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Unlocking the Keys: How did TCU do?

Did TCU check all the boxes in their 45-3 win over Duquesne?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 04 Duquesne at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

TCU is 1-0 after a 45-3 win over Duquesne. It shouldn’t have been close and it wasn’t, but how well did TCU do when we revisit Melissa’s keys to the game? Let’s take a look.

Key 1: Max Duggan: Get in, get out, get on to Cal

Max only played the first half, which is exactly what Melissa hoped for, and he played really well, save one throw. Duggan threw for 207 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing for a touchdown, but his one interception stands out as a bad decision. He spoke about it after the game.

“Obviously my one mistake of the interception comes back, but we’ll get that fixed. Other than that it was a good half.”

Key Grade: A

Key 2: Let’s get the running backs on the field

Three different running backs recorded a touchdown on Saturday night, with Emari Demercado, Zach Evans, and Kendre Miller all finding paydirt. For Demercado it was his first rushing touchdown as a Frog, which makes it all the sweeter that he got the start Saturday night.

None of these three backs got more than eight carries, as they all mostly sat after the half. Daimarqua Foster got 10 carries and looked virtually impossible to tackle, while CB turned RB Deryl Reynolds also got a few runs on the night.

Running back might be one of the deepest units on TCU’s team, and it was good for them to all see the field on Saturday night. Patterson appreciated the backs’ efforts on Saturday night but mentioned that “we still need to run the ball better,” noting that footwork was an issue for some backs during the game.

Key Grade: A+

Key 3: Find some backups on the outside

With Noah Daniels and Kee’yon Stewart out for the game, TCU was working with backup cornerback CJ Ceasar. He got beaten on two deep throws, both coming from Duquesne’s backup quarterback. It wasn’t a comforting feeling, but Ceasar also started slow in 2020 before coming on strong the last three games of the year.

Patterson was asked about those two plays after the game. “They ran an out and up to get the corner to jump it.” He also mentioned that he almost challenged the second long catch, which looked like the receiver’s foot touched out of bounds before the catch.

Key Grade: B

Key 4: New play caller, who dis?

Doug Meacham is back on the sideline as the offensive coordinator and we saw the impact of his changes to the offense almost immediately. There was formation variety, tons of pre-snap motion, and a lot of early passing (before the game got out of hand, at least).

Things slowed down considerably in the second half, appropriately so, but Chandler Morris still managed to throw for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to Blake Nowell.

Key Grade: A

Key 5: Injury free is good for you and me

Arguably the most important key for Saturday night was simply to stay healthy. The Frogs did that, with no injuries to note from the game. On top of that, Patterson provided an update afterward about some guys who have been out with injury. Terrell Cooper, Noah Daniels, and Deshaun McCuin could be back next week for Cal, while Khari Coleman is a “maybe” to return for SMU.

Key Grade: A+