happened last weekend.

Ulysses Bentley is a really great back and a guy that will play on Sundays someday, but he’s not sh*t copared to Bijan Robinson.

Get it together or get (further) embarrassed.

PLEASE GOD GIVE ZACH THE BALL

Please give us the Zach Evans vs Bijan Robinson tet a tet that we all want to see. The fact that TCU’s best offensive player touched the ball just 18 times Saturday, and was “resting” on a crucial fourth and one is inexcusable. How are you going to give Zach 22 carries against Cal and 15 against SMU — while you’re getting your ass kicked?

If he doesn’t have at least 20 carries Saturday, it’s going to be another long day for TCU Football and its fans.

PLEASE GOD CALL A GAME ON OFFENSE THAT FITS THE SKILLSET OF YOUR QUARTERBACK

It’s been said ad nauseum, but Max Duggan’s not at his best when he’s asked to throw down the field time and time again. I have no problem taking some shots, and TCU should, but to keep putting the ball up 30+ yards in the air only to see it fall harmlessly to the grass isn’t helping anyone.

Max is great on the run, he’s excellent in the mid-range game, and he has moxy to spare. Give him slants, digs, option routes, and a heavy dose of Zach Evans, sprinkle in a few deep shots, and watch his confidence grow.

Hopefully.